B-111930, OCT 20, 1953

B-111930: Oct 20, 1953

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 4. REQUESTING A REPORT RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN QUOTING ON ITEM 16 OF ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT AF 34(601)-271 IS BASED. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEMS 15. THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY ALLEGED THAT A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT THE PRICE OF THE PARTS COVERED BY ITEM 16 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.48 EACH INSTEAD OF $0.048 EACH. THAT HE WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO GRANT THE RELIEF REQUESTED BUT THAT A REQUEST THEREFOR COULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED BY THE FIVE OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 16 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $0.24.

B-111930, OCT 20, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 4, 1952, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1952, REQUESTING A REPORT RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN QUOTING ON ITEM 16 OF ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT AF 34(601)-271 IS BASED.

THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, OKLAHOMA CITY AIR MATERIEL AREA, TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, BY INVITATION NO. (IFB)34-601-52-467 REQUESTED BIDS - TO BE OPENED APRIL 9, 1952 - FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER PARTS, 500 PIECES OF PART AN 165-22S, TURNBUCKLE PIN SHORT, ITEM 16. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED MARCH 26, 1952, WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, THE PARTS UNDER ITEM 16 AT A PRICE OF $0.048 EACH. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEMS 15, 16 AND 58 ON APRIL 18, 1952. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 29, 1952, THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY ALLEGED THAT A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT THE PRICE OF THE PARTS COVERED BY ITEM 16 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.48 EACH INSTEAD OF $0.048 EACH. IN REPLY THERETO, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED THE COMPANY BY LETTER DATED MAY 15, 1952, THAT HE WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO GRANT THE RELIEF REQUESTED BUT THAT A REQUEST THEREFOR COULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

IN A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 9, 1952, ADDRESSED TO THIS OFFICE, THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY REQUESTED THAT THE UNIT PRICE OF ITEM 16 BE INCREASED FROM $0.048 EACH TO $0.48 EACH. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 17, 1953, FURNISHED PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF (1) A PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED TO ITS SUPPLIER, AIRCRAFT HARDWARE MANUFACTURING CO., INC.; (2) THE INVOICE COVERING THE PARTS REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 16 AND ORDERED UNDER SAID PURCHASE ORDER; AND (3) A COPY OF THE COMPANY'S CHECK IN PAYMENT FOR SAID PARTS. SAID INVOICE SHOWS THE F.O.B. ORIGIN COST TO THE COMPANY OF THE PARTS REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 16 AS $0.32 EACH. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED BY THE FIVE OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 16 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $0.24, $0.30, $0.311, $0.33 AND $0.48. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BID OF THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY OF $0.048 EACH FOR ITEM 16 AND THE OTHER BIDS THEREON, THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT AND, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID AS TO ITEM 16 SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN QUOTING A PRICE OF $0.048 EACH FOR ITEM 16 AND IT APPEARS THAT THE ERROR INVOLVED THE MISPLACEMENT OF A DECIMAL POINT IN SAID UNIT PRICE. HOWEVER, IF THE BID BE CORRECTED TO THE INTENDED BID PRICE OF $0.48 EACH, IT WILL NOT BE THE LOWEST BID ON SAID ITEM. APPEARS FROM THE COMPANY'S LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1953, THAT IT HAS DELIVERED THE PARTS REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 16 OF THE CONTRACT. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO THE COLLINS ENGINEERING COMPANY FOR THE PARTS WHICH HAVE BEEN DELIVERED UNDER ITEM 16 IN AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE NEXT LOWEST CORRECT BID ON SAID ITEM.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR ITEM 16.