B-124152, JUL. 8, 1955

B-124152: Jul 8, 1955

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27. B. GOLDMAN PAPER COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED DECEMBER 16. FOR THE SALE OF LOT NO. 39 OF SURPLUS GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IS BASED. THE ACQUISITION COST OF WHICH WAS ADVERTISED AS $1. THE CONTRACTOR'S BID THEREFOR WAS $1. THAT ITS BID ON LOT NO. 39 WAS A MISTAKE IN THAT THE PRICE QUOTED THEREON WAS INTENDED FOR LOT NO. 38 COVERING A QUANTITY OF DRAWING PAPER. ITS BID FOR LOT NO. 38 INADVERTENTLY WAS INSERTED IN THE SPACE FOR THE LOT PRICE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPER OFFERED FOR SALE IN LOT NO. 38. EXCERPTS FROM THE CONTRACTOR'S WORKSHEETS CONFIRM THAT THE BID WAS CALCULATED ON THE QUANTITY OF PAPER LISTED FOR SALE UNDER LOT NO. 38.

B-124152, JUL. 8, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY G. B. GOLDMAN PAPER COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED DECEMBER 16, 1954, ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. O.I. (S) 30 -127-55-218, DATED JANUARY 17, 1955, FOR THE SALE OF LOT NO. 39 OF SURPLUS GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IS BASED.

LOT NO. 39 COVERED 1,859 ROLLS OF UNUSED INSULATION TAPE, THE ACQUISITION COST OF WHICH WAS ADVERTISED AS $1,808.80. THE CONTRACTOR'S BID THEREFOR WAS $1,590.80. UPON RECEIPT OF THE AWARD, THE CONTRACTOR IMMEDIATELY ADVISED, BY LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1955, THAT ITS BID ON LOT NO. 39 WAS A MISTAKE IN THAT THE PRICE QUOTED THEREON WAS INTENDED FOR LOT NO. 38 COVERING A QUANTITY OF DRAWING PAPER, HAVING AN ADVERTISED ACQUISITION COST OF $10,083.87. IT ATTRIBUTED THE MISTAKE TO CONFUSION AS A RESULT OF THE PLACEMENT OF THE LINES WHICH CALLED FOR THE LOT PRICES ON THE BID FORM. HENCE, ITS BID FOR LOT NO. 38 INADVERTENTLY WAS INSERTED IN THE SPACE FOR THE LOT PRICE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPER OFFERED FOR SALE IN LOT NO. 38, INSTEAD OF ON A LINE INTENDED THEREFOR AT THE VERY COMMENCEMENT OF THE ITEM. EXCERPTS FROM THE CONTRACTOR'S WORKSHEETS CONFIRM THAT THE BID WAS CALCULATED ON THE QUANTITY OF PAPER LISTED FOR SALE UNDER LOT NO. 38. ALSO, THE CONTRACTOR, A DEALER IN PAPER PRODUCTS, STATED IT WAS INTERESTED ONLY IN THE PURCHASE OF LOTS NOS. 15 AND 38, THE TWO PAPER ITEMS INVOLVED IN THE INSTANT SALE OF 82 ITEMS OF SURPLUS PROPERTY, AND THAT, OTHER THAN LOT NO. 38, LOT NO. 15 IS THE ONLY ITEM ON WHICH IT QUOTED A PRICE. ATTENTION WAS INVITED IN ITS LETTER TO THE PURCHASING OFFICE RECORDS OF PREVIOUS SALES OF SURPLUS PROPERTY WHICH WILL DISCLOSE THAT ITS BIDS CONSISTENTLY HAVE BEEN CONFINED TO PAPER ITEMS.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE ELEVEN OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON LOT NO. 39 RANGED FROM $5.13 TO $652 AND THAT THE TEN BIDS RECEIVED ON LOT NO. 38 RANGED FROM $35 TO $2,365.40. THUS, THE CONTRACTOR'S BID OF $1,590.80 IS MORE IN LINE WITH BIDS RECEIVED ON LOT NO. 38 FOR WHICH IT ALLEGEDLY WAS INTENDED.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES, IN HIS FINDINGS OF FACT, THAT THE BID FORM WAS AMBIGUOUS TO THE EXTENT THAT A CHANGE IN SUBSEQUENT INVITATIONS WAS MADE TO AVOID SIMILAR MISTAKES IN THE FUTURE; THAT THE CONTRACTOR'S BID ON LOT NO. 39 REPRESENTS AN UNUSUALLY HIGH RETURN FOR THE ITEM IN VIEW OF THE ACQUISITION COST; AND THAT THE FACTS PRESENT WERE SUCH THAT THE CONTRACTOR SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO VERIFY ITS BID ON LOT NO. 39 PRIOR TO AWARD.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO DOUBT THAT THE CONTRACTOR MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY UPON RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD, AND SINCE THE FACTS OF RECORD WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CONTRACTOR SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF AS TO LOT NO. 39--- IT APPEARING THAT THE PROPERTY INVOLVED IS STILL IN THE POSSESSION OF THE GOVERNMENT--- THE AWARD SHOULD BE CANCELED AND THE CONTRACTOR'S BID DEPOSIT SHOULD BE RETURNED.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FINDINGS OF FACT, A COPY OF THE INVITATION AND BID FORM WITH ATTACHMENTS, AND A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTER DATED ..END :