B-131797, MAY 15, 1957

B-131797: May 15, 1957

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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 2781. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE NEXT HIGHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $11.82. THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED APRIL 15. THE CORPORATION ADVISED THAT THE PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OFFERED IN ITS BID "1 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT" WAS ERRONEOUS DUE TO A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND THAT THE CORRECT DISCOUNT SHOULD HAVE BEEN 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE UNUSUAL MANNER IN WHICH THE DISCOUNT RATE WAS STATED WAS NOT NOTED AND THUS VERIFICATION THEREOF WAS NOT ALSO REQUESTED IN THE LETTER OF APRIL 15.

B-131797, MAY 15, 1957

TO MR. WILHE KALLIO, CHIEF OF PROCUREMENT, BUREAU OF FACILITIES, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 2781, OPENED ON APRIL 12, 1957, FOR THE PURCHASE OF 30 "FIRST AID CABINETS.'

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 9, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE CABINETS FOR A PRICE OF $8.70 EACH LESS A DISCOUNT OF "1 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT" FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 20 CALENDAR DAYS. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE NEXT HIGHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $11.82, $17.30 AND $18.25 AND THAT THE FIVE OTHER BIDS RANGED UP TO $50 EACH.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE PRICE QUOTED BY GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION APPEARED RATHER LOW, THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED APRIL 15, 1957, TO VERIFY ITS BID PRICE AND ADVISE WHETHER IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH CABINETS IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 24, 1957, THE CORPORATION CONFIRMED ITS BID PRICE AND ADVISED THAT IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH CABINETS MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATION. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 25, 1957, THE CORPORATION ADVISED THAT THE PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OFFERED IN ITS BID "1 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT" WAS ERRONEOUS DUE TO A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND THAT THE CORRECT DISCOUNT SHOULD HAVE BEEN 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE UNUSUAL MANNER IN WHICH THE DISCOUNT RATE WAS STATED WAS NOT NOTED AND THUS VERIFICATION THEREOF WAS NOT ALSO REQUESTED IN THE LETTER OF APRIL 15. AS YOU STATE "1 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT" IS A MOST UNUSUAL MANNER FOR ANYONE TO EXPRESS AN INTENDED DISCOUNT OF 1 1/2 PERCENT. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE APPEARS TO BE LITTLE, IN ANY, DOUBT THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO QUOTE A DISCOUNT OF 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT, AS ALLEGED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION MAY BE CHANGED TO PROVIDE FOR A DISCOUNT OF 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT AND THE BID, AS SO CORRECTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.