B-133523, AUG. 29, 1957

B-133523: Aug 29, 1957

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 20. ONLY THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THIS INVITATION. YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HE NOTED THAT THE BID FROM MAILING MACHINES. 12 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE MULTIPLYING THE TOTAL UNITS IN EACH ITEM BY THE BIDDER'S QUOTED UNIT PRICE RESULTED IN A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $3. THIS AMOUNT WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE ACTUAL VALUE OF THE MATERIAL BEING SOLD. PREVIOUSLY HAD PURCHASED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SIX PRESSES ON WHICH THESE ROLLERS WERE USED FOR A TOTAL OF $2. 12 WERE FOR THE ENTIRE LOT IN EACH ITEM. THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE A MISTAKE IN ENTERING ITS PRICE QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS NOS. 10.

B-133523, AUG. 29, 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 THE BID DATED JULY 1, 1957, FROM MAILING MACHINES, INC., 3030 LAWTON BOULEVARD, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, ON ITEMS NOS. 10, 11, AND 12 MAY BE DISREGARDED BECAUSE OF ALLEGED ERRORS THEREIN.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ON JUNE 25, 1957, ADVERTISED 12 ITEMS OF SURPLUS PARTS, NUMBERING MACHINES, AND ROLLERS FOR POTTER ROTARY PRESSES AND HARRIS PRESSES FOR SALE--- BIDS TO BE OPENED ON JULY 17, 1957. THE INVITATION REQUESTED THAT BID QUOTATIONS BE SUBMITTED ON ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 4 BY "LOT" AND ON ITEMS NOS. 5 THROUGH 12 FOR ONE OR MORE UNITS ON AN "EACH" BASIS, THE QUOTATION TO STIPULATE THE QUANTITY COVERED BY THE BID. ONLY THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THIS INVITATION. CROMWELL PRINTING, INC., QUOTED ON ITEMS NOS. 5 AND 6. BEN EINSTEIN QUOTED A PRICE OF $51 FOR THE ENTIRE LOT OF 12 ITEMS. MAILING MACHINES, INC., SUBMITTED A BID ON ITEMS NUMBERED 1 THROUGH 12, QUOTING A PRICE OF "$35.00 EACH" ON ITEM NO. 10 CONSISTING OF 72 ROLLERS; "$7.50 EACH" ON ITEM NO. 11 FOR 11 ROLLERS; AND "$35.00 EACH" ON ITEM NO. 12 FOR 14 ROLLERS.

YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND EXAMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HE NOTED THAT THE BID FROM MAILING MACHINES, INC., AS TO ITEMS NOS. 10, 11, AND 12 WAS PROBABLY IN ERROR BECAUSE MULTIPLYING THE TOTAL UNITS IN EACH ITEM BY THE BIDDER'S QUOTED UNIT PRICE RESULTED IN A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $3,092.50 FOR THE ROLLERS BEING SOLD UNDER THESE ITEMS. THIS AMOUNT WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE ACTUAL VALUE OF THE MATERIAL BEING SOLD. ALSO, SINCE MAILING MACHINES, INC., PREVIOUSLY HAD PURCHASED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SIX PRESSES ON WHICH THESE ROLLERS WERE USED FOR A TOTAL OF $2,725, IT APPEARED UNLIKELY THAT THIS DEALER WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR THE EXTRA ROLLERS THAN IT HAD PAID FOR THE SIX PRESSES. IN LETTER DATED JULY 31, 1957, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED MAILING MACHINES, INC., TO CONFIRM ITS QUOTATION OF $35 EACH FOR A QUANTITY OF 86 ROLLERS-- ITEMS NOS. 10 AND 12.

IN REPLY BY LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1957, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THE BIDDER CONFIRMED THAT ERRORS HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID AND ADVISED THAT ITS QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS NOS. 10, 11, AND 12 WERE FOR THE ENTIRE LOT IN EACH ITEM. THIS WOULD AMOUNT TO A PRICE OF$77.50 FOR ALL THE ROLLERS INCLUDED IN THE THREE ITEMS.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE A MISTAKE IN ENTERING ITS PRICE QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS NOS. 10, 11, AND 12 ON A UNIT BASIS RATHER THAN ON A LOT BASIS, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IMMEDIATELY UPON EXAMINATION OF BIDS HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE BID OF MAILING MACHINES, INC., MIGHT BE ERRONEOUS AS TO THESE ITEMS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THEIR BID MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARDS ON ITEMS NOS. 10, 11, AND 12.