B-126360, JAN. 18, 1956

B-126360: Jan 18, 1956

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7. THE INVITATION WAS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS AND LEFT NO ROOM FOR DOUBT AS TO WHAT WAS DESIRED UNDER THE ITEM INVOLVED. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE THERETO WAS UPON YOU. THE SUBMISSION OF YOUR BID ON THE SWITCHES WITHOUT DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR QUOTATION WAS CORRECT IS A MATTER WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONCERNED AND YOU MUST ASSUME THE CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH ERROR. ANY ERROR THAT WAS MADE IN THE MATTER WAS IN NOWISE INDUCED OR CONTRIBUTED TO BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE ERROR WAS UNILATERAL. IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REQUESTED YOU TO VERIFY YOUR BID PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-126360, JAN. 18, 1956

TO GRAYBAR ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1955, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 18, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $298.15, ALLEGED TO BE DUE BY REASON OF AN ERROR IN YOUR ORAL BID FOR FURNISHING ELECTRICAL SWITCHES AS ACCEPTED BY PURCHASE ORDER NO. (28-604) 55-7521 DATED JANUARY 28, 1955. YOU DO NOT DISPUTE THE FACT THAT YOU CONFIRMED YOUR ORAL QUOTATION OF JANUARY 25, 1955, FURTHER CONFIRMED BY YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1955, AND THAT YOU DID NOT DISCOVER YOUR ERROR UNTIL YOU RECEIVED YOUR SUPPLIER'S INVOICE.

THE INVITATION WAS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS AND LEFT NO ROOM FOR DOUBT AS TO WHAT WAS DESIRED UNDER THE ITEM INVOLVED. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE THERETO WAS UPON YOU. SEE FRAZIER-DAVIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 100 C.CLS. 120, 163. CONSEQUENTLY, THE SUBMISSION OF YOUR BID ON THE SWITCHES WITHOUT DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR QUOTATION WAS CORRECT IS A MATTER WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONCERNED AND YOU MUST ASSUME THE CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH ERROR. SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 504; AND 18 COMP. GEN. 28. ANY ERROR THAT WAS MADE IN THE MATTER WAS IN NOWISE INDUCED OR CONTRIBUTED TO BY THE GOVERNMENT. THUS, THE ERROR WAS UNILATERAL--- NOT MUTUAL--- AND, THEREFORE, DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO RELIEF. SEE SALIGMAN, ET AL. V. UNITED STATES, 56 FED.SUPP. 505, 507; AND OGDEN AND DOUGHERTY V. UNITED STATES, 102 C.CLS. 249, 259.

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REQUESTED YOU TO VERIFY YOUR BID PRIOR TO AWARD,THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE REQUESTED TO VERIFY YOUR BID AND THAT YOU FIRST CONFIRMED IT ORALLY AND SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IT IN WRITING. OUR OFFICE, HAVING NO FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, MUST NECESSARILY RELY ON THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. AFTER SUCH VERIFICATION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO MAKE FURTHER INQUIRY AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE BID. SEE CARNEGIE STEEL COMPANY V. CONNELLY, 89 N.J.L. 1, 97 A. 774; SHRIMPTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY V. BRIN, 59 TEX.CIV.APP. 352, 125 S.W. 942. THE FACT THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID WAS NOT MADE UNTIL AFTER YOU WERE AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY YOUR BID PRECLUDES ANY ASSUMPTION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXERCISED BAD FAITH OR ATTEMPTED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU. IF AT THE TIME YOU WERE NOT APPREHENSIVE THAT YOU HAD MADE AN ERROR IT COULD NOT BE EXPECTED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE ANY FURTHER DOUBT IN THE MATTER. THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WHICH FIXED THE RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF THE PARTIES. SINCE YOU HAVE MADE DELIVERY OF THE ITEM IN QUESTION AND YOU HAVE BEEN PAID THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT, THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT LEGALLY DUE YOU THEREUNDER.