B-125116, AUG. 19, 1955

B-125116: Aug 19, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 8. IS BASED. THE SPECIFICATIONS ACCOMPANYING THE BID INVITATION PROVIDE THAT THE CONTRACTOR WILL FURNISH THE NECESSARY SHIPPING CARTONS. OR THAT AT THE CONTRACTOR'S OPTION THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WILL FURNISH THE NECESSARY CARTONS. THAT IF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS TO FURNISH THE CARTONS. THE BIDDER MUST DEFINITELY STATE IN HIS BID THE NUMBER OF CARTONS HE WILL REQUIRE. THE FOUR OTHER BIDS ON THE JOB WERE IN AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $19. THE BID OF THE GENERAL MANIFOLD AND PRINTING COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED N JULY 22. PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1973 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING DELIVERY OF THE FORMS. WHICH IT APPEARS WAS WITH THE PURCHASE ORDER.

B-125116, AUG. 19, 1955

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 8, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN REGARDING AN ERROR THE GENERAL MANIFOLD AND PRINTING COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. GP-18516-A, DATED JULY 22, 1955, IS BASED.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS UNDER JACKET NO. 349367, FOR FURNISHING 1,100,000 SETS OF A FORM, PRINTED FACE ONLY, WITH A SHEET OF SINGLE FACE CARBON TO FACE BACK OF FORM, SHIPMENT TO BE MADE ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30, 1955. THE SPECIFICATIONS ACCOMPANYING THE BID INVITATION PROVIDE THAT THE CONTRACTOR WILL FURNISH THE NECESSARY SHIPPING CARTONS, OR THAT AT THE CONTRACTOR'S OPTION THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WILL FURNISH THE NECESSARY CARTONS, AND THAT IF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS TO FURNISH THE CARTONS, THE BIDDER MUST DEFINITELY STATE IN HIS BID THE NUMBER OF CARTONS HE WILL REQUIRE.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE GENERAL MANIFOLD AND PRINTING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED JULY 18, 1955, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE PRINTED FORMS AT A UNIT PRICE OF $16.39 PER ONE THOUSAND SETS OR FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $18,029. IN ITS BID THE COMPANY STATED THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SHOULD FURNISH 1,400 SOLID FIBER CONTAINERS. THE FOUR OTHER BIDS ON THE JOB WERE IN AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $19,745 TO $28,600. THE BID OF THE GENERAL MANIFOLD AND PRINTING COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED N JULY 22, 1955, AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1973 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING DELIVERY OF THE FORMS.

YOU STATE THAT ON JULY 27, 1955, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GENERAL MANIFOLD AND PRINTING COMPANY TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND STATED THAT AFTER THE COPY OF THE FORM, WHICH IT APPEARS WAS WITH THE PURCHASE ORDER, WAS EXAMINED, HE DISCOVERED THAT IT DID NOT CONFORM WITH HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND THAT FOR THIS REASON THE COMPANY'S QUOTATION OF $16.39 PER ONE THOUSAND SETS WAS IN ERROR. IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 1, 1955, THE COMPANY CONFIRMED ITS VERBAL ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND STATED THAT FROM THE DESCRIPTION OF THE FORM IN QUESTION, AS STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT ASSUMED THAT IT CONSISTED OF A DUPLICATE FOLDOVER SET, SIZE 16 1/2 INCHES BY 11 1/2 INCHES WITH ONE SHEET OF SINGLE FACE BLACK PENCIL CARBON, SIZE 16 1/2 INCHES BY 11 1/2 INCHES, INSERTED LOOSE, FACE UP, AND THAT PRINTING WOULD APPEAR ON "FACE ONLY" OF THE FORM, THAT IS, THE 16 1/2 INCHES BY 11 1/2 INCHES FACE OF THE FOLDOVER. THE COMPANY ALSO STATED THAT IT LEARNED FROM AN EXAMINATION OF THE COPY OF THE REQUIRED FORM THAT THERE WAS A FOLDOVER CARBON, SIZE 16 1/2 INCHES BY 23 INCHES, INSERTED IN THE SET RATHER THAN ONE SHEET OF BLACK PENCIL CARBON, SIZE 16 1/2 INCHES BY 11 1/2 INCHES, AND THAT THE SHEET IS TO BE PRINTED NOT ONLY "FACE ONLY," BUT ALSO ON THE BACK OF THE DUPLICATE FOLDOVER. THE COMPANY FURTHER STATED THAT THE ADDITIONAL COST FOR PRODUCING THE FORMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SAMPLE WILL BE $1.50 PER ONE THOUSAND SETS OR A TOTAL COST OF $1,650 FOR THE REQUIRED QUANTITY AND REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT BE CANCELLED OR THAT THE TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE OF THE FORMS BE INCREASED FROM $18,029 TO $19,679. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A COPY OF A FORM WHICH, IT STATES, IT BELIEVED AT THE TIME OF THE SUBMISSION OF ITS BID, WAS SIMILAR TO THE REQUIRED FORM. ALSO, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET ON WHICH ITS BID WAS BASED.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPANY'S ESTIMATE SHEET YOU STATE AS FOLLOWS:

