B-128025, MAY 31, 1956

B-128025: May 31, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 21. FOR THE FURTHER REASON THAT THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE PRICES QUOTED BY SIX OTHER BIDDERS. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED APRIL 19. THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT A PRICE OF $31 PER ROLL INSTEAD OF $21 PER ROLL SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUOTED FOR THE ACETATE AND THAT IT PROPOSES TO FURNISH CELANESE FORMULATION L822. - "THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3 REGARDING YOUR BID NO. 2122. OUR FIRST BID WAS BASED ON CELLULOSE ACETATE UNPOLISHED ONE SIDE RATHER THAN MATTE FINISH ONE SIDE. OUR ACTUAL COST OF .010 INCH ACETATE UNPOLISHED ONE SIDE IS ?375 PER 1000 SQ. "THIS SHOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE ON THIS.

B-128025, MAY 31, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 21, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM L. M. STRAUB, CONTRACTING OFFICER, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, WASHINGTON D.C., REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR THE CADILLAC PLASTIC AND CHEMICAL COMPANY, DETROIT, MICHIGAN, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON APRIL 12, 1956.

THE PURCHASING SECTION, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, BY INVITATION NO. 2122, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 40 ROLLS OF CELLULOSE ACETATE, CLEAR 0.010 INCH THICKNESS, MATTE SURFACE ON ONE SIDE, PRESS POLISH ON OTHER SIDE, SIZE 40 INCHES WIDE BY 100 FOOT ROLL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATIONS NO. L-C-169, DATED JANUARY 1952, TYPE II, TRANSPARENT. RESPONSE THE CADILLAC PLASTIC AND CHEMICAL COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 3,1956, OFFERING TO FURNISH CELLULOSE ACETATE MANUFACTURED BY THE CELANESE CORPORATION AT A PRICE OF $21 PER 100-FOOT ROLL.

SINCE THE CADILLAC PLASTIC AND CHEMICAL COMPANY FAILED TO SPECIFY THE MANUFACTURER'S CATALOG NUMBER OF THE ACETATE IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH, AND FOR THE FURTHER REASON THAT THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE PRICES QUOTED BY SIX OTHER BIDDERS, THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED APRIL 19, 1956, TO FURNISH THE CATALOG NUMBER AND TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 26, 1956, THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT A PRICE OF $31 PER ROLL INSTEAD OF $21 PER ROLL SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUOTED FOR THE ACETATE AND THAT IT PROPOSES TO FURNISH CELANESE FORMULATION L822. IN A LETTER DATED MAY 11, 1956, THE COMPANY STATED---

"THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3 REGARDING YOUR BID NO. 2122.

"I CAN ONLY SAY THIS, OUR FIRST BID WAS BASED ON CELLULOSE ACETATE UNPOLISHED ONE SIDE RATHER THAN MATTE FINISH ONE SIDE. THIS CAN BE SUPPORTED THUSLY. YOUR BID CALLS FOR 40 ROLLS .010 BY 40 INCHES WIDE BY 100 FT. LONG CELLULOSE ACETATE. THIS AMOUNTS TO 48,000 SQ. INCHES. OUR ACTUAL COST OF .010 INCH ACETATE UNPOLISHED ONE SIDE IS ?375 PER 1000 SQ. INCHES TIMES 48; THIS EQUALS $18.00 THUS OUR BID OF $21.00 PER ROLL.

"ACETATE WITH MATTE FINISH ONE SIDE, HOWEVER, COSTS US 58 CENTS PER 1000 SQ. INCHES TIMES 48,000 SQ. INCHES. THIS AMOUNTS TO $27.84. THUS OUR BID OF $31.00 PER ROLL.

"THIS SHOULD ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE ON THIS. IF NOT, PLEASE ADVISE.'

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FIVE OF THE SIX OTHER BIDDERS ON THE ACETATE SPECIFIED PRICES RANGING FROM $32.16 TO $40 FOR 100-FOOT ROLLS AND THAT THE SIXTH BIDDER QUOTED A PRICE OF $61.73 FOR A 200 FOOT ROLL. THUS, THE BID OF THE CADILLAC PLASTIC AND CHEMICAL COMPANY OF $21 PER ROLL WAS SO MATERIALLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS AS TO PRECLUDE ITS ACCEPTANCE WITHOUT VERIFICATION.

ON THE RECORD FURNISHED THERE APPEARS TO BE LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF THE CADILLAC PLASTIC AND CHEMICAL COMPANY MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.