B-126484, JAN. 9, 1956

B-126484: Jan 9, 1956

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 28. BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE BINDING OF FORTY-NINE SETS OF FOUR VOLUMES EACH. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT SAMPLES OF THE REQUIRED BINDING WORK COULD BE INSPECTED AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. FINN STATED THAT AT THE TIME HE PREPARED HIS BID HE HAD UNDERESTIMATED THE AMOUNT OF WORK REQUIRED FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE JOB AND THAT HE WAS THEN UNAWARE OF CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON THE JOB WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $940.80. IT IS UNDERSTOOD INFORMALLY THAT. A CONTRACT FOR BINDING WORK ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THAT CALLED FOR IN THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS AWARDED TO THE LIBRARY BINDERS.

B-126484, JAN. 9, 1956

TO MR. DONALD R. WATSON, CONTRACTING OFFICER, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 28, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR THE FIRM OF M. FINN AND SON BOOK BINDERS, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON NOVEMBER 21, 1955.

BY INVITATION NO. 181-11-21-55, BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE BINDING OF FORTY-NINE SETS OF FOUR VOLUMES EACH--- APPROXIMATELY 134 REPRINTS TO THE VOLUME, OR A TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY 26,264 REPRINTS. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT SAMPLES OF THE REQUIRED BINDING WORK COULD BE INSPECTED AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. IN RESPONSE, M. FINN AND SON BOOK BINDERS SUBMITTED A BID DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1955, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE JOB FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $637.

YOU STATE THAT ON DECEMBER 14, 1955--- AFTER THE BID OPENING--- MR. FINN INSPECTED THE SAMPLES AND THAT AT THAT TIME HE REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW HIS BID FOR THE REASON THAT HE HAD BID TOO LOW FOR THE JOB. IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED DECEMBER 16, 1955, MR. FINN STATED THAT AT THE TIME HE PREPARED HIS BID HE HAD UNDERESTIMATED THE AMOUNT OF WORK REQUIRED FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE JOB AND THAT HE WAS THEN UNAWARE OF CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON THE JOB WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $940.80, $1,274, AND $1,400. IT IS UNDERSTOOD INFORMALLY THAT, DURING THE PRIOR YEAR, A CONTRACT FOR BINDING WORK ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THAT CALLED FOR IN THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS AWARDED TO THE LIBRARY BINDERS--- THE HIGHEST BIDDER UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION--- AT A PRICE OF $1,200. THUS, THE BID OF M. FINN AND SON BOOK BINDERS OF $637 IS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON THE JOB AND APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT PRICE.

IN VIEW OF THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED, TOGETHER WITH THE FACT THAT THE LOW BID IS OUT OF LINE WITH THE FORMER CONTRACT FOR SIMILAR SERVICES; AND SINCE M. FINN AND SON BOOK BINDERS HAS, IN EFFECT, ALLEGED AN ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE LOW BID OF THAT FIRM PROPERLY COULD BE ACCEPTED IN GOOD FAITH. THE SAID BID MAY, THEREFORE, BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.