B-173496, JUL 27, 1971

B-173496: Jul 27, 1971

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FROM THE RECORD IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED THE BID BEFORE LETTING THE CONTRACT. JOHNSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2. BIDS WERE OPENED JUNE 8. 920 TO FURNISH THE SYSTEM WAS THE LOW PRICE RECEIVED. THE TWO OTHER BIDS RECEIVED WERE $3. AWARD WAS MADE TO ELTRON ON JUNE 10 AT ITS BID PRICE. ELTRON STATED THAT THE PRICE QUOTED WAS ACTUALLY FOR ONE CAMERA AND MONITOR RATHER THAN FOR TWO CAMERAS AND MONITORS CALLED FOR BY THE SOLICITATION. ELTRON THEREFORE CLAIMS THAT ITS BID PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3. WE AGREE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR IN BID AND THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR VERIFICATION.

B-173496, JUL 27, 1971

BID PROTEST - MISTAKE IN BID DECISION GRANTING RELIEF TO ELTRON RESEARCH CORPORATION FROM A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF A CONTRACT LET BY VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, ALBANY, N.Y. UNDER AN IFB ISSUED FOR A VIDEO OBSERVATION SYSTEM. FROM THE RECORD IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED THE BID BEFORE LETTING THE CONTRACT. THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY CANCELLED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO ELTRON.

TO MR. JOHNSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DIRECTOR, SUPPLY SERVICE, SUBMITTING FOR DECISION A REQUEST BY ELTRON RESEARCH CORPORATION (ELTRON) FOR RELIEF FROM A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF A CONTRACT BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, ALBANY, NEW YORK.

THE ALBANY VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL ISSUED INVITATION FOR BID (IFB) 71-67 ON MAY 21, 1971, REQUESTING BIDS ON A VIDEO OBSERVATION SYSTEM. BIDS WERE OPENED JUNE 8, 1971, AND ELTRON'S BID PRICE OF $1,920 TO FURNISH THE SYSTEM WAS THE LOW PRICE RECEIVED. THE TWO OTHER BIDS RECEIVED WERE $3,591 AND $5,750. AWARD WAS MADE TO ELTRON ON JUNE 10 AT ITS BID PRICE.

BY LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1971, ELTRON NOTIFIED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN ITS BID AND REQUESTED THAT IT BE GRANTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW ITS BID. IN ITS LETTER, ELTRON STATED THAT THE PRICE QUOTED WAS ACTUALLY FOR ONE CAMERA AND MONITOR RATHER THAN FOR TWO CAMERAS AND MONITORS CALLED FOR BY THE SOLICITATION. ELTRON THEREFORE CLAIMS THAT ITS BID PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3,840 INSTEAD OF $1,920 AS SHOWN ON ITS BID AS ACCEPTED. IN SUPPORT OF ITS CONTENTION ELTRON ACCOMPANIED ITS LETTER WITH THE MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATION SHEETS AND A PRICE BREAKDOWN ON THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED. AN EXAMINATION OF THE FOREGOING REVEALS THAT ELTRON MISTAKENLY BID UPON ONE SYSTEM ONLY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE AGREE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR IN BID AND THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR VERIFICATION.

WHERE A MISTAKE HAS BEEN ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, OUR OFFICE WILL GRANT RELIEF IF THE MISTAKE WAS MUTUAL OR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE ERROR PRIOR TO THE AWARD. 167031, JUNE 16, 1969; B-167816, SEPTEMBER 19, 1969; B 167745, SEPTEMBER 2, 1969.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT MAY BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO ELTRON AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.

THE FILE TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF JULY 7, 1970, IS RETURNED.