B-143245, JUL. 18, 1960

B-143245: Jul 18, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT. IT WAS OBSERVED THAT OMEGA HAD BID A UNIT PRICE OF $7.50 ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS REVEALS THAT ONE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21. WHILE TWO OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON ITEMS 34 THROUGH 37. OMEGA WAS REQUESTED BY THE PROCURING OFFICE TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICES ON THESE ITEMS. WERE PREDICATED ON A UNIT OF ONE DOZEN RATHER THAN UNITS OF SIX AS REQUESTED IN THE BID INVITATION. IT IS THE GENERAL RULE THAT THE BID MAY NOT BE CHANGED.

B-143245, JUL. 18, 1960

TO ADAM E. SHUMAN, CHIEF, MARKETING DIVISION, DENTAL AND SURGICAL SUPPLY, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES,REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY OMEGA HOSPITAL SUPPLY, INC., TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. MI-177-60.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT, HINES, ILLINOIS, ON MAY 24, 1960, AND IT REQUESTED BIDS ON NUMBERED ITEMS OF SYRINGES, LUER, TUBERCULIN AND INSULIN. AFTER BID OPENING AND UPON A REVIEW OF BIDS, IT WAS OBSERVED THAT OMEGA HAD BID A UNIT PRICE OF $7.50 ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21, INCLUSIVE, AND A UNIT PRICE OF $7.74 ON ITEMS 34 THROUGH 37, INCLUSIVE, ALL CALLING FOR SYRINGE, LUER, INTERCHANGEABLE, GLASS, 6-S. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS REVEALS THAT ONE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21, INCLUSIVE, QUOTING A UNIT PRICE OF $3.90, WHILE TWO OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON ITEMS 34 THROUGH 37, INCLUSIVE, OF WHICH THE LOW BID QUOTES A UNIT PRICE OF $3.825 AND THE SECOND LOW BID QUOTES A UNIT PRICE OF $3.90. OMEGA WAS REQUESTED BY THE PROCURING OFFICE TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICES ON THESE ITEMS.

BY LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1960, OMEGA RESPONDED TO THE EFFECT THAT THEIR UNIT PRICE BIDS ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21, AND ON ITEMS 34 THROUGH 37, WERE PREDICATED ON A UNIT OF ONE DOZEN RATHER THAN UNITS OF SIX AS REQUESTED IN THE BID INVITATION, AND THAT THEIR BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS AN OBVIOUS ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD. BASED ON THE FOREGOING, THE PROCURING OFFICE ASKS WHETHER OMEGA MAY BE PERMITTED TO AMEND ITS BID.

WHEN A BIDDER ALLEGES MISTAKE IN BID AFTER OPENING BUT PRIOR TO AWARD, IT IS THE GENERAL RULE THAT THE BID MAY NOT BE CHANGED. THERE ARE INSTANCES WHEN THE GENERAL RULE MAY BE WAIVED AND A BID MAY BE CORRECTED UPON A CLEAR SHOWING OF WHAT THE BID PRICE WOULD HAVE BEEN BUT FOR THE MISTAKE. SEE B-142915, JUNE 7, 1960. HOWEVER, WE REGARD THE GENERAL RULE AGAINST CHANGING OF BIDS AFTER OPENING BUT PRIOR TO AWARD AS BEING PARTICULARLY APPLICABLE TO A SITUATION WHERE A CHANGE IN BID WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE RELATIVE STANDING OF THE OTHER BIDDERS. IN THIS INSTANCE A DOWNWARD REVISION IN OMEGA'S BID WOULD RESULT IN THE DISPLACEMENT OF A LOWER BIDDER ON EACH GROUP OF NUMBERED ITEMS BEING CONSIDERED FOR AWARD. WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THE FACTS HERE JUSTIFY A REVISION OF THE OMEGA BID SO AS TO DISPLACE ANY OTHER LOW BIDDERS. WE BELIEVE THAT TO ALLOW SUCH ACTION IN THIS CASE WOULD WORK TO THE OVERALL DETRIMENT OF THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN PRESERVING AND MAINTAINING THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 210.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE BID SUBMITTED BY OMEGA HOSPITAL SUPPLY, INC., ON ITEMS 16 THROUGH 21, AND ON ITEMS 31 THROUGH 37, OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION.