B-132279, JUN. 27, 1957

B-132279: Jun 27, 1957

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WILHO KALLIO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19. ON PAGE 3 OF THE INVITATION THERE ARE SET FORTH SEVEN TYPES OF ENGINES. THE BID ON ITEM IS "$125. THE QUESTION RAISED IS WHETHER THE BID SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS OFFERING TWO SUCCESSIVE 2 PERCENT DISCOUNTS OR ONLY ONE. IT IS STATED THAT MOTOR PARTS. MAY HAVE PLACED ITSELF IN THE POSITION. AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED. WAS UNCERTAIN AS TO THE MEANING OF THE BID. LATER THAT DAY ADVISED THAT THE BID WAS INTENDED EXACTLY AS SHOWN. SINCE THE WORD "CASH" WAS CROSSED OUT. THAT THE ONLY INTERPRETATION THAT CAN REASONABLY BE PLACED ON THE 2 PERCENT DISCOUNT OFFERED ON PAGE 3 IS THAT IT WAS INTENDED AS A TRADE DISCOUNT AND. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE BID OF MOTOR PARTS.

B-132279, JUN. 27, 1957

TO MR. WILHO KALLIO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE INTERPRETATION TO BE PLACED UPON A BID SUBMITTED BY MOTOR PARTS, INC., DETROIT, MICHIGAN, IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 042, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE, VEHICLE SERVICE, DETROIT, MICHIGAN.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING REBUILT TRUCK ENGINES, ON AN EXCHANGE BASIS, AS REQUIRED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1958. ON PAGE 3 OF THE INVITATION THERE ARE SET FORTH SEVEN TYPES OF ENGINES, ITEMS 1 THROUGH 7, AND ESTIMATED QUANTITIES FOR EACH ITEM. THE BID OF MOTOR PARTS, INC., QUOTED PRICES FOR EACH OF THE SEVEN ITEMS IN THE SAME MANNER--- FOR EXAMPLE, THE BID ON ITEM IS "$125. LESS 2 PERCENT CASH.' ALSO THE BIDDER OFFERED ON PAGE 1 OF THE INVITATION A DISCOUNT OF 2 PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 30 CALENDAR DAYS.

THE QUESTION RAISED IS WHETHER THE BID SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS OFFERING TWO SUCCESSIVE 2 PERCENT DISCOUNTS OR ONLY ONE. THE BID WOULD BE LOW ON ALL ITEMS WITH TWO DEDUCTIONS AND NOT LOW ON ANY OF THE ITEMS WITH ONLY ONE DEDUCTION. IT IS STATED THAT MOTOR PARTS, INC., MAY HAVE PLACED ITSELF IN THE POSITION, AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED, OF ALLEGING THAT IT INTENDED TO OFFER EITHER ONE OR TWO DEDUCTIONS AND THAT, THEREFORE, IT MAY BE THAT ONLY ONE DEDUCTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS FOR AWARD OF THAT THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED ALTOGETHER ON THE GROUND OF AMBIGUITY, CITING 35 COMP. GEN. 33, 37.

IN THIS CONNECTION, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SHORTLY AFTER THE OPENING OF THE BIDS A REPRESENTATIVE OF MOTOR PARTS, INC., BUT NOT THE PERSON WHO SIGNED THE BID, CALLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO ASCERTAIN THE OUTCOME OF THE BIDS AND WHEN QUESTIONED, WAS UNCERTAIN AS TO THE MEANING OF THE BID. HOWEVER, THE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE CORPORATION, WHO SIGNED THE BID, LATER THAT DAY ADVISED THAT THE BID WAS INTENDED EXACTLY AS SHOWN--- FOR EXAMPLE, ITEM 1, $125 LESS 2 PERCENT AND THEN AN ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE OF 2 PERCENT AS A CASH DISCOUNT IF PAID WITHIN 30 DAYS.

IT WOULD APPEAR, SINCE THE WORD "CASH" WAS CROSSED OUT, THAT THE ONLY INTERPRETATION THAT CAN REASONABLY BE PLACED ON THE 2 PERCENT DISCOUNT OFFERED ON PAGE 3 IS THAT IT WAS INTENDED AS A TRADE DISCOUNT AND, THEREFORE, WOULD BE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE DISCOUNT OFFERED FOR PROMPT PAYMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE BID OF MOTOR PARTS, INC., SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF THE PRICES QUOTED FOR THE ITEMS LESS A TRADE DISCOUNT OF 2 PERCENT AND A PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OF 2 PERCENT.