B-133520, SEP. 10, 1957

B-133520: Sep 10, 1957

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 20. 11 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. WAS ACCEPTED. NOTICE OF AWARD AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 2874 WERE FORWARDED TO IT ON AUGUST 9. FIGURES WHICH ARE PRELIMINARY COSTS INVOLVED IN PREPARING THE JOB FOR PRODUCTION. 140 WAS SUBTRACTED FROM THE $2. YOU STATE THAT FROM THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE TWO ESTIMATE SHEETS IT APPEARS THAT THE ALLEGED ERROR IN BID WAS DUE TO THE OMISSION OF THE CHARGES FOR THE PLATES. THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HE NOTED THAT THE BID OF $1. WAS APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID OF $1. THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE WAS AWARE OF PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE FIRM'S BID PRICE OF $1.

B-133520, SEP. 10, 1957

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1957, FROM THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CANCEL PURCHASE ORDER NO. 2874 (JACKET NO. 432879), FORWARDED TO PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., ON AUGUST 9, 1957.

ON JULY 26, 1957, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ADVERTISED FOR PRICES ON THE PRODUCTION OF 2,500 COPIES OF A BOOK CONTAINING 592 PAGES AND COVER FOR SHIPMENT ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 20, 1957--- BIDS TO BE OPENED ON AUGUST 8. IN RESPONSE THERETO, 11 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID OF $1,054 OF PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., WAS ACCEPTED, AND NOTICE OF AWARD AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 2874 WERE FORWARDED TO IT ON AUGUST 9, 1957.

UPON RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD AND PURCHASE ORDER, ON AUGUST 12, 1957, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRM TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN QUOTING ON THE WORK TO BE DONE, AND IN LETTER DATED AUGUST 12, 1957, STATED THAT, WHEN THE FIRM BID ON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WORK, IN ORDER TO ARRIVE AT THE COST OF ADDITIONAL THOUSANDS IT DEDUCTED THE COST OF PLATES AND MAKE READIES TO SET THE PRICE FOR THE ADDITIONAL THOUSANDS AS REQUIRED ON ALL SUCH BIDS. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ASSERTION OF ERROR THE CORPORATION FORWARDED THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET AND A CORRECTED ESTIMATE SHEET TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWS A TOTAL OF ALL ITEMS TO BE $2,194. THE BIDDER HAS CIRCLED ON THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET, IN RED PENCIL TO THE RIGHT, FIGURES WHICH ARE PRELIMINARY COSTS INVOLVED IN PREPARING THE JOB FOR PRODUCTION. THE ESTIMATE INDICATES THAT THIS TOTAL OF $1,140 WAS SUBTRACTED FROM THE $2,194 TO OBTAIN A COST OF $1,054 FOR ADDITIONAL QUANTITIES. THE CORRECTED ESTIMATE SHEET ALSO SHOWS A PRICE OF $2,194 FOR 2,500 COPIES.

YOU STATE THAT FROM THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE TWO ESTIMATE SHEETS IT APPEARS THAT THE ALLEGED ERROR IN BID WAS DUE TO THE OMISSION OF THE CHARGES FOR THE PLATES, STRIPPING, AND MAKE READIES. ALSO, THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HE NOTED THAT THE BID OF $1,054 FROM PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., WAS APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID OF $1,279 AND ABOUT 30 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ESTIMATE OF $1,352.58, AND THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS. HOWEVER, HE DID NOT REQUEST THE BIDDER TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO MAKING AWARD.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, AND SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE WAS AWARE OF PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE FIRM'S BID PRICE OF $1,054 PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE AND AWARD THAT BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE CORPORATION TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT IS REPORTED THAT NO WORK HAS BEEN STARTED BY PRACTICAL OFFSET SERVICE, INC., UNDER THE PURCHASE ORDER AND NO COSTS HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT THEREUNDER, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 2874 MAY BE CANCELLED.