B-129894, DEC. 6, 1956

B-129894: Dec 6, 1956

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25. SIX COMPLETE SETS OF PAGE PROOFS WERE TO BE FURNISHED AND COMPLETE SHIPMENT OF ALL SIGNATURES TO BE MADE WITHIN 15 WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIPT BY THE CONTRACTOR OF THE FINAL APPROVED PROOFS. THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 16. IT WAS FOUND THAT BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS. WAS THE LOW BIDDER AT A PRICE OF $2. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED WHICH RANGED IN PRICE FROM $4. 768.87 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE IT WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND WAS CONSIDERABLY BELOW THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ESTIMATE OF $3. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON NOVEMBER 19. A TELEGRAM WAS FORWARDED TO BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS.

B-129894, DEC. 6, 1956

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER A BID SUBMITTED BY BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, INC., 4840 WEST BELMONT AVENUE, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS CORRECTED OR DISREGARDED IN AWARDING A CONTRACT FOR THE WORK CALLED FOR THEREBY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON NOVEMBER 6, 1956, YOUR AGENCY ADVERTISED FOR PRICES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 3,750 COPIES EACH OF 19 SEPARATE 4 PAGE BOOK SIGNATURES, 2 FACE ONLY SINGLE-LEAF INSERTS, AND 3 FACE AND BACK SINGLE- LEAF INSERTS (83 PRINTED PAGES AND 3 BLANKS IN ALL) TO BE PRINTED BY THE PHOTOGELATIN PROCESS, ETC. SIX COMPLETE SETS OF PAGE PROOFS WERE TO BE FURNISHED AND COMPLETE SHIPMENT OF ALL SIGNATURES TO BE MADE WITHIN 15 WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIPT BY THE CONTRACTOR OF THE FINAL APPROVED PROOFS.

THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 16, 1956, AND IT WAS FOUND THAT BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, INC., WAS THE LOW BIDDER AT A PRICE OF $2,768.87. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED WHICH RANGED IN PRICE FROM $4,870 TO $5,387.27. WHEN EXAMINING THE BIDS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTED THAT THE BID BY BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,768.87 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE IT WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND WAS CONSIDERABLY BELOW THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ESTIMATE OF $3,916.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON NOVEMBER 19, 1956, A TELEGRAM WAS FORWARDED TO BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, INC., REQUESTING THEM TO REVIEW THE SPECIFICATIONS AND TO CONFIRM THEIR BID PRICE FOR THIS WORK. THE LOW BIDDER REPLIED BY TELEGRAM ON NOVEMBER 19, AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID PRICE BE ADJUSTED TO $3,128.87. BY LETTER OF THE SAME DAY THE LOW BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT THEY NEGLECTED TO CONSIDER PROOFING OF THE JOB WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR AN ADDITIONAL $360 TO THE ORIGINAL BID. IT APPEARS THAT THE LOW BIDDER FAILED TO COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST THAT ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET BE SUBMITTED.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT HE BELIEVES THE BID BY BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, C., WAS ERRONEOUS BECAUSE THE QUOTED PRICE WAS A VERY LOW PRICE TO PAY FOR THE WORK DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED FURTHER THAT THE ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF $360 CLAIMED BY THE BIDDER, IS A FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE TO PAY FOR PROOFING SINCE THERE IS A MINIMUM OF TEN PLATES INVOLVED IF THE BIDDER PLANNED TO PRINT THE PAGES ON A FULL 38 BY 48 SIZE SHEET.

UPON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD TRANSMITTED HERE IT APPEARS THAT BLACK BOX COLLOTYPE STUDIOS, INC. OMITTED FROM ITS BID PRICE THE COST OF AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE WORK. SINCE AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED AND CONFIRMED SHORTLY AFTER THE BID OPENING AND BEFORE AWARD, ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WOULD NOT CREATE A BINDING CONTRACT. HOWEVER, SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE BIDDER HAD ACTUALLY COMPUTED OR DETERMINED UPON A PRICE FOR THE OMITTED WORK PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF ITS BID, CORRECTION MAY NOT NOW BE PERMITTED, AND THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE ENCLOSURES TO YOUR LETTER, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BIDDER'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1956, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.