B-127698, MAY 1, 1956

B-127698: May 1, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19. MAY BE CANCELLED IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED. THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. QUOTED A PRICE OF $125 PER UNIT AND SPECIFIED THAT IT WAS OFFERING TO FURNISH HALDEMAN-HOMME MODEL NO. 1229-B PER CATALOG ATTACHED. WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 20. THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE PRICE LIST OF THE TABLE IN QUESTION IS $250 F.O.B. THE CONTRACTOR'S COST IS $200 PER TABLE PLUS THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM ST. THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS ALLEGED. AS IS ADMITTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION.

B-127698, MAY 1, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER CONTRACT NO. N189S-1939OA WITH THE VIRGINIA SCHOOL EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., MAY BE CANCELLED IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED.

THE NAVY SUPPLY CENTER, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, REQUESTED PROPOSALS FUR FURNISHING 30 TABLES, FOLD AWAY, PORTABLE, WITH BENCHES, TO BE SIMILAR AND EQUAL TO MODEL 12 PORTABLE FOUND ON PAGE 252 OF CATALOG OF LEONARD HAIMES COMPANY, INC., NEW YORK, NEW YORK. THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATED THE COST OF THE TABLES AT $200 PER UNIT. THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. LEONARD HAIMES COMPANY, INC., QUOTED A PRICE OF $286 PER UNIT ON THE MODEL SPECIFIED. THE VIRGINIA SCHOOL EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., QUOTED A PRICE OF $125 PER UNIT AND SPECIFIED THAT IT WAS OFFERING TO FURNISH HALDEMAN-HOMME MODEL NO. 1229-B PER CATALOG ATTACHED. THE OTHER BIDDER QUOTED A PRICE OF $211.50 PER UNIT ON AN ALTERNATE TABLE. THE BID OF VIRGINIA SCHOOL EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., BEING THE LOWEST RECEIVED, WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 20, 1956.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 3, 1956, THE CORPORATION ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE BID AND THEREAFTER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR ITS SUPPLIER'S CATALOG, PRICE LIST, A PREVIOUS BID IT HAD MADE ON A SIMILAR TABLE, AND A COPY OF ITS SUPPLIER'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE ORDER PLACED WITH THEM SHOWING THE PRICE OF THE TABLES.

THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE PRICE LIST OF THE TABLE IN QUESTION IS $250 F.O.B. ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, AND THAT THE DISTRIBUTOR RECEIVES A DISCOUNT OF 20 PERCENT. THE CONTRACTOR'S COST IS $200 PER TABLE PLUS THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, AS COMPARED WITH ITS BID PRICE OF $125. THUS, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE, IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE CONTRACTOR, THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATED COST, AND THE AMOUNT OF THE OTHER BIDS, IT WOULD APPEAR, AS IS ADMITTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT REQUIRING THE VIRGINIA SCHOOL EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., TO FURNISH THE TABLES FOR THE PRICE SPECIFIED. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE NO DELIVERIES HAVE BEEN MADE, CONTRACT NO. N189S- 19390A SHOULD BE CANCELLED.

THE PAPERS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE STATEMENT OF FACTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.