B-125797, NOV. 14, 1955

B-125797: Nov 14, 1955

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TO HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13. WAS AWARDED. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON JUNE 21. THE CONTRACT WAS SIGNED AND RETURNED BY THE COMPANY. THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT ITEM 15 WAS INADVERTENTLY BID ON A ONE POUND BASIS RATHER THAN A TWO POUND PACKAGE BASIS. REITERATED ITS STATEMENT THAT ITEM 15 WAS INADVERTENTLY BID BY THE POUND RATHER THAN BY THE PACKAGE AND STATED THAT THE ERROR WAS DISCOVERED WHEN THE FIRST ORDER WAS RECEIVED. THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTED THAT THE UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 15 BE CORRECTED TO READ ?4106 PER PACKAGE AND THAT IF THIS PRICE WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO CANCEL THIS ITEM FROM ITS CONTRACT.

B-125797, NOV. 14, 1955

TO HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN REGARDING AN ERROR THE CARDER WELLES ASSOCIATES, LTD., SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. DA 04-351 AVI-858, DATED JUNE 21, 1955, WAS AWARDED.

BY INVITATION NO. AVI 04-351-55-130 DATED MAY 25, 1955, THE OFFICE OF THE PURCHASING BRANCH, FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING VARIOUS FOOD ITEMS REPRESENTED BY ITEM 1 THROUGH ITEM 44 INCLUSIVE, FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1955, THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 1955. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION THE CARDER WELLES ASSOCIATES SUBMITTED A BID WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, ITEM 15, CRACKERS, SODA, SALTED, 2 LB. PACKAGES, AT ?2053 PER PACKAGE. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON JUNE 21, 1955, AS TO ITEMS 1 THROUGH 10, 14, 15, 19, 32, 34, 37 AND 38, AND THE CONTRACT WAS SIGNED AND RETURNED BY THE COMPANY.

IN A LETTER DATED JULY 11, 1955, THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT ITEM 15 WAS INADVERTENTLY BID ON A ONE POUND BASIS RATHER THAN A TWO POUND PACKAGE BASIS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY LETTER DATED JULY 18, 1955, ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTER OF JULY 11, 1955, AND REQUESTED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE ALLEGED ERROR. THE CONTRACTOR BY LETTER DATED JULY 28, 1955, REITERATED ITS STATEMENT THAT ITEM 15 WAS INADVERTENTLY BID BY THE POUND RATHER THAN BY THE PACKAGE AND STATED THAT THE ERROR WAS DISCOVERED WHEN THE FIRST ORDER WAS RECEIVED. IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1955, THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTED THAT THE UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 15 BE CORRECTED TO READ ?4106 PER PACKAGE AND THAT IF THIS PRICE WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO CANCEL THIS ITEM FROM ITS CONTRACT. IT IS REPORTED THAT FIVE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 15 WERE RECEIVED WHICH RANGED FROM ?3778 TO ?43 PER PACKAGE.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE COMPANY'S BID OF ?2053 FOR ITEM 15 IS APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE NEXT LOWEST BID. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BID OF THE COMPANY AND THE OTHER RESPONSIVE BIDS FOR ITEM 15, THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT AND, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID OF THE CARDER WELLES ASSOCIATES, LTD., 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 CARDER WELLES ASSOCIATES, LTD. MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. IF, HOWEVER, THE BID BE CORRECTED TO THE INTENDED BID PRICE OF ?4106 PER TWO POUND PACKAGE, IT WOULD NOT BE THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID RECEIVED. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE FOR ANY CRACKERS DELIVERED UNDER ITEM 15 AT ?3778 PER TWO POUND PACKAGE--- THE NEXT LOWEST BID PRICE--- AND A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHERS COVERING SUCH PAYMENTS.

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