B-125171, SEP. 22, 1955

B-125171: Sep 22, 1955

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UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1. IS BASED. - WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 13. THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT THE PRICE QUOTED DID NOT INCLUDE THE ADDITION OF THE AUXILIARY FREQUENCY STANDARD WHICH IS NECESSARY TO MEET THE OUTLINED SPECIFICATIONS. 1954 PRICE LIST WHICH SHOWS THAT MODEL FC-1000 IS A STANDARD CATALOG ITEM WHICH IS SOLD EITHER WITH 1 PERCENT FREQUENCY REGULATION AT A COST OF $1400 EACH. ADVISED THE COMPANY THAT SINCE NOTIFICATION OF THE BID ERROR WAS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXECUTION OF THE CONTRACT. HE WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ASSIST THEM IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE BUT THAT THE MATTER COULD BE SETTLED THROUGH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IT IS STATED THAT THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS OF THE EQUIPMENT WERE PROMULGATED BY AGENCY ENGINEERS BASED ON INFORMATION IN A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 17.

B-125171, SEP. 22, 1955

TO HONORABLE THEODORE C. STREIBERT, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING DIRECTOR, FURNISHING THE REPORT REQUESTED BY OUR OFFICE RELATIVE TO AN ERROR SORENSEN AND COMPANY, INCORPORATED, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID DATED MARCH 29, 1955, ON WHICH CONTRACT IA-1091, DATED MAY 13, 1955, IS BASED.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 55-173 DATED MARCH 24, 1955, SORENSEN AND COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO FURNISH TWO FREQUENCY CHANGERS, SORENSEN MODEL FC-1000, PRECISION MODEL OR SIMILAR, AS PER DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS, AT A PRICE OF $1403.07 EACH, F.O.B. BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. THIS BID--- THE ONLY ONE RECEIVED--- WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 13, 1955.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 26, 1955, THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT THE PRICE QUOTED DID NOT INCLUDE THE ADDITION OF THE AUXILIARY FREQUENCY STANDARD WHICH IS NECESSARY TO MEET THE OUTLINED SPECIFICATIONS. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION, THE COMPANY FURNISHED ITS GENERAL CATALOG AND OCTOBER 1, 1954 PRICE LIST WHICH SHOWS THAT MODEL FC-1000 IS A STANDARD CATALOG ITEM WHICH IS SOLD EITHER WITH 1 PERCENT FREQUENCY REGULATION AT A COST OF $1400 EACH, F.O.B. STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, OR WITH AN AUXILIARY FREQUENCY STANDARD WITH A REGULATION ACCURACY OF 0.01 PERCENT, INSTEAD OF THE 1 PERCENT AS SPECIFIED FOR THE STANDARD MODEL, AT AN ADDED COST OF $325 EACH, F.O.B. STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, MAKING THE COMPLETE PRICE $1725 EACH. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 3, 1955, ADVISED THE COMPANY THAT SINCE NOTIFICATION OF THE BID ERROR WAS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXECUTION OF THE CONTRACT, HE WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ASSIST THEM IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE BUT THAT THE MATTER COULD BE SETTLED THROUGH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, IT IS STATED THAT THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS OF THE EQUIPMENT WERE PROMULGATED BY AGENCY ENGINEERS BASED ON INFORMATION IN A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 17, 1954, FROM HORMAN ASSOCIATES, WASHINGTON, D.C., A REPRESENTATIVE OF SORENSEN AND COMPANY, WHEREIN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICES OF A STANDARD AND PRECISION MODEL OF THE FREQUENCY CHANGER WERE DETAILED. THE COMPANY'S ALLEGED INTENDED BID IS SUPPORTED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICES QUOTED BY HORMAN ASSOCIATES IN THEIR LETTER OF DECEMBER 17, 1954. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT ANY ERROR IN THE BID PRIOR TO AWARD AND THAT THE GENERAL CATALOG AND OCTOBER 1, 1954 PRICE LIST REFERRED TO IN THE LETTER OF JULY 26, 1955, FROM THE COMPANY FIRST CAME TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ATTENTION AT THE TIME THAT LETTER WAS RECEIVED.

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 OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID. SEE17 COMP. GEN. 560; AND 26 ID. 415. HOWEVER, IN THE INSTANT CASE YOUR AGENCY HAD IN ITS FILES THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 17, 1954, FROM HORMAN ASSOCIATES SHOWING THE SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICES OF THE STANDARD AND PRECISION MODELS, FC 1000 FREQUENCY CHANGERS MANUFACTURED BY SORENSEN AND COMPANY, WHICH INFORMATION SHOULD HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF A PROBABLE ERROR IN THE BID OF THE COMPANY. IT WOULD, THEREFORE, APPEAR THAT THE COMPANY'S BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, CONTRACT IA-1091 MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A CONTRACT PRICE OF $1728.37 EACH, F.O.B. BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, FOR THE TWO FREQUENCY CHANGERS.

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