B-132440, JUL. 22, 1957

B-132440: Jul 22, 1957

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2. N224S-51602 WAS AWARDED. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE OF $450. WHICH IS IN AFFIDAVIT FORM. THE COMPANY REITERATED ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND ENCLOSED THEREWITH A BID FORM WHICH WAS USED AS A WORKSHEET AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION AND WHICH PURPORTEDLY SHOWS THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF $738 FOR ITEM 23. THE BID OF THE BERNS COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $737.99 WAS MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT BID ON ITEM 24. IS CONSIDERABLY MORE IN LINE WITH THE NINETEEN BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 23 WHICH RANGED FROM $2. IT IS NOTED THAT THOSE BIDDERS WHO QUOTED ON BOTH ITEMS 23 AND 24 QUOTED MANY TIMES AS MUCH FOR THE FITTINGS.

B-132440, JUL. 22, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT CHIEF FOR PURCHASING, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE BERNS COMPANY, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. N224S-51602 WAS AWARDED.

THE U.S. NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, BY SALES LETTER NO. SL-8-57-244, REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED APRIL 23, 1957--- FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF 39 LOTS OF MATERIAL DESCRIBED THEREIN. RESPONSE, THE BERNS COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO PURCHASE ITEM 24, PIPE FITTINGS, AT A PRICE OF $737.99. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID GUARANTEE OF $450.

UPON RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF AWARD, THE BERNS COMPANY ADVISED BY LETTER OF MAY 6, 1957, THAT IT HAD MADE AN OBVIOUS ERROR IN ITS BID; THAT IT HAD INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 23 WHICH CONSISTED OF BRASS FITTING BUT HAD INADVERTENTLY PLACED ITS BID PRICE OPPOSITE ITEM 24. THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT IT BE RELEASED FROM ANY OBLIGATION UNDER ITS BID AS TO ITEM 24. BY A LETTER DATED JUNE 13, 1957, WHICH IS IN AFFIDAVIT FORM, THE COMPANY REITERATED ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND ENCLOSED THEREWITH A BID FORM WHICH WAS USED AS A WORKSHEET AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION AND WHICH PURPORTEDLY SHOWS THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF $738 FOR ITEM 23.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE PRICES SUBMITTED BY FOURTEEN OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 24 RANGED FROM $9.18 TO $169.99. THUS, THE BID OF THE BERNS COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $737.99 WAS MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT BID ON ITEM 24, AND IS CONSIDERABLY MORE IN LINE WITH THE NINETEEN BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 23 WHICH RANGED FROM $2,000 TO $256.27. ALSO, IT IS NOTED THAT THOSE BIDDERS WHO QUOTED ON BOTH ITEMS 23 AND 24 QUOTED MANY TIMES AS MUCH FOR THE FITTINGS, ITEM 23, AS FOR THE FITTINGS, ITEM 24. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND, THEREFORE, THE BID OF THE BERNS COMPANY AS TO ITEM 24 SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY UPON RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD, AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY HAS TAKEN NO FURTHER ACTION TOWARDS COMPLETION OF THE CONTRACT, IT MAY BE RELEASED FROM ITS OBLIGATION UNDER CONTRACT NO. N224S-51602, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT AND THE ABSTRACTS OF BIDS, ARE RETURNED.