B-131949, MAY 31, 1957

B-131949: May 31, 1957

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GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 22. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 47587 WAS ISSUED. IT IS STATED THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. HE NOTED THAT THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE ONLY 3. 250 SHEETS OF PAPER WERE REQUESTED AND. THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE THAT THE BID WAS CORRECT. AWARD WAS MADE TO THE COMPANY AND PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE TYPIST HAD MADE AN ERROR IN TRANSCRIBING THE NUMBER OF SHEETS REQUIRED FROM THE ESTIMATE SHEET TO THE BID AND ACCEPTANCE FORM IN THAT THE NUMBER SHOULD HAVE BEEN 6. THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET WHICH SHOWED THAT THE AMOUNT BID WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF RECEIVING 6.

B-131949, MAY 31, 1957

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 22, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY COLUMBIA LITHOGRAPHIC COMPANY, INC., TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 47587 WAS ISSUED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN APRIL 1957, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ADVERTISED FOR PRICES ON THE PRODUCTION OF 12,000 COPIES OF ONE POSTER, TRIM SIZE 29 BY 22 INCHES, PAPER TO BE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN A SIZE 35 BY 45 INCHES. THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE BIDDER TO ENTER ON ITS BID THE NUMBER OF SHEETS OF PAPER HE WOULD NEED TO COMPLETE THE JOB.

COLUMBIA LITHOGRAPHIC COMPANY, INC., BID $1,205 FOR THE WORK AND STATED IT WOULD REQUIRE 3,250 SHEETS OF GOVERNMENT PAPER. IT IS STATED THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER,HE NOTED THAT THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE ONLY 3,250 SHEETS OF PAPER WERE REQUESTED AND, SINCE ONLY TWO POSTERS COULD BE CUT FROM THE SIZE SHEET TO BE FURNISHED THE CONTRACTOR, A MINIMUM OF 6,000 SHEETS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE THE NUMBER OF POSTERS SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TELEPHONED THE COMPANY AND, WITHOUT RAISING THE QUESTION OF THE NUMBER OF SHEETS OF PAPER TO BE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT, REQUESTED THEM TO REVIEW THE SPECIFICATIONS AND TO CONFIRM THEIR BID. THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE THAT THE BID WAS CORRECT. AWARD WAS MADE TO THE COMPANY AND PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED. BEFORE RECEIVING THE PURCHASE ORDER, THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT ON FURTHER REVIEWING THE PROPOSAL, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE TYPIST HAD MADE AN ERROR IN TRANSCRIBING THE NUMBER OF SHEETS REQUIRED FROM THE ESTIMATE SHEET TO THE BID AND ACCEPTANCE FORM IN THAT THE NUMBER SHOULD HAVE BEEN 6,250 INSTEAD OF 3,250. THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET WHICH SHOWED THAT THE AMOUNT BID WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF RECEIVING 6,250 SHEETS OF PAPER FROM THE GOVERNMENT. IS STATED THAT IF THE COMPANY'S BID IS REVISED TO INCLUDE THE COST OF THE ADDITIONAL PAPER FURNISHED, IT STILL WILL REMAIN THE LOW BID. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE ADDITIONAL 3,000 SHEETS OF PAPER MAY BE FURNISHED THE COMPANY WITHOUT ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

WHILE PRIOR TO AWARD THE COMPANY CONFIRMED ITS BID PRICE ON THE PRODUCTION OF THE POSTERS, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE REQUEST FOR CONFIRMATION WAS SUCH AS TO DIRECT ITS ATTENTION TO THE GOVERNMENT SUPPLY ELEMENT OF THE BID. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS AWARE OF THE FACT THAT IT WAS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CUT THE NUMBER OF POSTERS REQUIRED FROM THE 3,250 SHEETS REQUESTED, IT MAY BE QUESTIONED WHETHER THE BARE CONFIRMATION OF THE TOTAL BID PRICE WAS SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE DOUBT WHICH WAS KNOWN TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

MOREOVER, TO REFORM THE COMPANY'S BID AS REQUESTED WOULD IN NO MANNER AFFECT THE RIGHTS OF THE OTHER BIDDERS. TO INSIST UPON A STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE COMPANY'S ERRONEOUS BID IN THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, ESPECIALLY WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS AWARE OF THE ERROR UP TO AND INCLUDING THE TIME OF AWARD, COULD HARDLY BE REGARDED AS AN ACT OF GOOD FAITH UPON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 47587 MAY BE AMENDED TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SHEETS OF PAPER TO BE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM 3,250 TO 6,250.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT TO BE ATTACHED TO THE PURCHASE ORDER.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE COMPANY'S LETTER DATED MAY 6, 1957, AND ITS ESTIMATED SHEET, ARE RETURNED.