B-121846, NOV 3, 1954

B-121846: Nov 3, 1954

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PUBLIC PRINTER: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED OCTOBER 6. IS BASED. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT OF THE TOTAL OF SEVEN BIDS RECEIVED SIX WERE ON THE JOB BASIS. THE SECOND LOWEST JOB BID PRICE WAS $660 AND THE THIRD LOWEST BID FOR THE ENTIRE JOB WAS $763.04. WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. WHICH WAS QUOTED THEREON BY THE ONE OTHER BIDDER IS CONSIDERABLE. BIDDING PER EACH ITEM WAS NOT REQUIRED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS INTERESTED SOLELY IN COMPARING BID PRICES FOR THE JOB AS A WHOLE. WHERE ONLY TWO BIDS ARE RECEIVED ON AN ITEM. THERE BEING NO MORE REASON FOR CONSIDERING THE LOW BID TOO LOW THAN FOR CONSIDERING THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE IN THE HIGHER BID. THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THAT IT WAS NOT AS INTENDED.

B-121846, NOV 3, 1954

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1954, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY PALM, FECHTELER & CO. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED OCTOBER 6, 1954, ON WHICH UNNUMBERED CONTRACT, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 5442, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1954, IS BASED.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT OF THE TOTAL OF SEVEN BIDS RECEIVED SIX WERE ON THE JOB BASIS, ONLY, COVERING BOTH ITEMS OF DECALS. THE SECOND LOWEST JOB BID PRICE WAS $660 AND THE THIRD LOWEST BID FOR THE ENTIRE JOB WAS $763.04. THE REMAINING FOUR OTHER JOB BID PRICES RECEIVED RANGED FROM $900 TO $2,511.88. THUS, WHILE THE BID OF $481.92, SUBMITTED BY PALM, FECHTELER & CO., WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED, IT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS. FURTHERMORE, YOU STATE THAT A COMPARISON OF THE BIDS DID NOT PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE CONTRACTOR'S BID FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR OFFICE PREVIOUSLY HAD PURCHASED SIMILAR DECALCOMANIAS FOR APPROXIMATELY $500. WHILE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONTRACTOR'S UNIT PRICE OF $0.16 EACH ON THE FIRST ITEM AND THE ONLY OTHER UNIT PRICE OF $0.45, WHICH WAS QUOTED THEREON BY THE ONE OTHER BIDDER IS CONSIDERABLE, THE JACKET IN THIS CASE INDICATES THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE LOW BID FOR THE ENTIRE JOB, AND BIDDING PER EACH ITEM WAS NOT REQUIRED. HENCE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS INTERESTED SOLELY IN COMPARING BID PRICES FOR THE JOB AS A WHOLE. MOREOVER, WHERE ONLY TWO BIDS ARE RECEIVED ON AN ITEM, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, NO FAIR COMPARISON ORDINARILY CAN BE MADE, THERE BEING NO MORE REASON FOR CONSIDERING THE LOW BID TOO LOW THAN FOR CONSIDERING THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE IN THE HIGHER BID. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 236. HENCE, THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THAT IT WAS NOT AS INTENDED. CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE MISTAKE WAS NOT MUTUAL AND WAS NOT ALLEGED UNTIL AFTER THE BID WAS ACCEPTED IN APPARENT GOOD FAITH, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS FOR RELEASING THE PALM, FECHTELER & CO. FROM THE OBLIGATION TO DELIVER THE DECALCOMANIAS AT THE PRICE FIXED IN THE CONTRACT.

THE PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.