B-127963, MAY 24, 1956

B-127963: May 24, 1956

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 17. IS BASED. THAT THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 4. BAULSIR THIS MORNING WE ARE RETURNING SAME. "THE QUOTATION WE SUBMITTED AS PER INVITATION 17104 DATED APRIL 27 WAS 44.75 CENTS - $8. IN REVIEWING THIS QUOTATION WE FIND THE 44.75 CENT PRICE IS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE READ 47.75 CENT SINCE OUR BID AMOUNT OF $8. 695.00 IS PREDICATED ON THE 47.75 CENT PRICE. "USING THIS BASIS AND TAKING THE METAL MARKET QUOTATIONS AVAILABLE AT TIME OF PREPARING BID THE 47.75 CENT BASIS WAS DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS: CHART 30 PERCENT TIN AT 99 CENT TIN MARKET 29.70 CENTS 50 PERCENT ANTIMONY AT 34 CENT ANTIMONY MARKET 17.00 CENTS 20 PERCENT LEAD AT 16 CENT LEAD MARKET 3.20 CENTS TOTAL COST OF METALS 49.90 CENTS MINUS 2.15 CENTS FROM COST OF METALS 2.15 CENTS 47.75 CENTS "IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.

B-127963, MAY 24, 1956

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 17, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR THE FEDERATED METALS DIVISION, AMERICAN SMELTING AND REFINING COMPANY, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH UNNUMBERED CONTRACT (PURCHASE ORDER NO. 15800) DATED MAY 4, 1956, IS BASED.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS, UNDER PURCHASE REQUEST NO. 20248, FOR FURNISHING 18,000 POUNDS (PLUS OR MINUS 10 PERCENT) OF TIN ANTIMONY ALLOY IN TWO OR FIVE POUND INGOTS, FOR DELIVERY BY JUNE 15, 1956. IN RESPONSE THE FEDERATED METALS DIVISION, AMERICAN SMELTING AND REFINING COMPANY, SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 27, 1956, OFFERING TO FURNISH 18,000 POUNDS OF THE ALLOY, QUOTING A UNIT PRICE OF $0.4475 PER POUND AND A TOTAL PRICE OF $8,695. YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTED THAT THE UNIT AND TOTAL PRICES STATED DID NOT AGREE, BUT THAT THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 4, 1956, ON THE BASIS OF ITS UNIT PRICE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO ACCEPT THE UNIT PRICE RATHER THAN THE TOTAL PRICE.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 8, 1956, THE COMPANY ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS MORNING WE RECEIVED YOUR PURCHASE ORDER 15800 COVERING 18,000 POUNDS OF TIN, ANTIMONY ALLOY IN 2-5 POUND INGOTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,055.00. AS PER MY CONVERSATION WITH MR. BAULSIR THIS MORNING WE ARE RETURNING SAME.

"THE QUOTATION WE SUBMITTED AS PER INVITATION 17104 DATED APRIL 27 WAS 44.75 CENTS - $8,695.00. IN REVIEWING THIS QUOTATION WE FIND THE 44.75 CENT PRICE IS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE READ 47.75 CENT SINCE OUR BID AMOUNT OF $8,695.00 IS PREDICATED ON THE 47.75 CENT PRICE. SUBSTANTIATE THE ABOVE WE RECEIVED ADVICE FROM OUR NEWARK SALES OFFICE ON APRIL 25 WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"ON THE 18,000 POUNDS OF TIN-ANTIMONY ALLOY IN 2-5 POUND INGOTS, PLEASE QUOTE 2.15 UNDER COST OF METALS, DELIVERED NET 30 DAYS.'

"USING THIS BASIS AND TAKING THE METAL MARKET QUOTATIONS AVAILABLE AT TIME OF PREPARING BID THE 47.75 CENT BASIS WAS DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

30 PERCENT TIN AT 99 CENT TIN MARKET 29.70 CENTS

50 PERCENT ANTIMONY AT 34 CENT ANTIMONY MARKET 17.00 CENTS

20 PERCENT LEAD AT 16 CENT LEAD MARKET 3.20 CENTS

TOTAL COST OF METALS 49.90 CENTS

MINUS 2.15 CENTS FROM COST OF METALS 2.15 CENTS

47.75 CENTS

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, OUR TRUE AND ACTUAL BID TO BE CONSIDERED IN AWARDING THIS ORDER IS $8,695.00 AND WHICH WAS DETERMINED AT THE 47.75 CENT BASIS. WE, THEREFORE, MUST RESPECTFULLY DECLINE THIS ORDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,055.00 WHICH YOU HAVE CALCULATED AT THE TYPOGRAPHICAL UNIT BASIS. WE REGRET VERY MUCH ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED IN THIS MATTER.'

ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID OF THE COMPANY SINCE THE UNIT PRICE OF $0.4475 MULTIPLIED BY THE QUANTITY OF 18,000 DOES NOT EQUAL THE AMOUNT OF $8,695 INSERTED IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT COLUMN. IF THE UNIT PRICE FOR THE ALLOY BE CORRECTED TO $0.4775 THE TOTAL WILL EQUAL THE EXTENDED PRICE OF $8,695. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE NEITHER THE UNIT PRICE NOR THE TOTAL APPEARS TO BE OUT OF LINE WITH OTHER BIDS, THE FEDERATED METALS DIVISION, AMERICAN SMELTING AND REFINING COMPANY, SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO AWARD, AS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOW BELIEVES.

WHILE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THERE IS NO DUTY UPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO COMPUTE THE EXTENSIONS OF UNIT PRICES CONTAINED IN BIDS IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH EXTENSIONS, THAT PRINCIPLE CLEARLY IS NOT FOR APPLICATION WHERE, AS HERE, AN ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF SUCH ERROR PRIOR TO AND AT THE TIME OF MAKING THE AWARD. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 746.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, THE AWARD MADE TO THE FEDERATED METALS DIVISION, AMERICAN SMELTING AND REFINING COMPANY ON MAY 4, 1956, BY PURCHASE ORDER NO. 15800 SHOULD BE CANCELLED.