B-152294, AUG. 27, 1963

B-152294: Aug 27, 1963

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 14. IS RESPONSIVE TO INVITATION NO. WAS ISSUED ON JULY 15. WAS UTILIZED IN THE PROCUREMENT. ELEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND THE LOWEST BIDDER. WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE SINCE THE COMPANY NEGLECTED TO SIGN ITS BID. THE COMPANY WROTE "WILL ADVISE" IN THAT SPACE. THE DISREGARDING OF THE BID OF THE DOWLING TEXTILE MANUFACTURING COMPANY ON THE GROUND THAT FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN A BID WHICH BEARS HIS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE IS A SUBSTANTIVE DEFECT WHICH MAY NOT BE WAIVED. WAS PROPER UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 34 COMP. THE SECOND LOW BIDDER DELIBERATELY NEGLECTED TO FURNISH THE SOURCE OF THE PRODUCT IT WAS UNDERTAKING TO SUPPLY IN THIS CASE EVEN THOUGH THE BID FORM SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THIS INFORMATION.

B-152294, AUG. 27, 1963

TO MR. C. A. KAPPESSER, PROCUREMENT AGENT, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 14, 1963, REQUESTING ADVICE ON WHETHER THE BID OF THE G. AND O. COMPANY, INCORPORATED, OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IS RESPONSIVE TO INVITATION NO. M2-22-64 AND MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.

THE INVITATION TO BID ON THE FURNISHING OF THIRTY-ONE SEPARATELY STATED REQUIREMENTS FOR SURGICAL OPERATING AND PROTECTIVE HOSPITAL GOWNS CONSTITUTED A TOTAL SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT, HINES, ILLINOIS, AND WAS ISSUED ON JULY 15, 1963, WITH BID OPENING SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 5, 1963. STANDARD FORM 33, A CONSOLIDATED "INVITATION, BID, AND AWARD" FORM, WAS UTILIZED IN THE PROCUREMENT.

ELEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND THE LOWEST BIDDER, THE DOWLING TEXTILE MANUFACTURING COMPANY, WHO QUOTED A PRICE OF $11,004.74 FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 6, AND $19,075.40 FOR ITEMS 7 THROUGH 16, WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE SINCE THE COMPANY NEGLECTED TO SIGN ITS BID. THE SECOND LOW BIDDER ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 6 AND 7 THROUGH 16, THE G. AND G. COMPANY, QUOTED PRICES OF $12,555.15 AND $20,876.85, RESPECTIVELY. BUT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER FAILED TO CHECK A BOX ON THE FACE OF THE BID WHICH RENDERED INCOMPLETE A REPRESENTATION THAT THE SUPPLIES TO BE FURNISHED WOULD BE MANUFACTURED BY A SMALL BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES OR ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS. G. AND G. COMPANY ALSO DID NOT FURNISH THE LOCATION OF THE PLACE WHERE THE FINISHED ARTICLES WOULD BE MANUFACTURED AND AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION IN THE BLANK SPACE LEFT FOR THAT PURPOSE IN PARAGRAPH ELEVEN OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS; INSTEAD THE COMPANY WROTE "WILL ADVISE" IN THAT SPACE.

G. AND G. COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON AUGUST 8, 1963, THAT THE GARMENTS WOULD BE MANUFACTURED BY A DOMESTIC SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, THE SAMET UNIFORM COMPANY OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.

THE DISREGARDING OF THE BID OF THE DOWLING TEXTILE MANUFACTURING COMPANY ON THE GROUND THAT FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN A BID WHICH BEARS HIS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE IS A SUBSTANTIVE DEFECT WHICH MAY NOT BE WAIVED, WAS PROPER UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 34 COMP. GEN. 439.

THE SECOND LOW BIDDER DELIBERATELY NEGLECTED TO FURNISH THE SOURCE OF THE PRODUCT IT WAS UNDERTAKING TO SUPPLY IN THIS CASE EVEN THOUGH THE BID FORM SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THIS INFORMATION. NO OTHER INFERENCE CAN BE DRAWN FROM THE BIDDER'S FAILURE TO CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX WHICH WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THE INSERTION OF THE WORDS "WILL ADVISE" IN PARAGRAPH ELEVEN. SINCE THE PROCUREMENT WAS A TOTAL SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE, BIDDERS WERE ON NOTICE THAT THE CHARACTER OF THE ULTIMATE SUPPLIER WAS OF THE ESSENCE OF THE INVITATION. TO ALLOW A BIDDER, EVEN THOUGH IT BE A DOMESTIC SMALL BUSINESS, TO POSTPONE REVELATION OF ITS SOURCE OF SUPPLY UNTIL AFTER BIDS ARE PUBLICLY OPENED AND PRICES DISCLOSED IS UNFAIR TO OTHER BIDDERS WHO SUBMITTED BIDS UPON THE BASIS OF A NAMED SOURCE OF MANUFACTURE. 39 COMP. GEN. 532. HAD G. AND G. NAMED A LARGE BUSINESS SUPPLIER AFTER BID OPENING, ITS BID WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE BEEN REJECTED. HENCE, THERE IS IMPLICIT IN THE OMISSION OF THE INFORMATION MENTIONED AN OPTION TO THE BIDDER TO MAKE ITS BID NONRESPONSIVE AFTER OPENING OF BIDS AND THIS DEVIATION CANNOT BE HELD A MINOR IRREGULARITY NOT GOING TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID. FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-2.405. TO ALLOW AMENDMENT OF THE BID AFTER OPENING WOULD BE PREJUDICIAL TO OTHER BIDDERS.

AWARD THEREFORE, MAY NOT BE MADE TO THE G. AND G. COMPANY.