"IN PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTER HE STATES THAT TO FURTHER SUBSTANTIATE THEIR CLAIM OF MISINTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS THEY ENCLOSE THEIR ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET (EXHIBIT C) ON THE JOB. THEY REFER TO THE ESTIMATE SHEET WHERE THEY INDICATE THAT THE FORM IS A DUPLICATE FOLDOVER WITH A FOLDED SIZE OF 16 1/2 BY 11 1/2, AND UNDER "BINDING" THEY INDICATE THAT THEY PLANNED TO MACHINE FOLD THE 20-LB. BOND AND THEN INSERT THE CARBON, CARBON SIDE UP UNDER PRINTED ORIGINAL. THEY ALSO INDICATE THAT THE DUPLICATE DOES NOT PRINT. IN THE FORM AS DESCRIBED IN OUR SPECIFICATIONS, THE DUPLICATE IS PRINTED. UNDER "PAPER" ON THE ESTIMATE SHEET THEY SHOW THE CARBONS TO BE SIZE 16 1/2 BY 11 1/2, 190 SQUARE INCHES, AND 8.2 LBS. PER 1000 SETS. TWO PLATES WERE FIGURED SINCE THE CONTRACTOR STATES HE PLANNED TO RUN THE JOB ON TWO PRESSES. THE CONTRACTOR STATES THAT THE 20-LB. BOND WAS FIGURED TO MACHINE FOLD AND THE SINGLE SHEET OF CARBON TO BE INSERTED AND THAT NO MENTION WAS MADE OF HAND FOLDING THE CARBON AND IT COULD NOT BE FOLDED ON A FOLDING MACHINE DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT IS LIGHT WEIGHT AND IS CARBON. THEY STATE THAT THE WEIGHT IS FIGURED AS 49 LBS. PER 1000 COMPLETED SETS AND THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE COPY WITH THE ADDITIONAL CARBON IS ABOUT 57 1/2 LBS. PER 1000 SETS.

"THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE CONCURS WITH THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN PARAGRAPH 5, AND BELIEVES THAT THE MOST SUBSTANTIATING FACTOR IS THAT THE ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWS THAT THE CONTRACTOR FIGURED THE CARBON TO BE 16 1/2 BY 11 1/2 INCHES AND TO WEIGHT 8.2 LBS. PER 1000 SHEETS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THE CARBON SHOULD HAVE BEEN TWICE THE SIZE INDICATED AND SHOULD HAVE WEIGHED TWICE AS MUCH SINCE A CARBON SHEET 16 1/2 BY 23 INCHES WOULD WEIGHT ABOUT 16.4 LBS. PER 1000 SHEETS.'

YOU FURTHER STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AGREES WITH THE CONTRACTOR'S CONTENTIONS THAT THE ACTUAL USAGE AND CONSTRUCTION FEATURES OF THE FORM AS DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE MOST UNCOMMON AND THAT THIS TYPE OF FORM IS VERY UNUSUAL. IT IS UNDERSTOOD INFORMALLY THAT THE IDENTICAL FORM AS REQUIRED BY THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED BY THE BALTIMORE SALESBOOK COMPANY A FEW MONTHS PREVIOUS TO THE DATE THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED AND THAT THE COMPANY HAS NOW SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION STATED TO BE DUE ON ACCOUNT OF A SIMILAR ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO JACKET NO. 335674. HENCE, IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE DRAWN UP WERE TO SOME DEGREE MISLEADING AND SUBJECT TO POSSIBLE MISINTERPRETATION.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE BY THE COMPANY, AS ALLEGED, AND SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PROMPTLY UPON THE RECEIPT OF THE SAMPLE FORM, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $19,679, IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE PRICE IS REASONABLE FOR THE WORK INVOLVED.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT.