B-128737, NOV. 1, 1956

B-128737: Nov 1, 1956

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TO INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25. WHEREIN YOU ALLEGE THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN YOUR BID ON WHICH UNNUMBERED CONTRACT (PURCHASE ORDER NO. IS BASED. WHICH WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 7. A CLERICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN THE TABULATION OF PRICES COMPILING THE QUOTATION. IN WHICH IT ALLEGED AN ERROR WAS MADE IN ITS QUOTATION. THAT SINCE YOUR BID WAS THE ONLY ONE RECEIVED NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF PRICES WAS AVAILABLE TO HIM FOR APPRAISAL PURPOSES. IT REASONABLY MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS. OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN. SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED A VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WAS UPON YOU.

B-128737, NOV. 1, 1956

TO INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, WHEREIN YOU ALLEGE THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN YOUR BID ON WHICH UNNUMBERED CONTRACT (PURCHASE ORDER NO. FNW-1895/CD3) DATED MAY 7, 1956, IS BASED.

THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, NATIONAL BUYING DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C., BY INVITATION NO. FNW-3C-1996-A-4-3-56, REQUESTED BIDS, TO BE OPENED APRIL 6, 1956, FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, ONE TRUCK, GVW-16,000 POUNDS, CAB AND CHASSIS, 4 BY 4, WITH PUBLIC UTILITY BODY SUITABLE FOR TELEPHONE LINE CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE, ITEM 12. IN RESPONSE YOU SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 6, 1956, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE TRUCK COVERED BY ITEM 12 AT A PRICE OF $8,996.06, WHICH WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 7, 1956.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 13, 1956, YOU ADVISED THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE THAT YOU HAD BEEN ADVISED BY YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR, THE MCCABE POWERS AUTO BODY COMPANY, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, THAT IN THE PREPARATION OF THEIR QUOTATION TO YOUR COMPANY FOR A MODEL 500 SERIES UTILITY BODY, A CLERICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN THE TABULATION OF PRICES COMPILING THE QUOTATION. YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR ADVISED YOU THAT IN LISTING THE VARIOUS ITEMS OF COST ON AN ADDING MACHINE, IT INADVERTENTLY LISTED ONE ITEM OF $1,115 AS $115--- A DIFFERENCE OF $1,000--- AND REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE TRUCK BODY BE INCREASED BY $1,080, WHICH AMOUNT, IT STATED, INCLUDES THE FEDERAL EXCISE TAX OF $80. BY LETTER DATED JULY 24, 1956, THE CONTRACTING WITHOUT AUTHORITY, IN THE ABSENCE OF DIRECTION FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, TO AMEND THE CONTRACT TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT TO COVER THE ALLEGED ERROR ON THE PART OF YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR.

IN A LETTER DATED JULY 25, 1956, TO THIS OFFICE, YOU REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE TRUCK COVERED BY ITEM 12 BE INCREASED BY THE AMOUNT OF $1,080 TO COVER THE CLERICAL ERROR MADE BY YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR. WITH YOUR LETTER YOU SUBMITTED A COPY OF A LETTER DATED JULY 27, 1956, RECEIVED FROM YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR, MCCABE-POWERS AUTO BODY COMPANY, IN WHICH IT ALLEGED AN ERROR WAS MADE IN ITS QUOTATION. YOU ALSO SUBMITTED COPIES OF YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR'S WORKSHEETS, INCLUDING THE APPLICABLE ADDING MACHINE TAPE, AND OTHER PRICE DATA.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS REPORTED THAT HE HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT AN ERROR IN YOUR BID BECAUSE A TRUCK WITH THE SPECIAL TYPE OF BODY REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT HAD NOT BEEN RECENTLY PURCHASED BY HIS OFFICE, AND THAT SINCE YOUR BID WAS THE ONLY ONE RECEIVED NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF PRICES WAS AVAILABLE TO HIM FOR APPRAISAL PURPOSES. IN VIEW OF THIS, IT REASONABLY MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS, OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN, ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND, THEREFORE, SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED A VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE.

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WAS UPON YOU. SEE FRAZIER-DAVIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 100 C.CLS. 120, 163. ANY ERROR WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE BY YOU APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO YOUR FAILURE TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF THE QUOTATION RECEIVED FROM YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR. CONSEQUENTLY, SINCE YOU SUBMITTED A BID ON THE TRUCK COVERED BY ITEM 12 WITHOUT DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE QUOTATION RECEIVED FROM YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR WAS NOT CORRECT, ANY ERROR THAT OCCURRED IS A MATTER WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONCERNED, AND YOU MUST ASSUME THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY ERROR IN THE BID OR LOOK TO YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR FOR RELIEF. 6 COMP. GEN. 504; 18 ID. 28; AND 27 ID. 724. NO ERROR, AS SUCH, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY YOU, YOUR BID HAVING BEEN IN THE AMOUNT INTENDED AT THE TIME OF ITS SUBMISSION. THE FACT THAT YOU FAILED TO OBTAIN A CORRECT QUOTATION FROM YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR IS AN ERROR OR OMISSION WHICH WAS DUE SOLELY TO YOUR SUBCONTRACTOR'S NEGLIGENCE OR OVERSIGHT, AND WAS IN NO WAY INDUCED OR CONTRIBUTED TO BY THE GOVERNMENT. SEE GRYMES V. SANDERS ET AL., 93 U.S. 55, 61. SUCH ERROR AS WAS MADE IN THE BID WAS UNILATERAL--- NOT MUTUAL--- AND, THEREFORE, DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO RELIEF. SEE OGDEN AND DOUGHERTY V. UNITED STATES, 102 C.CLS. 249, 259; SALIGMAN ET AL. V. UNITED STATES, 56 F.SUPP. 505; 507; AND STEINMEHER ET AL. V. SCHROEPPEL, 226 ILL. 9, 80 N.E. 564. SEE, ALSO, 26 COMP. GEN. 415.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR INCREASING THE PRICE SPECIFIED IN PURCHASE ORDER NO. FNW- 1895/CD3 FOR ITEM 12, AS REQUESTED. WE HAVE NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE CONTRACTORS FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN ERRONEOUS BID, AFTER ACCEPTANCE, UNLESS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WAS UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS WOULD JUSTIFY THE IMPUTATION OF BAD FAITH TO THE OFFICER ACCEPTING IT.

THE SUBCONTRACTOR'S PRICE LIST REFERRED TO IN A POSTSCRIPT TO A LETTER DATED JULY 13, 1956, TO THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, IS RETURNED, AS REQUESTED IN THAT LETTER.