B-130432, JAN. 29, 1957

B-130432: Jan 29, 1957

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SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22. LEHMAN COMPANY WAS AS MUCH AS FIVE TIMES LOWER THAN ANY OTHER BID RECEIVED. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS BID OF $2.79 PER POUND. IT WAS STATED THAT "WE HAVE ONLY 250 POUNDS WITH A TEST OF 18.24 PLS PER 100 POUNDS WHICH WOULD BE 1122 POUNDS SHORT ACCORDING TO YOUR BID REQUEST. THE BID WAS ACCEPTED SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT THE QUESTION OF GRANTING A RELEASE FROM THE BIDDER'S OBLIGATION TO PERFORM WOULD BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR DECISION. LEHMAN COMPANY AND MISTAKE WAS ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER BEFORE AWARD ACTION WAS TAKEN. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT ANY ATTEMPTED ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID COULD NOT RESULT IN A LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT.

B-130432, JAN. 29, 1957

TO MR. ROSS W. HALL, CONTRACTING OFFICER, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE REED S. LEHMAN COMPANY, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, MAY BE RELEASED FROM LIABILITY UNDER ITS BID OF JANUARY 8, 1957, SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. SCS-18-OK-57, ISSUED JANUARY 4, 1957, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF 250 POUNDS OF PURE LIVE SEED, KING RANGE BLUESTEM, GROWN IN TEXAS OR OKLAHOMA DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1955 OR 1956.

REED S. LEHMAN COMPANY QUOTED A PRICE OF $2.79 PER POUND OR A TOTAL PRICE OF $697.50 FOR THE 250 POUNDS OF SEED. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE WASHITA VALLEY GRAIN COMPANY, PAULS VALLEY, OKLAHOMA, AND THE STATES SEED COMPANY, INC., GARLAND, TEXAS, THE ONLY OTHER BIDDERS, QUOTED PRICES OF $14.95 AND $15.92 PER POUND, OR TOTAL PRICES OF $3,737.50 AND $3,980, RESPECTIVELY.

YOUR LETTER SETS FORTH THAT, SINCE THE BID OF REED S. LEHMAN COMPANY WAS AS MUCH AS FIVE TIMES LOWER THAN ANY OTHER BID RECEIVED, THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS BID OF $2.79 PER POUND. THE BIDDER THEN ALLEGED THAT IT FAILED TO NOTE THAT THE INVITATION CALLED FOR PURE LIVE SEED AND REQUESTED THAT THE BID BE DISREGARDED. IN EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED MISTAKE, IT WAS STATED THAT "WE HAVE ONLY 250 POUNDS WITH A TEST OF 18.24 PLS PER 100 POUNDS WHICH WOULD BE 1122 POUNDS SHORT ACCORDING TO YOUR BID REQUEST, AS WE NOW FIGURE THE BID.' BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 18, 1957, THE BID WAS ACCEPTED SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT THE QUESTION OF GRANTING A RELEASE FROM THE BIDDER'S OBLIGATION TO PERFORM WOULD BE SUBMITTED HERE FOR DECISION.

SINCE A COMPARISON OF THE BIDS INDICATED A PROBABLE ERROR IN THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE REED S. LEHMAN COMPANY AND MISTAKE WAS ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER BEFORE AWARD ACTION WAS TAKEN, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT ANY ATTEMPTED ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID COULD NOT RESULT IN A LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT. ACCORDINGLY, THE BIDDER MAY BE ADVISED THAT IT IS RELEASED FROM ANY LIABILITY TO PERFORM UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BID.

AS REQUESTED IN YOUR LETTER, THE ORIGINAL BID SUBMITTED BY THE REED S. LEHMAN COMPANY IS RETURNED HEREWITH.