B-131852, MAY 24, 1957

B-131852: May 24, 1957

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THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 15. ALLEGES WAS MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. (02 606/S-57-3 WAS AWARDED. WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $1000. WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 21 AND OTHER ITEMS ON NOVEMBER 6. THAT IT WAS ITS INTENTION TO QUOTE A UNIT PRICE OF $0.00369 PER POUND FOR THE METAL SCRAP COVERED BY ITEM 21. WHERE ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM. - THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS. THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID. IT WAS STATED THAT SIMILAR METAL SCRAP MATERIAL WAS OFFERED FOR SALE DURING THE PRECEDING YEAR. THAT IN RESPONSE TO THE SALES INVITATION ONLY ONE BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $0.00318 PER POUND WAS RECEIVED AND ACCEPTED.

B-131852, MAY 24, 1957

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 15, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH ALEX NOVACK AND SONS, ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA, ALLEGES WAS MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. (02 606/S-57-3 WAS AWARDED.

BY SALES INVITATION NO. 02-606-S-57-1, THE VINCENT AIR FORCE BASE, YUMA, ARIZONA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, 62,000 POUNDS OF LIGHT METAL SCRAP CONSISTING OF METAL ROCKET CONTAINERS, CARDBOARD LINED, 4 INCHES DIAMETER, APPROXIMATELY 2 FEET AND 4 FEET HIGH, ITEM 21. IN RESPONSE ALEX NOVACK AND SONS SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO PURCHASE, AMONG OTHER ARTICLES, THE METAL SCRAP COVERED BY ITEM 21 AT A PRICE OF $0.0369 PER POUND. THE BID OF THE COMPANY, WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $1000, WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 21 AND OTHER ITEMS ON NOVEMBER 6, 1956.

BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1956, ALEX NOVACK AND SONS ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT HAD MADE A DECIMAL POINT ERROR IN TRANSFERRING ITS UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 21 FROM ITS WORKSHEET--- WHICH APPEARS TO BE A SHEET FROM THE INVITATION--- TO THE BID FORM, THAT IT WAS ITS INTENTION TO QUOTE A UNIT PRICE OF $0.00369 PER POUND FOR THE METAL SCRAP COVERED BY ITEM 21, AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE CORRECTED ACCORDINGLY. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS WORKSHEET WHICH INDICATES A UNIT PRICE OF $0.00369 PER POUND FOR ITEM 21.

ORDINARILY, WHERE ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM--- AS IN THE PRESENT CASE--- THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS; HENCE, THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 560; AND 26 ID. 415. HOWEVER, IN A REPORT DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1956, FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND IN 2ND INDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 16, 1957, IT WAS STATED THAT SIMILAR METAL SCRAP MATERIAL WAS OFFERED FOR SALE DURING THE PRECEDING YEAR, THAT IN RESPONSE TO THE SALES INVITATION ONLY ONE BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $0.00318 PER POUND WAS RECEIVED AND ACCEPTED, AND THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED BY ALEX NOVACK AND SONS. IN HIS REPORT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED THAT IT APPEARS THAT ALEX NOVACK AND SONS' BID DEPOSIT OF $1,000 ON ALL ITEMS WAS NOT BASED ON THE PURCHASE OF THE METAL SCRAP COVERED BY ITEM 21 AT THE PRICE OF $0.0369 PER POUND BUT RATHER AT A PRICE OF $0.00369 PER POUND, THE COMPANY'S ALLEGED INTENDED BID PRICE; AND THAT FROM VERBAL INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM OTHER BUYERS AND DISPOSAL AGENTS, IT IS HIS BELIEF THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE BY THE COMPANY, AS ALLEGED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION OF THE BID WOULD HAVE BEEN IN ORDER BEFORE ITS ACCEPTANCE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, IT IS APPARENT THAT ALEX NOVACK AND SONS INTENDED THE UNIT PRICE TO BE $0.00369 PER POUND. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE BID OF ALEX NOVACKAND SONS ON ITEM 21 OF THE INVITATION WAS THE ONLY BID RECEIVED, AND THE COMPANY'S INTENDED BID PRICE APPEARS TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE FOR THE METAL SCRAP COVERED BY THE ITEM, CONTRACT NO. (02-606/S-57-3 MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIT PRICE OF $0.00369 THEREFORE AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.