B-129306, OCT. 23, 1956

B-129306: Oct 23, 1956

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TO THE PULP AND PAPER TRADING COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 28. YOUR BID WAS ACCEPTED AND THE CONTRACT AWARDED ON OCTOBER 13. SUBSEQUENT THERETO YOU ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN YOUR BID IN THAT YOUR QUOTATION FOR THESE TWO ITEMS WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF "DOMESTIC PACKING" WHEREAS THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED "100 PERCENT OVERSEAS PACK.'. IT APPEARS THAT COMPLETE DELIVERY AND PAYMENT WAS EFFECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT AND THAT THE PRESENT CLAIM OF APPROXIMATELY $4. 790 IS BASED ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR ACTUAL BID ON ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 AND THE AMOUNT OF WHAT YOU ALLEGE YOUR BID WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THESE ITEMS HAD YOU NOT OVERLOOKED THE "100 PERCENT OVERSEAS PACK" REQUIREMENT.

B-129306, OCT. 23, 1956

TO THE PULP AND PAPER TRADING COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 28, 1956, REGARDING YOUR CLAIM FOR APPROXIMATELY $4,790 UNDER CONTRACT NO. DA-36 030-QM-6380, DATED OCTOBER 13, 1955.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. QM-36-030-56-163, ISSUED BY THE PHILADELPHIA QUARTERMASTER DEPOT ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1955, YOU SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH ITEM NO. 1, COVERING 2,000 REAMS OF PAPER, BOOK, SIZE 19 INCHES BY 25 INCHES, ETC. AT $4.30 PER REAM AND ITEM NO. 2,COVERING 2,000 REAMS OF PAPER, BOOK, SIZE 22 1/2 INCHES BY 35 INCHES, ETC. AT $6.875 PER REAM, OR FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $22,350. YOUR BID WAS ACCEPTED AND THE CONTRACT AWARDED ON OCTOBER 13, 1955. SUBSEQUENT THERETO YOU ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN YOUR BID IN THAT YOUR QUOTATION FOR THESE TWO ITEMS WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF "DOMESTIC PACKING" WHEREAS THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED "100 PERCENT OVERSEAS PACK.' IT APPEARS THAT COMPLETE DELIVERY AND PAYMENT WAS EFFECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT AND THAT THE PRESENT CLAIM OF APPROXIMATELY $4,790 IS BASED ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR ACTUAL BID ON ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 AND THE AMOUNT OF WHAT YOU ALLEGE YOUR BID WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THESE ITEMS HAD YOU NOT OVERLOOKED THE "100 PERCENT OVERSEAS PACK" REQUIREMENT.

IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28, 1956, YOU QUESTION THE GOOD FAITH OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID.

IN A MATTER SUCH AS THIS THE SOLE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. IN THIS CONNECTION, ONLY ONE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED, WHICH WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5.70 PER REAM FOR ITEM NO. 1 AND $9.50 PER REAM FOR ITEM NO. 2. IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE ONLY TWO WIDELY VARIANT BIDS--- THE VARIANCE NOT EVEN SO GREAT HERE--- ARE RECEIVED NO FAIR COMPARISON THEREOF CAN BE MADE SINCE THERE IS NO MORE REASON FOR CONSIDERING THAT THE LOW BID WAS TOO LOW THAN THERE IS FOR CONSIDERING THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE BY THE HIGH BIDDER IN QUOTING A BID TOO HIGH. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 286. MOREOVER, IT REASONABLY MAY NOT BE CONCLUDED THAT YOUR BID OF $4.30 AND $6.875 PER REAM FOR ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2, RESPECTIVELY, WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF $5.90 AND $5.70 PER REAM, RESPECTIVELY, FOR THESE TWO ITEMS. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID OR IN THE ATTENDING CIRCUMSTANCES THERETO WHICH SHOULD HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND, THEREFORE, THE BID WAS ACCEPTED IN GOOD FAITH. SUCH ACCEPTANCE CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WHICH FIXED THE RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF THE PARTIES AND NEITHER OUR OFFICE NOR ANY OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO DIVEST THE GOVERNMENT OF RIGHTS WHICH HAVE ACCRUED TO IT UNDER SUCH A CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 16, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.