B-146096, JUN. 20, 1961

B-146096: Jun 20, 1961

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTER: WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 2. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED APRIL 17. 4 ARE FOR 24-OUNCE LOAVES OF SLICED WHITE. ITEM 3 IS FOR 16-OUNCE LOAVES OF SLICED RYE. IN EACH CASE THE UNIT ON WHICH BID PRICES ARE REQUESTED IS THE POUND. BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULE ON MAY 22. BIDS RECEIVED ARE AS FOLLOWS: CHART ITEM NUMBER AND PRICE PER UNIT BIDDER 1 2 3 4 GAMER'S BAKERY $0.175 $0.175 $0.175 NO BID BILL'S BAKERY 0.23 0.23 0.18 $0.23 EDDY BAKERIES 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.18 YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT AFTER OPENING BID CONFIRMATIONS WERE REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE FROM GAMER'S AND BILL-S. WHICH ALLEGATION IS CORROBORATED BY THE PRICES SHOWN IN THE TOTAL COLUMN OF THE BID. THE LATTER STATED THAT ALL OF THE PRICES OFFERED WERE INTENDED ON A PER LOAF RATHER THAN A PER POUND BASIS SO THAT THE PRICES FOR ITEMS 1.

B-146096, JUN. 20, 1961

TO MR. E. J. MCGUANE, CONTRACTING OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTER:

WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 2, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURE, YOUR REFERENCE 4036/134, REQUESTING OUR ADVICE ON WHETHER CERTAIN BIDS SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO INVITATION NO. 62-6 MAY BE CORRECTED.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED APRIL 17, 1961, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF FOUR DIFFERENT ITEMS OF BREAD FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1961, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1962. ITEMS 1, 2, AND 4 ARE FOR 24-OUNCE LOAVES OF SLICED WHITE, WHOLE WHEAT, AND SALT FREE WHITE, RESPECTIVELY. ITEM 3 IS FOR 16-OUNCE LOAVES OF SLICED RYE. IN EACH CASE THE UNIT ON WHICH BID PRICES ARE REQUESTED IS THE POUND.

BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULE ON MAY 22, 1961; BIDS RECEIVED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

ITEM NUMBER AND PRICE PER UNIT

BIDDER 1 2 3 4

GAMER'S BAKERY $0.175 $0.175 $0.175 NO BID

BILL'S BAKERY 0.23 0.23 0.18 $0.23

EDDY BAKERIES 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.18

YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT AFTER OPENING BID CONFIRMATIONS WERE REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE FROM GAMER'S AND BILL-S. THE FORMER INDICATED THAT IT HAD INTENDED BIDDING THE SAME UNIT PRICE ON ITEM 4 AS ON THE OTHER THREE, $0.175, WHICH ALLEGATION IS CORROBORATED BY THE PRICES SHOWN IN THE TOTAL COLUMN OF THE BID; THE LATTER STATED THAT ALL OF THE PRICES OFFERED WERE INTENDED ON A PER LOAF RATHER THAN A PER POUND BASIS SO THAT THE PRICES FOR ITEMS 1, 2, AND 4 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.1533 PER POUND. BOTH CLAIMS OF ERROR WERE SUPPORTED BY NOTARIZED STATEMENTS.

THE ERROR IN THE BILL'S BAKERY BID IS APPARENT ON ITS FACE SINCE NO LOGICAL REASON EXISTS TO CHARGE $0.05 PER POUND MORE FOR 24-OUNCE LOAVES OF WHITE, WHOLE WHEAT, AND WHITE SALT FREE THAN FOR 16-OUNCE LOAVES OF SLICED RYE. IN FACT, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY PERSONS FAMILIAR WITH THE BREAD BAKING BUSINESS THAT IT WOULD BE MORE REASONABLE FOR THE PER POUND PRICE OF THE RYE TO BE HIGHER. WE WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE PER POUND INTENDED PRICE OF $0.1533 FOR ITEMS 1, 2, AND 4 IS NOT UNREASONABLE.

IN OUR EXPERIENCE, IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR CONTRACTING AGENCIES TO ISSUE INVITATIONS CALLING FOR BREAD LOAVES OF 24 OR 32 OUNCES WITH A PROVISION FOR THE PRICE TO BE EXPRESSED ON A PER POUND BASIS. WE HAVE ALSO FOUND IT NOT TO BE UNUSUAL IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES FOR BIDDERS TO MISTAKENLY SUBMIT BIDS ON A PER LOAF RATHER THAN A PER POUND BASIS. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE ERROR AND THE INTENDED PRICE CAN BE DETERMINED FROM THE FACE OF THE BID. B-125560, SEPTEMBER 27, 1955. THEREFORE, THE BID SUBMITTED BY BILL'S BAKERY MAY BE CORRECTED TO REFLECT A UNIT PRICE ON ITEM 1, 2, AND 4 OF $0.1533. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 210.

IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE, THE GAMER'S BAKERY BID, EVEN IF CORRECTED, WOULD NOT BECOME LOW; THE CORRECTABILITY OF THE ERROR, THEREFORE, NEED NOT BE CONSIDERED.