B-124982, SEP. 23, 1955

B-124982: Sep 23, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4. N146S-2475 IS BASED. THE ORIGINAL ACQUISITION COST OF WHICH WAS STATED TO BE $350. WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $493. WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 53 ON JULY 5. THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY ADVISED THAT THE INSERTION OF A BID PRICE ON ITEM 53 WAS AN ERROR AS IT WAS ITS INTENT TO BID ON ITEM 52 (ONE CENTERLESS GRINDER) AND NOT ITEM 53. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 53 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $12. 461 ON ITEM 53 IS ENTIRELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON THAT ITEM. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY'S BID IS $318.99 LOWER THAN THE HIGHEST BID RECEIVED ON ITEM 52.

B-124982, SEP. 23, 1955

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN REGARDING AN ERROR THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. N146S-2475 IS BASED.

THE U.S. MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA, BY SALES INVITATION NO. B-15-55APA/SALVAGE), REQUESTED BIDS FOR PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, ONE THREAD CHASING MACHINE, ITEM 53, THE ORIGINAL ACQUISITION COST OF WHICH WAS STATED TO BE $350. IN RESPONSE, THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO PURCHASE THE MACHINE COVERED BY ITEM 53 FOR THE PRICE OF $2,461. THE BID OF THE COMPANY, WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $493, WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 53 ON JULY 5, 1955.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 6, 1955, THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY ADVISED THAT THE INSERTION OF A BID PRICE ON ITEM 53 WAS AN ERROR AS IT WAS ITS INTENT TO BID ON ITEM 52 (ONE CENTERLESS GRINDER) AND NOT ITEM 53.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 53 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $12, $11.09, AND $2.01. THUS, THE BID OF THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY OF $2,461 ON ITEM 53 IS ENTIRELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON THAT ITEM. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY'S BID IS $318.99 LOWER THAN THE HIGHEST BID RECEIVED ON ITEM 52--- THE ITEM ON WHICH IT STATED THE PRICE OF $2,461 WAS INTENDED.

ORDINARILY, A MERE DIFFERENCE IN THE PRICES QUOTED FOR THE SALE OF SURPLUS MATERIAL OR SALVAGE PROPERTY WOULD NOT NECESSARILY PLACE A CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AS WOULD A LIKE DIFFERENCE IN THE PRICES QUOTED ON NEW EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, ETC., TO BE FURNISHED TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 596; 17 ID. 388; ID. 601; 28 ID. 261; ID. 550. IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, THE BID OF THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY ON ITEM 53 WAS 205 TIMES GREATER THAN THE NEXT HIGH BID ON THAT ITEM AND SEVEN TIMES GREATER THAN ITS ORIGINAL ACQUISITION COST. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AS TO ITEM 53 WAS APPARENT AND THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE BY THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY IN THAT THE QUOTATION INTENDED FOR ITEM 52 ERRONEOUSLY WAS ENTERED OPPOSITE ITEM 53--- NO BID ON THE LATTER ITEM HAVING BEEN INTENDED. ACCORDINGLY, THE AWARD TO THE BALL MACHINERY COMPANY ON ITEM 53 MAY BE CANCELED AND ITS BID DEPOSIT REFUNDED.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S UNDATED STATEMENT, ARE RETURNED.