B-113738, AUG 17, 1953

B-113738: Aug 17, 1953

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 16. TOOL SALES CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN QUOTING ON ITEMS 4 AND 5 OF ITS BID DATED AUGUST 1. AF-09(603)-13761 IS BASED. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEMS 4 AND 5. ON WHICH IT WAS THE ONLY BIDDER. THAT THE ERROR WAS DUE TO THE MISPLACEMENT OF A DECIMAL POINT IN THE UNIT PRICES FOR SAID ITEMS. THAT THE PRICES FOR ITEMS 4 AND 5 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2.65 AND $3.35 PER BOX OF 10 BLADES. WHEN ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM - AS IN THE PRESENT CASE - THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS. THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICE ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID.

B-113738, AUG 17, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 16, 1953, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 13, 1953, REQUESTING A REPORT RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY R.C.S. TOOL SALES CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN QUOTING ON ITEMS 4 AND 5 OF ITS BID DATED AUGUST 1, 1952, ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. AF-09(603)-13761 IS BASED.

IN RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 17B-53-LP-5776-5757-5733 5732, ISSUED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICE, ROBBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GEORGIA, THE R.C.S. TOOL SALES CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO FURNISH 50 BOXES OF POWER SAW BLADES, #2, 18 TOOTH WAVY SET, LENGTH 3 1/4", FOR $0.265 PER BOX, ITEM 4; AND TO FURNISH 50 BOXES OF POWER SAW BLADES, #4, 18 TOOTH WAVY SET, LENGTH 5 1/4", FOR $0.335 PER BOX, ITEM 5; LESS A 5 PERCENT SPECIAL GOVERNMENT DISCOUNT. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEMS 4 AND 5, ON WHICH IT WAS THE ONLY BIDDER, ON AUGUST 21, 1952.

BY LETTERS DATED AUGUST 28 AND SEPTEMBER 25, 1952, THE R.C.S. TOOL SALES CORPORATION ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID WITH RESPECT TO ITEMS 4 AND 5; THAT THE ERROR WAS DUE TO THE MISPLACEMENT OF A DECIMAL POINT IN THE UNIT PRICES FOR SAID ITEMS; AND THAT THE PRICES FOR ITEMS 4 AND 5 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2.65 AND $3.35 PER BOX OF 10 BLADES, RESPECTIVELY. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE CORPORATION FURNISHED A COPY OF ITS PRINTED PRICE LIST. SAID PRICE LIST SPECIFIES A LIST PRICE OF $2.65 FOR A PACKAGE OF 10 #2-18 TOOTH, 3 1/4" POWER SAW BLADES, THE BLADES REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 4; AND A LIST PRICE OF $3.35 FOR A PACKAGE OF 10 #4-18 TOOTH, 5 1/4" POWER SAW BLADES, THE BLADES REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 5.

ORDINARILY, WHEN ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM - AS IN THE PRESENT CASE - THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS; HENCE, THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICE ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 560; AND 26 ID. 415. HOWEVER, IN SIXTH INDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 15, 1953, THE CHIEF, READJUSTMENT BRANCH, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, DAYTON, OHIO, STATED THAT SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD PREVIOUSLY PURCHASED THE IDENTICAL BLADES AS CALLED FOR UNDER ITEMS 4 AND 5, FROM THE R.C.S. TOOL SALES CORPORATION, UNDER CONTRACT NO. AF-09(603)-8313, DATED FEBRUARY 21, 1952, AT PRICES OF $2.65 AND $3.35 PER PACKAGE OF 10 BLADES - THE CORPORATION'S INTENDED BID PRICES FOR ITEMS 4 AND 5 - HE SHOULD HAVE REALIZED THAT THE CORPORATION HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND THAT THE CORPORATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO VERIFY ITS BID BEFORE THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF. SINCE NO OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON ITEMS 4 AND 5, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PROPER TO HAVE ASCERTAINED, PRIOR TO AWARD, THE PRICES PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR THE BLADES IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE REASONABLENESS OF THE BID OF THE CORPORATION ON ITEMS 4 AND 5. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE CORPORATION TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE R.C.S. TOOL SALES CORPORATION MADE ERRORS ON ITEMS 4 AND 5 OF ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, AND THAT THE CORRECT PRICES FOR SAID ITEMS ARE $2.65 AND $3.35 PER PACKAGE OF 10 BLADES, RESPECTIVELY. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE FOR THE QUANTITY OF BLADES DELIVERED UNDER ITEMS 4 AND 5 AT $2.65 AND $3.35 PER PACKAGE OF 10 BLADES, RESPECTIVELY, LESS SPECIAL GOVERNMENT DISCOUNT OF 5 PERCENT.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR SAID ITEMS.