B-156852, JUN. 9, 1965

B-156852: Jun 9, 1965

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WAS USED IN THE PROCUREMENT. PAGE 1 OF THE FORM CONTAINED BOXES WHICH WERE TO BE CHECKED DENOTING THE APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION WHICH THE BIDDER WAS REQUIRED TO MAKE. FAILED TO COMPLETE THAT PART OF PAGE 1 OF THE BID WHICH STATES THAT THE BIDDER REPRESENTS "THAT ALL SUPPLIES TO BE FURNISHED HEREUNDER ( ( WILL. ( ( WILL NOT. WHICH IS A MANUFACTURER OR PRODUCER WITH AN AVERAGE OF 39 EMPLOYEES PER WEEK DURING CANNING SEASON AND 13 AT OTHER TIMES AND IS CONSIDERED A SMALL BUSINESS. IN ADDITION IT IS REPORTED THAT WALTER ENGLISH CO. ON THE FACE OF THE INVITATION CONTAINING THE BID PRICES SUBMITTED BY THESE BIDDERS IT IS STATED THAT THE BID IS SUBMITTED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INVITATION. THE INVITATION CLEARLY STATES THAT ITEMS 1 TO 9 ARE A TOTAL SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS ONLY.

B-156852, JUN. 9, 1965

TO THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. DRIVER, ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

WE REFER TO TELETYPE COMMUNICATION OF MAY 25, 1965, FROM THE MANAGER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT, HINES, ILLINOIS, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCEPTABILITY OF TWO BIDS SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO INVITATION NO. M4-10-66, DATED APRIL 22, 1965.

THE INVITATION TO BID ON THE FURNISHING OF 14 SEPARATELY STATED REQUIREMENTS OF ASPARAGUS CONTAINED A TOTAL SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE OF ITEMS 1 TO 9. STANDARD FORM 33, A CONSOLIDATED ,INVITATION, BID, AND AWARD" FORM, WAS USED IN THE PROCUREMENT. PAGE 1 OF THE FORM CONTAINED BOXES WHICH WERE TO BE CHECKED DENOTING THE APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION WHICH THE BIDDER WAS REQUIRED TO MAKE. TWO BIDDERS, WALTER ENGLISH CO. AND GEORGE D. EMERSON CO., BOTH SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS, FAILED TO COMPLETE THAT PART OF PAGE 1 OF THE BID WHICH STATES THAT THE BIDDER REPRESENTS "THAT ALL SUPPLIES TO BE FURNISHED HEREUNDER ( ( WILL, ( ( WILL NOT, BE MANUFACTURED OR PRODUCED BY A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES, ITS POSSESSIONS, OR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO.' HOWEVER, BOTH BIDDERS INDICATED ELSEWHERE IN THEIR BIDS THEIR INSPECTION POINT AS HONEE BEAR CANNING CO., LAWTON, MICHIGAN, WHICH IS A MANUFACTURER OR PRODUCER WITH AN AVERAGE OF 39 EMPLOYEES PER WEEK DURING CANNING SEASON AND 13 AT OTHER TIMES AND IS CONSIDERED A SMALL BUSINESS. IN ADDITION IT IS REPORTED THAT WALTER ENGLISH CO. RECEIVED THE AWARD LAST YEAR WITH INSPECTION FROM THE SAME SOURCE, HONEE BEAR CANNING CO., LAWTON, MICHIGAN.

ON THE FACE OF THE INVITATION CONTAINING THE BID PRICES SUBMITTED BY THESE BIDDERS IT IS STATED THAT THE BID IS SUBMITTED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INVITATION. THE INVITATION CLEARLY STATES THAT ITEMS 1 TO 9 ARE A TOTAL SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS ONLY. THESE BIDDERS DID FURNISH INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LOCATION OF THE PLACE OF INSPECTION, OR WHERE THE ITEMS WERE TO BE PREPARED. WHILE THE CHARACTER OF THE ULTIMATE SUPPLIER IS OF THE ESSENCE OF THE INVITATION, THIS IS DISCLOSED BY THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN THE BIDS, AND NOTHING APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN OMITTED WHICH WAS NECESSARY FOR A FULL AND COMPLETE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 376. THE FAILURE OF THE FIRMS TO CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX TO INDICATE THAT THE SUPPLIER WAS SMALL BUSINESS IS NOT MATERIAL IN THIS INSTANCE SINCE IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE IS AWARE OF THE SUPPLIER'S IDENTITY, ITS LOCATION AND ITS STATUS, BASED ON PAST PROCUREMENTS. CF. B-148548, APRIL 17, 1962. IN OUR VIEW THE BIDDERS HAVE NOT FAILED TO FURNISH MATERIAL INFORMATION SO AS TO REQUIRE THE BIDS TO BE REJECTED.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD THAT THE BIDS OF WALTER ENGLISH CO. AND GEORGE D. EMERSON CO. MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION.