B-160131, OCT. 7, 1966

B-160131: Oct 7, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 23. IS BEING ISSUED FOR THE FURNISHING OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES. PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT "TELEGRAPHIC BIDS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE INVITATION. IT IS STATED THAT BID INVITATION M4 82-67 COVERING TOMATO PRODUCTS WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 10. AMONG THE SEALED BIDS RECEIVED WAS ONE FROM USP CORPORATION. PRIOR TO BID OPENING THERE WAS RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM USP QUOTING PRICES ON ITEMS 9 THROUGH 13 AT $4.39 PER CASE. UPON OPENING OF THE SEALED BIDS IT WAS FOUND THAT USP HAD SUBMITTED A COPY OF THE INVITATION PROPERLY SIGNED AND INCLUDING REPRESENTATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS CONTAINED ON PAGE 2 OF STANDARD FORM 33 BUT WITHOUT ANY QUOTED BID PRICES.

B-160131, OCT. 7, 1966

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1966, FILE NO. 134M, FROM THE CHIEF MARKETING DIVISION, HINES, ILLINOIS, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE LEGAL PROPRIETY OF CONSIDERING BIDS SUBMITTED IN THE MANNER OUTLINED BELOW.

IT APPEARS THAT INVITATION FOR BIDS, STANDARD FORM 33, IS BEING ISSUED FOR THE FURNISHING OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES. PARAGRAPH 3/A) OF STANDARD FORM 33-A, MADE A PART OF THE INVITATION, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT "TELEGRAPHIC BIDS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE INVITATION; HOWEVER, BIDS MAY BE MODIFIED BY TELEGRAPHIC NOTICE, SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPH 6, BELOW.'

IN THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23, IT IS STATED THAT BID INVITATION M4 82-67 COVERING TOMATO PRODUCTS WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 10, 1966, WITH BID OPENING SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 1, 1966. AMONG THE SEALED BIDS RECEIVED WAS ONE FROM USP CORPORATION. PRIOR TO BID OPENING THERE WAS RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM USP QUOTING PRICES ON ITEMS 9 THROUGH 13 AT $4.39 PER CASE, F.O.B. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA. UPON OPENING OF THE SEALED BIDS IT WAS FOUND THAT USP HAD SUBMITTED A COPY OF THE INVITATION PROPERLY SIGNED AND INCLUDING REPRESENTATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS CONTAINED ON PAGE 2 OF STANDARD FORM 33 BUT WITHOUT ANY QUOTED BID PRICES. IT IS STATED THAT ALTHOUGH THE PRICES QUOTED IN THE TELEGRAM RECEIVED FROM USP WERE NOT LOW ENOUGH TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THE TELEGRAM PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION.

AS INDICATED IN THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23, IN OUR DECISION AT 39 COMP. GEN. 163, INVOLVING SIMILAR INVITATION PROVISIONS, WE STATED THAT THE WORD "BID" AS USED IN THE INVITATION HAD REFERENCE TO THE BID DOCUMENT ITSELF AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE BID DETAILS SUCH AS PRICE, QUANTITY, DISCOUNT AND DELIVERY TERMS INCLUDED THEREIN. IN VIEW THEREOF, WE HELD THAT THE FORMAL BID DOCUMENT MIGHT BE MODIFIED PRIOR TO BID OPENING BY TELEGRAPHIC NOTICE IN ANY PARTICULAR INCLUDING QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS NOT THERETOFORE BID UPON. WHAT WE STATED THERE IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE HERE. THE FACT THAT NO PRICE WAS QUOTED FOR ANY ITEM UNDER THE INSTANT INVITATION DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, REQUIRE A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION.

ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE METHOD OF BIDDING ADOPTED BY THE USP CORPORATION.