B-130005, DEC. 18, 1956

B-130005: Dec 18, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE FOURTH INDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 28. WHO REQUESTS A DECISION REGARDING AN ERROR HARRY SHOE REPAIR ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH SALES CONTRACT AF 33/617/S-162 IS BASED. IT IS BEING RENDERED TO YOU. ITEM 13 IS DESCRIBED AS "FOOTWEAR. ITEM 16 IS DESCRIBED AS "INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT. ITEMS 13 AND 16 WERE AWARDED TO HARRY SHOE REPAIR AT THE BID PRICES OF $1. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT ON ITEM 13 THERE WERE NINE OTHER BIDS WHICH RANGED FROM $1.01 TO $201 AND ON ITEM 16 THERE WERE SEVEN OTHER BIDS WHICH RANGED FROM $1.01 TO $33. WAS UNABLE TO DO SO AS THE ROOM CONTAINING THE PROPERTY WAS DARK. THAT HE WAS TOLD THAT ABOUT THREE QUARTERS OF THE PROPERTY CONSISTED OF SHOES AND ONE QUARTER OF GALOSHES.

B-130005, DEC. 18, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE FOURTH INDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICER, 801ST AIR BASE GROUP, LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, COLUMBUS, OHIO, WHO REQUESTS A DECISION REGARDING AN ERROR HARRY SHOE REPAIR ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH SALES CONTRACT AF 33/617/S-162 IS BASED.

SINCE THE CLAIM INVOLVES A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE CONTRACT MAY BE CANCELED, IT IS BEING RENDERED TO YOU. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 993.

INVITATION NO. 33-617-S-57-2 COVERED THE SALE OF MISCELLANEOUS SURPLUS PROPERTY. ITEM 13 IS DESCRIBED AS "FOOTWEAR, CONSISTING OF SHOES, OVERSHOES, MUKLUKS, ETC., USED, REPAIRS REQUIRED, APPROXIMATE WEIGHT 4,000 LBS.' ITEM 16 IS DESCRIBED AS "INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT, CONSISTING OF SHOES, TIES, HATS, ETC., UNUSED, SOILED CONDITION, APPROXIMATE WEIGHT 300 LBS.' ON AUGUST 23, 1956, ITEMS 13 AND 16 WERE AWARDED TO HARRY SHOE REPAIR AT THE BID PRICES OF $1,300 AND $350, RESPECTIVELY. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT ON ITEM 13 THERE WERE NINE OTHER BIDS WHICH RANGED FROM $1.01 TO $201 AND ON ITEM 16 THERE WERE SEVEN OTHER BIDS WHICH RANGED FROM $1.01 TO $33.

BY AN UNDATED LETTER, POSTMARKED SEPTEMBER 1, 1956, AND A REGISTERED LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1956, POSTMARKED SEPTEMBER 19, 1956, HARRY BADGER, OWNER OF HARRY SHOE REPAIR, ALLEGED THAT PRIOR TO BIDDING HE ASKED TO EXAMINE THE PROPERTY, BUT WAS UNABLE TO DO SO AS THE ROOM CONTAINING THE PROPERTY WAS DARK; THAT HE WAS TOLD THAT ABOUT THREE QUARTERS OF THE PROPERTY CONSISTED OF SHOES AND ONE QUARTER OF GALOSHES; THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER SUBMITTING HIS BID HE RETURNED TO THE STOCKPILE AND FOUND THAT IT CONSISTED MOSTLY OF GALOSHES WHICH ARE VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS TO HIM; AND THAT HE WOULD LOSE $700 AS HIS BID WAS FAR TOO HIGH. ALL OF THE ALLEGATIONS, EXCEPT THE LAST, ARE CONTROVERTED BY A STATEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1956, FROM THE DISPOSAL OFFICER, AND A STATEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1956, FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, WHO NEVERTHELESS RECOMMENDED RELIEF TO THE BIDDER, STATING THAT THE DIFFERENTIAL IN PRICES WAS NOTED AT THE TIME OF BID OPENING, BUT WAS NOT QUESTIONED AS PAST EXPERIENCE HAD SHOWN THAT VARIOUS CONDITIONS AFFECTED A PROPOSER'S BID.

THE TENOR OF THE BIDDER'S LETTERS INDICATE THAT HE IS AN INEXPERIENCED BIDDER TOTALLY UNFAMILIAR WITH GOVERNMENT SURPLUS SALES PROCEDURES.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE BID OF HARRY SHOE REPAIR WAS FAR OUTSIDE THE RANGE OF THE OTHER PRICES QUOTED, AND APPARENTLY IN EXCESS OF ANY REASONABLE EXPECTATION, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE WITHOUT INQUIRY AND THEREFORE DID NOT RESULT IN A BINDING AGREEMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE AWARD OF ITEMS 13 AND 16 TO HARRY SHOE REPAIR SHOULD BE CANCELED AND THE BID DEPOSIT RETURNED.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING SENT TO THE PROCUREMENT OFFICER.