B-132190, JUN. 19, 1957

B-132190: Jun 19, 1957

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GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13. WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $400. YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY MR. HE NOTED THAT THE BID FROM EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY ON ITEM NO. 17 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE THE FEEDER COVERED BY THAT ITEM WAS NOT WORTH ANYWHERE NEAR THE AMOUNT QUOTED BY THE COMPANY. THAT ITS BID DEPOSIT CHECK OF $400 WAS TO COVER THE REQUIRED 25 PERCENT ON ITS BID OF $1. 600 WAS ENTERED ON THE INCORRECT LINE AS IT HAD SUBMITTED NO BID ON THE FEEDER FOR ADDRESSOGRAPH MACHINE MODEL 1970 (ITEM NO. 17). 600 FOR ITEM NO. 17 IS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS THEREON. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID.

B-132190, JUN. 19, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON MAY 8, 1957.

THE CHICAGO FIELD SERVICE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, BY INVITATION NO. 26, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF 38 ITEMS OF SURPLUS PROPERTY. IN RESPONSE THE EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID, WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $400, OFFERING TO PURCHASE ITEM NO. 17 COVERING ONE FEEDER FOR AN ADDRESSOGRAPH MACHINE FOR THE SUM OF $1,600.

YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY MR. KELLEY, CHICAGO FIELD SERVICE OFFICE MANAGER, HE NOTED THAT THE BID FROM EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY ON ITEM NO. 17 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE THE FEEDER COVERED BY THAT ITEM WAS NOT WORTH ANYWHERE NEAR THE AMOUNT QUOTED BY THE COMPANY; THAT MR. KELLEY NOTIFIED YOUR OFFICE ON MAY 9, 1957, OF THE PROBABLE ERROR IN BID AND ADVISED THAT, AFTER CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE COMPANY, HE BELIEVED THAT AN ERROR IN BID WOULD BE CLAIMED.

ON MAY 21, 1957, THE EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY ADVISED MR. KELLEY, BY LETTER, THAT ITS BID DEPOSIT CHECK OF $400 WAS TO COVER THE REQUIRED 25 PERCENT ON ITS BID OF $1,600 FOR THE MODEL NO. 8 LINOTYPE, SERIAL NO. 43,000, WITHOUT MAGAZINES (ITEM NO. 16), AND THE COMPANY STATED THAT NOT HAVING A COPY OF THE BID ON HAND, IT MIGHT BE THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $1,600 WAS ENTERED ON THE INCORRECT LINE AS IT HAD SUBMITTED NO BID ON THE FEEDER FOR ADDRESSOGRAPH MACHINE MODEL 1970 (ITEM NO. 17).

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE FOUR OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED PRICES OF $29.99, $3.75, $3, AND $2.51 FOR THE FEEDER COVERED BY ITEM NO. 17. THUS, THE BID OF THE EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY OF $1,600 FOR ITEM NO. 17 IS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS THEREON.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575. ACCORDINGLY, THE ERROR HAVING BEEN ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE EASTERN PRINTING MACHINERY COMPANY WITH REGARD TO ITEM NO. 17 MAY BE DISREGARDED WITHOUT FORFEITURE OF BID SECURITY.