B-128450, JUL. 10, 1956

B-128450: Jul 10, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 26. WHICH WAS DESCRIBED AS TRUCK. IT IS REPORTED THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY INSPECTED THE PROPERTY BUT DID NOT ATTEND THE BID OPENING. IT BEING SUBSEQUENTLY ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY THAT IT BID ON ITEM 129 UNDER THE MISTAKEN BELIEF THAT IT WAS THE SAME TYPE OF EQUIPMENT AS WAS OFFERED FOR SALE UNDER ITEMS 115 AND 116 FOR WHICH IT BID $629.89. THAT ITS BID ON ITEM 129 WAS SOLELY THROUGH INADVERTENCE. THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER REPORTS THAT A CHECK OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM 129 SHOWS THE NEXT HIGHEST BIDS TO HAVE BEEN $81. THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER POINTED OUT THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S PROCUREMENT COST OF ITEM 129 ($429) WAS ALMOST $200 LESS THAN THE COMPANY'S BID.

B-128450, JUL. 10, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), RELATING TO A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED BY THE COHN BROTHERS AUTO COMPANY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, AFTER AWARD UNDER SPOT BID SALE NO. 12-036-S-56-79. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED IN THIS CASE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON APRIL 26, 1956, THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER OF THE JEFFERSONVILLE QUARTERMASTER DEPOT, JEFFERSONVILLE, INDIANA, CONDUCTED A "SPOT BID" SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY CONSISTING OF 131 ITEMS. THE COHN BROTHERS AUTO COMPANY PARTICIPATED IN THE SALE BY SUBMITTING BIDS ON A NUMBER OF THE ITEMS OFFERED FOR SALE, AND MORE PARTICULARLY ITEM 129, WHICH WAS DESCRIBED AS TRUCK, HAND, LIFT, PALLET TYPE, TOTAL PROCUREMENT COST $439, AS TO WHICH THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID FOR $629.89.

IT IS REPORTED THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY INSPECTED THE PROPERTY BUT DID NOT ATTEND THE BID OPENING; THAT UPON BEING ADVISED THAT THE COMPANY HAD BEEN AWARDED ITEMS 65, 68, AND 129, HE VERBALLY NOTIFIED THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER THAT HE (THE REPRESENTATIVE) HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN THE BID ON ITEM 129, IT BEING SUBSEQUENTLY ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY THAT IT BID ON ITEM 129 UNDER THE MISTAKEN BELIEF THAT IT WAS THE SAME TYPE OF EQUIPMENT AS WAS OFFERED FOR SALE UNDER ITEMS 115 AND 116 FOR WHICH IT BID $629.89, AND ITEMS 118 AND 119 FOR WHICH IT BID $659.89 AND $629.89, RESPECTIVELY, AND THAT ITS BID ON ITEM 129 WAS SOLELY THROUGH INADVERTENCE.

THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER REPORTS THAT A CHECK OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM 129 SHOWS THE NEXT HIGHEST BIDS TO HAVE BEEN $81, $38.18, AND $31.75, AS COMPARED TO THE COHN COMPANY'S BID OF $629.89. ALSO, THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER POINTED OUT THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S PROCUREMENT COST OF ITEM 129 ($429) WAS ALMOST $200 LESS THAN THE COMPANY'S BID, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE TRUCK WAS USED AND SOLD WITHOUT A BATTERY--- A VERY MATERIAL COST OF THE ITEM. THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER RECOMMENDED THAT HE BE GRANTED AUTHORITY TO CANCEL THE AWARD AS TO ITEM 129, IT BEING HIS OPINION THAT THE GREAT DISPARITY IN THE COHN COMPANY'S BID, WHEN COMPARED WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM 129, TOGETHER WITH THE FACT THAT THE BID AS SUBMITTED WAS GREATLY IN EXCESS OF THE PROCUREMENT COST OF THE ITEM, SHOULD HAVE CAUSED HIM TO VERIFY THE COHN COMPANY'S BID PRIOR TO MAKING AN AWARD.

THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED APPEARS TO ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE OF A MISTAKE IN BID, AND SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS SHOULD HAVE PUT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE. IN VIEW OF THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE PROPERTY AND DISPOSAL OFFICER THE AWARD AS TO ITEM 129 MAY BE CANCELLED.

THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1956, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.