B-129875, DEC. 4, 1956

B-129875: Dec 4, 1956

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 13. THE BIDS RECEIVED WERE OPENED NOVEMBER 14. WERE IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS: TABLE PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE. WAS ACCEPTED AS THE LOWEST BID AND BECAME THE BASIS OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 7757. THE CORRECTED BID PRICE WAS STATED IN THE LETTER TO BE $880. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $740.73. THE QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION HERE IS NOT WHETHER PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID BUT WHETHER A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WAS CONSUMMATED BY ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID. THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE BID TO INDICATE AN ERROR THEREIN AND NO ALLEGATION OF ERROR WAS MADE UNTIL AFTER THE AWARD.

B-129875, DEC. 4, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23, 1956, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., NEW YORK CITY, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 13, 1956, IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 9, 1956 (JACKET NO. 405250), FOR FURNISHING 1,200,000 COPIES OF PRINTED FORMS (REVERSE OF FORM NO. SF30 AND 33), TO BE SHIPPED ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 21, 1956.

THE BIDS RECEIVED WERE OPENED NOVEMBER 14, 1956, AND WERE IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS:

TABLE

PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC. $ 520.00

MAJESTIC PRESS, INC. 646.00

THE BAUGHMAN COMPANY 653.00

THE MARYLAND LITHOGRAPHING CO. 816.00

GUTHRIE LITHOGRAPH CO., INC. 891.00

ZABEL BROTHERS CO., INC. 923.00

DISTRICT LITHOGRAPH CO., INC. 1,009.00

COLUMBIA PLANOGRAPH COMPANY 1,074.00

NATIONAL OFFSET, INC. 1,232.00

VIVITON PRESS 1,294.00

THE BID OF PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $520.00, WAS ACCEPTED AS THE LOWEST BID AND BECAME THE BASIS OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 7757, DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1956.

ON NOVEMBER 19, 1956--- PRESUMABLY ON RECEIPT OF THE PURCHASE ORDER- - THE BIDDER STATED BY TELEPHONE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT THE COST OF BINDING ($360) HAD BEEN OMITTED. BY LETTER OF THE SAME DATE THE BIDDER FORWARDED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET AND A CORRECTED ESTIMATE SHEET, SHOWING THAT AN ITEM OF $360 FOR CUTTING HAD BEEN OMITTED FROM THE BID PRICE. ACCORDINGLY, THE CORRECTED BID PRICE WAS STATED IN THE LETTER TO BE $880. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $740.73.

THE QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION HERE IS NOT WHETHER PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID BUT WHETHER A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WAS CONSUMMATED BY ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID. THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE BID TO INDICATE AN ERROR THEREIN AND NO ALLEGATION OF ERROR WAS MADE UNTIL AFTER THE AWARD. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT HE DID NOT SUSPECT ERROR IN THE BID WHEN MAKING THE AWARD. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRICE QUOTED BY PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY OTHER BIDDERS APPARENTLY WAS NOT SO GREAT AS TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR, AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT SUCH DIFFERENCE WAS SO GREAT THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WHICH FIXED THE RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF THE PARTIES THERETO. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 415; 29 ID. 323, AND AUTHORITIES CITED IN THOSE DECISIONS. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NOT PERCEIVED ANY LEGAL BASIS FOR PERMITTING ANY INCREASE IN THE BID PRICE AND THEREFORE PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH THE PRINTED FORMS AT THE PRICE QUOTED IN ITS ACCEPTED BID.