B-151808, AUG. 15, 1963

B-151808: Aug 15, 1963

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 12. THE ABOVE INVITATION WAS ISSUED MARCH 29. V7023P-9046 WAS AWARDED ON APRIL 22. PURCHASE ORDER NO. 63-SO-50534 WAS ISSUED ON THAT DATE. IN THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED ON A PRODUCT WITH AN ANHYDROUS SOAP CONTENT OF 12 PERCENT. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITEMS 8 AND 9 IS THE DESTINATION. IT IS NOTED THAT THE UNIT PRICES BID BY STANLEY ON ITEMS 8 AND 9 WERE $19.50 AND $25.50. THE NEXT LOW BIDS WERE $26.50 AND $28.75. THE NEXT LOWS WERE $4.85 AND $5.55. THE HIGHS WERE $12.85 AND $12.20. THE ONLY OTHER BID ON THESE ITEMS WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3 EACH. THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CONTRACTOR SUBSTANTIATES THE FACT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED.

B-151808, AUG. 15, 1963

TO ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1963, FROM THE ACTING DIRECTOR, SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SERVICE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED TO JOHN T. STANLEY CO., INC., BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN BID ON ITEMS 8, 9, 10 AND 12 OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. M5-67-63.

THE ABOVE INVITATION WAS ISSUED MARCH 29, 1963, REQUESTING BIDS TO BE OPENED APRIL 18, 1963, ON VARIOUS SOAP PRODUCTS. CONTRACT NO. V7023P-9046 WAS AWARDED ON APRIL 22, 1963, TO JOHN T. STANLEY COMPANY AS LOW BIDDER ON ITEMS 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 AND 12, AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 63-SO-50534 WAS ISSUED ON THAT DATE. BY LETTER OF MAY 10, 1963, THE STANLEY COMPANY REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE CONSIDERED AS WITHDRAWN SINCE AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE ON ITEMS 8, 9, 10 AND 12, IN THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED ON A PRODUCT WITH AN ANHYDROUS SOAP CONTENT OF 12 PERCENT, WHEREAS TO MEET THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFICATION THE ANHYDROUS SOAP CONTENT MUST BE APPROXIMATELY 40 PERCENT.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS THAT RELIEF BE GRANTED AS TO ITEMS 8, 9, 10 AND 12, BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCE IN BID PRICES, THE FACT THAT STANLEY HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY BID ON THESE ITEMS, AND THE RECORD OF HIGHER PRICES PAID DURING APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS OF PURCHASING.

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITEMS 8 AND 9 IS THE DESTINATION, THE PRODUCT CALLED FOR BEING AS FOLLOWS:

"STOCK NO.--- 6505-687-4248 - HEXACHLOROPHENE LIQUID SOAP CONCENTRATE,

DILUTION WITH THREE PARTS OF WATER

PRODUCES HEXACHLOROPHENE LIQUID SOAP,

USP, 30 GAL. DRUM

"SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH VA DESCRIPTION NO. 1226950C, DTD JANUARY 10, 1961, EXCEPT SHALL SHOW NEW STOCK NO. 6505-687-4248.'

ITEMS 10 AND 12 COVER DELIVERY TO DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS OF THE SAME SOAP IN 5-GALLON DRUMS.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE UNIT PRICES BID BY STANLEY ON ITEMS 8 AND 9 WERE $19.50 AND $25.50, THE NEXT LOW BIDS WERE $26.50 AND $28.75, AND THE PRICES RANGED UP TO A HIGH OF $66 ON EACH ITEM. STANLEY BID $3.50 AND $4.50 ON ITEMS 10 AND 12, THE NEXT LOWS WERE $4.85 AND $5.55, AND THE HIGHS WERE $12.85 AND $12.20. STANLEY BID $1 AND $1.25 FOR ITEMS 6 AND 7, AND THE ONLY OTHER BID ON THESE ITEMS WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3 EACH.

THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CONTRACTOR SUBSTANTIATES THE FACT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED. ALSO, WHILE THE ABOVE-QUOTED DESCRIPTION REFERS TO A LIQUID SOAP "CONCENTRATE," WE THINK THAT THE CONTINUATION OF THIS DESCRIPTION, SPECIFYING THAT "DILUTION WITH THREE PARTS OF WATER PRODUCES HEXACHLOROPHENE LIQUID SOAP, USP, 30 GAL. DRUM" OR "5 GAL. DRUM," AS THE CASE MAY BE, MIGHT WELL MISLEAD A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER INTO BIDDING ON THE DILUTED PRODUCT.

ACCORDINGLY, AND IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE IN PRICES BETWEEN STANLEY'S BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT THE PRICES PAID FOR SIMILAR SOAP OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS WERE CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN THE PRICES BID BY STANLEY IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE BID BEFORE AWARD. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE CONCUR WITH THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE ACTING DIRECTOR THAT THE JOHN T. STANLEY COMPANY BE RELIEVED ..END :