B-175474, MAY 25, 1972

B-175474: May 25, 1972

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SINCE THE ERROR IN PROTESTANT'S BID SCHEDULE IS NOT CLARIFIED BY ITS DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE. ITS BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE. BIDS WERE OPENED ON JANUARY 12. ALTHOUGH YOUR BID WAS LOW AT $5. WAS DESCRIBED BY THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID AS A 2 CHAMBER UNIT. THAT DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR MODEL NUMBER C1220-A2 WAS INSERTED IN THE BID SCHEDULE. YOUR REQUEST FOR CORRECTION WAS DENIED BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 25. AWARD WAS MADE TO TIME RESEARCH LABORATORIES AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE BIDDER AT A PRICE OF $6. DOES NOT DEVIATE FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION BECAUSE THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR BID REFERENCES YOUR MODEL C1220-A3 WHICH IS A 3 CHAMBER UNIT.

B-175474, MAY 25, 1972

BID PROTEST - NONRESPONSIVENESS - ALLEGED CLERICAL ERROR DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF ALCAR INDUSTRIES, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. RESPONSIVENESS MUST BE DETERMINED ON THE BID AS SUBMITTED. 38 COMP. GEN. 819 (1959). SINCE THE ERROR IN PROTESTANT'S BID SCHEDULE IS NOT CLARIFIED BY ITS DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE, ITS BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE. ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.

TO ALCAR INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 15, 1972, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. M2-51-72, ISSUED ON DECEMBER 15, 1971, BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS ON A BRAND-NAME OR EQUAL BASIS FOR 1 ULTRASONIC CLEANER, CASTLE COMPANY NO. U-91524 OR EQUAL. BIDS WERE OPENED ON JANUARY 12, 1972. ALTHOUGH YOUR BID WAS LOW AT $5,900, AGENCY PERSONNEL NOTED THAT THE MODEL OFFERED, NO. C1220-A2, WAS DESCRIBED BY THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID AS A 2 CHAMBER UNIT, WHEREAS THE INVITATION LISTED 3 CHAMBER CONSTRUCTION AS A SALIENT CHARACTERISTIC. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THEREFORE REQUESTED YOUR FIRM TO VERIFY ITS BID. BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 21, 1972, YOU ALLEGED THAT YOUR FIRM INTENDED TO OFFER MODEL C1220-A3, A THREE CHAMBER UNIT WHICH MEETS THE REQUIREMENT, BUT THAT DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR MODEL NUMBER C1220-A2 WAS INSERTED IN THE BID SCHEDULE. YOUR REQUEST FOR CORRECTION WAS DENIED BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1972. ON MARCH 9, 1972, AWARD WAS MADE TO TIME RESEARCH LABORATORIES AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE BIDDER AT A PRICE OF $6,445.

YOU PROTEST THE DENIAL OF YOUR FIRM'S REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OF ITS BID BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT YOUR BID, ALTHOUGH ERRONEOUS, DOES NOT DEVIATE FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION BECAUSE THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR BID REFERENCES YOUR MODEL C1220-A3 WHICH IS A 3 CHAMBER UNIT.

WE NOTE THAT YOUR LITERATURE DESCRIBES THE CHARACTERISTICS OF 3 DIFFERENT MODELS INCLUDING BOTH C1220-A2 AND C1220-A3. THERE IS NO INDICATION CONTAINED IN THIS LITERATURE THAT YOU INTENDED TO OFFER A MODEL DIFFERENT FROM THE UNIT WHICH YOU OFFERED IN THE BID SCHEDULE. IN FACT, IT IS CLEAR FROM YOUR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE THAT THE MODEL YOU OFFERED DOES NOT CONFORM WITH THE MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. THEREFORE, WE BELIEVE THAT YOUR BID WAS PROPERLY DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE.

IN CASES SUCH AS THE INSTANT ONE WHERE A MISTAKE IS ALLEGED WHICH AFFECTS THE RESPONSIVENESS OF A BID THIS OFFICE HAS HELD THAT THE QUESTION OF RESPONSIVENESS IS FOR DETERMINATION BASED ONLY ON THE BID AS SUBMITTED AND THAT IT IS NOT PROPER TO CONSIDER THE REASON FOR UNRESPONSIVENESS, WHETHER DUE TO MISTAKE OR OTHERWISE. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 819 (1959), AND CASES CITED THEREIN. SINCE YOUR BID AS SUBMITTED IS NONRESPONSIVE, THE AGENCY ACTED PROPERLY IN REJECTING YOUR REQUEST FOR CORRECTION.

ACCORDINGLY YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.