B-128156, JUN. 26, 1956

B-128156: Jun 26, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 5. WAS DETERMINED TO BE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF THE PRICE SUBMITTED. THERE WAS ONE OTHER BIDDER. THAT DUE TO THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN IN THE INVITATION THE BIDDER DID NOT REALIZE THAT ITEM 138 WAS A "SHOVEL FRONT.'. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER POINTED OUT THAT THE DESCRIPTIONS USED IN THE INVITATION ARE MILITARY DESCRIPTIONS AND ARE BELIEVED. THAT IN THE INSTANT MATTER IT IS BELIEVED THAT ITEM 138 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS "SHOVEL-FRONT FOR CRANE-SHOVEL. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER APPEARS TO TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE DESCRIPTION OF ITEM 138 WAS SOMEWHAT MISLEADING. SINCE IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE ITEM DESCRIPTION IN THE STANDARD ENG 5-78 CATALOG.

B-128156, JUN. 26, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 5, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), SUBMITTING FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION A REQUEST FOR RELIEF BY M. P. MCCAFFREY,INC., 2121 EAST 25TH STREET, LOS ANGELES 58, CALIFORNIA, FROM THE TERMS OF CONTRACT NO. O.I. 907-56, DATED MARCH 19, 1956, ON THE GROUNDS OF AN ALLEGED MISTAKE IN BID.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY INVITATION NO. 11-052-S-56-28, DATED FEBRUARY 13, 1956, THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL BRANCH, GRANITE CITY ENGINEER DEPOT, GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS, OFFERED FOR SALE CERTAIN SURPLUS PROPERTY, THE BIDS TO BE OPENED ON MARCH 5, 1956. UNDER DATE OF MARCH 2, 1956, M. P. MCCAFFREY, INC., SUBMITTED A BID ON ITEM 138, IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,363, AND WAS DETERMINED TO BE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF THE PRICE SUBMITTED. THERE WAS ONE OTHER BIDDER--- THE CONTRACTORS EQUIPMENT COMPANY, 903 JEFFERSON BUILDING, PEORIA, ILLINOIS--- IN THE AMOUNT OF $5.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT FOLLOWING THE RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF AWARD IN THIS CASE, A REPRESENTATIVE OF M. P. MCCAFFREY, INC., ADVISED BY TELEPHONE THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE IN THAT THE BIDDER INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 139, AND THAT DUE TO THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN IN THE INVITATION THE BIDDER DID NOT REALIZE THAT ITEM 138 WAS A "SHOVEL FRONT.'

IN RECOMMENDING THAT THE CONTRACTOR BE GIVEN RELIEF IN THIS CASE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER POINTED OUT THAT THE DESCRIPTIONS USED IN THE INVITATION ARE MILITARY DESCRIPTIONS AND ARE BELIEVED, IN MOST CASES, TO BE SUFFICIENTLY ADEQUATE TO DESCRIBE THE ITEM BEING SOLD, BUT THAT IN THE INSTANT MATTER IT IS BELIEVED THAT ITEM 138 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS "SHOVEL-FRONT FOR CRANE-SHOVEL," ETC., RATHER THAN AS "CRANE-SHOVEL, POWER UNIT," ETC.--- THE ACTUAL DESCRIPTION USED. IN OTHER WORDS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER APPEARS TO TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE DESCRIPTION OF ITEM 138 WAS SOMEWHAT MISLEADING. SINCE IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE ITEM DESCRIPTION IN THE STANDARD ENG 5-78 CATALOG, FROM WHICH THE DESCRIPTION WAS COPIED, DOES CONTAIN THE WORDS ,SHOVEL FRONT," WHICH WERE OMITTED FROM THE INVITATION, IT APPEARS THAT THE DESCRIPTION WAS NOT THE BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION AS STATED IN THE INVITATION. ALSO, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED THAT ITEM 138 WOULD HAVE VERY LITTLE USE AS A SHOVEL FRONT AND THAT THE PRICE OF $1,363 IS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE AS TO THE ACTUAL VALUE OF THIS ITEM. WITH LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1956, THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE TRANSMITTED HERE A COPY OF A TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 14, 1956, FROM THE GRANITE CITY ENGINEER DEPOT, REPORTING THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT EXPECT TO RECEIVE MORE THAN $150 FOR ITEM 138.

CONSIDERING ALL THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WITHOUT VERIFICATION SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE TO BIND THE BIDDER. WE THEREFORE AGREE WITH THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE CONTRACTOR SHOULD BE RELIEVED, AND AUTHORIZE CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT.

THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1956, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE STATEMENT BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.