B-126972, MAR. 8, 1956

B-126972: Mar 8, 1956

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 10. DA/S/-34-066-CIVENG-56-27 WAS AWARDED. IT IS REPORTED THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED. ONE OF WHICH WAS THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE. IN HIS UNDATED REPORT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT NO AWARD WAS MADE ON THE BASIS OF INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-11 FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT ALL BIDS SUBMITTED WERE INADEQUATE FOR THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED FOR SALE AND. SAID INVITATION WAS CANCELLED. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-15 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING BIDS. THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 2 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $50.01 AND $5. WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY CHECK NO. 2384 IN THE AMOUNT OF $38. WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 2 (PRINTER AND DEVELOPER) ON DECEMBER 13.

B-126972, MAR. 8, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY (LOGISTICS), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. DA/S/-34-066-CIVENG-56-27 WAS AWARDED.

ON OCTOBER 25, 1955, THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, TULSA DISTRICT, TULSA, OKLAHOMA, BY INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-11, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF ONE USED MULTILITH MODEL 2066 DUPLICATING MACHINE AND OF ONE USED B AND W MODEL 90 PRINTER AND DEVELOPER, ITEMS 1 AND 2, RESPECTIVELY. IT IS REPORTED THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED; THAT THE THREE BIDDERS, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE, BID ON ITEM 1 (DUPLICATING MACHINE) ONLY; CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $32 REPRESENTING 20 PERCENT BID DEPOSIT ON ITEM 1; AND THAT ON SUCH CHECK, IN THE LOWER LEFT HAND CORNER, APPEARED THE DESCRIPTION OF THE DUPLICATING MACHINE COVERED BY ITEM 1 AS SHOWN IN THE INVITATION.

IN HIS UNDATED REPORT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT NO AWARD WAS MADE ON THE BASIS OF INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-11 FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT ALL BIDS SUBMITTED WERE INADEQUATE FOR THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED FOR SALE AND, THEREFORE, SAID INVITATION WAS CANCELLED. THEREAFTER, INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-15 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING BIDS--- TO BE OPENED DECEMBER 13, 1955--- FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS OFFERED FOR SALE IN THE PREVIOUS INVITATION; AND THAT IN RESPONSE, THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO PURCHASE THE DUPLICATING MACHINE COVERED BY ITEM 1 AT A PRICE OF $190 AND TO PURCHASE THE PRINTER AND DEVELOPER COVERED BY ITEM 2 AT THE IDENTICAL PRICE OF $190. THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 2 WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $50.01 AND $5. THE BID OF THE COMPANY, WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY CHECK NO. 2384 IN THE AMOUNT OF $38, WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 2 (PRINTER AND DEVELOPER) ON DECEMBER 13, 1955, AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE COMPANY REMITTED THE BALANCE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THAT ITEM TO THE GOVERNMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT ON DECEMBER 21, 1955, MR. RALPH H. BENDER, MANAGER OF THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE, CALLED AT THE GOVERNMENT WAREHOUSE TO PICK UP THE EQUIPMENT PURCHASED BY THE COMPANY; THAT AFTER VIEWING THE PRINTER AND DEVELOPER, MR. BENDER STATED THAT THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE BECAUSE HE HAD BID ONLY ON ITEM 1, THE DUPLICATING MACHINE.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED DECEMBER 23, 1955, THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE STATED---

"ON NOVEMBER 3, 1953, I MADE A BID OF $160.00 ON A MULTILITH MODEL 2066 - SERIAL NO. 332637 ON WHICH I GAVE A CHECK NO. 2268 IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.00. THIS BID WAS REJECTED AS ALL BIDS WERE TOO LOW ON THIS LOT. TOLD MY BOOKKEEPER TO RE-BID ON MULTILITH MODEL 2066 IN THE AMOUNT OF $190.00 OF WHICH HE GAVE A CHECK (COPY ENCLOSED) WHICH CLEARLY STATES WHAT IT WAS FOR. HOWEVER IN THE BOOKKEEPER'S TYPING OF BID FORM HE TYPED IN $190.33 ON LOT 1 AND LOT 2. THERE WAS NO CHECK ISSUED ON LOT 2 WHICH IS A B AND W PRINTER AND DEVELOPER BLUEPRINT MACHINE.

"AS THIS WAS A REPEAT BID I JUST SIGNED THE CHECK AND THE BOOKKEEPER MAILED IT. I DID NOT SEE THE ERROR. ON DECEMBER 14 I RECEIVED A LETTER ANNOUNCING I HAD BEEN AWARDED LOT NO. 2. I WAS BUSY AND NEVER THOUGHT THAT I HAD BEEN AWARDED ANYTHING BUT THE MULTILITH MODEL 2066. I NEVER KNEW I DID NOT HAVE THE MULTILITH MODEL 2066 UNTIL I CALLED THE WAREHOUSE TO PICK IT UP. I THINK YOU WILL AGREE THAT THIS IS AN HONEST MISTAKE ON THE PART OF MY BOOKKEEPER IN TYPING IN $190.00 IN THE BID. AS WE ISSUED A CHECK ONLY ON THE MULTILITH 2066 ON THE FIRST BID AND ONLY 1 CHECK ON MULTILITH MODEL 2066 - ON BOTH BIDS WE ISSUED NO CHECK FOR A BLUEPRINT MACHINE. ---AS I DO NOT HAVE ANY USE FOR ONE. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU TO SET ASIDE THIS BID AND RETURN MY MONEY.'

IN THE LOWER LEFT CORNER OF CHECK NO. 2384, WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56-15, APPEARS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION:

"DUPLICATING MACHINE MULTILITH MODEL 2066, SER NO. 332627 COMPLETE WITH FEEDER, MODEL 814, SER. NO. 11875 USED 20 PERCENT OF BID.'

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE WORDS "20 PERCENT OF BID," THE SAME NOTATION APPEARS ON CHECK NO. 2268, WHICH THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE FURNISHED WITH THE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. CIVENG-34-066-S-56- 11, THE CANCELLED INVITATION. THE TOTAL OF ITEMS 1 AND 2 ON WHICH PRICES WERE QUOTED AMOUNTS TO $380 WHICH INCLUDES THE AMOUNT OF $190 QUOTED FOR ITEM 2. THE BID DEPOSIT WAS REQUIRED TO BE AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL BID. SINCE THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE SUBMITTED A BID DEPOSIT OF $38--- ONE-HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF THE REQUIRED DEPOSIT ON $380--- IT IS OBVIOUS THAT SAID DEPOSIT WAS NOT BASED ON THE PURCHASE OF BOTH ITEMS 1 AND 2. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING AND PARTICULARLY SINCE THE COMPANY HAD INDICATED ON TWO OCCASIONS THAT ITS BID DEPOSIT WAS TO BE APPLIED TO THE PURCHASE OF THE DUPLICATING MACHINE COVERED BY ITEM 1, THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN APPARENT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER; HENCE THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID AS TO ITEM 2.

ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. DA/S) -34-066-CIVENG-56-27 SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND THE PURCHASE PRICE OF ITEM 2 MAY BE REFUNDED TO THE BENDER DIRECT MAIL SERVICE IF IT IS OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING THE REFUND.

A DUPLICATE SET OF THE PAPERS IN THE CASE ARE BEING RETAINED. THE OTHER PAPERS ARE RETURNED.