B-134605, FEB. 3, 1958

B-134605: Feb 3, 1958

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25. FOLLOWING THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID THE MANAGER OF THE SEATTLE OFFICE REQUESTED THAT IT BE WITHDRAWN BUT WAS ADVISED TO PROCEED WITH THE WORK. THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR FIRM WAS EXERCISING ITS CONTRACTUAL RIGHT OF GIVING 30-DAY NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF THE AGREEMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE ORIGINAL BID WAS BASED ON THE USE OF A STUFFING AND SEALING MACHINE WHICH LATER PROVED INCAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE OPERATIONS REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT WITHOUT SEVERE LOSS TO YOUR COMPANY. YOUR SEATTLE OFFICE WAS ADVISED BY THE PROCURING AGENCY THAT TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT WOULD BE EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 19. THAT A NUMBER OF THE ENVELOPES WERE IN A SEALED STATE CAUSING ADDITIONAL MAN-HOURS TO BE SPENT IN CHECKING THE CARTONS OF ENVELOPES.

B-134605, FEB. 3, 1958

TO MANPOWER, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1957, FROM THE MANAGER OF YOUR SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, OFFICE, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SO MUCH OF SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 25, 1957, AS DISALLOWED $152.05 OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $214.46, THE FORMER AMOUNT BEING BASED ON AN ALLEGED ERROR IN BID AND ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED IN THE PARTIAL PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT NO. TIR- SF-248, DATED AUGUST 17, 1956, COVERING THE SERVICES REQUIRED TO FOLD, STUFF, SEAL, AND MAIL VARIOUS ITEMS OF TAX FORMS DESCRIBED THEREIN.

FOLLOWING THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID THE MANAGER OF THE SEATTLE OFFICE REQUESTED THAT IT BE WITHDRAWN BUT WAS ADVISED TO PROCEED WITH THE WORK. ON AUGUST 20, 1956, THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR FIRM WAS EXERCISING ITS CONTRACTUAL RIGHT OF GIVING 30-DAY NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF THE AGREEMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE ORIGINAL BID WAS BASED ON THE USE OF A STUFFING AND SEALING MACHINE WHICH LATER PROVED INCAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE OPERATIONS REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT WITHOUT SEVERE LOSS TO YOUR COMPANY. ON AUGUST 22, 1956, YOUR SEATTLE OFFICE WAS ADVISED BY THE PROCURING AGENCY THAT TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT WOULD BE EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 19, 1956. IN THE MEANTIME, YOUR BRANCH MANAGER HAD BEEN ADVISED TO MEET THE CURRENT REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT (ITEMS 1 AND 2).

BY LETTERS OF AUGUST 22 AND 25, 1956, THE BRANCH MANAGER REQUESTED ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR FURNISHING ITEMS 1 AND 2, ALLEGING, INSOFAR AS HERE PERTINENT, THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE AS TO ITEM 1; THAT HE HADNOT BEEN GIVEN TEN DAYS' NOTICE IN WRITING TO PICK UP THE REQUIRED FORMS OR TEN DAYS IN WHICH TO MAIL THE MATERIAL AS REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT; AND THAT A NUMBER OF THE ENVELOPES WERE IN A SEALED STATE CAUSING ADDITIONAL MAN-HOURS TO BE SPENT IN CHECKING THE CARTONS OF ENVELOPES.

THE WORK COVERED BY ITEMS 1 AND 2 OF THE CONTRACT WAS PERFORMED BY YOUR BRANCH OFFICE AND YOUR INVOICE IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $243.46 (SUBSEQUENTLY REDUCED BY $29) WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. BY THE REFERRED-TO SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 25, 1957, PAYMENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR ITEMS 1 AND 2 WAS AUTHORIZED AND YOUR CLAIM FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASONS STATED THEREIN.

IN THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1957, THE SEATTLE BRANCH MANAGER STATES:

"IN YOUR REVIEW OF MANPOWER'S CLAIM, YOU FAILED TO MENTION THAT CONSIDERATION HAD BEEN GIVEN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

"1. THIS OFFICE OF MANPOWER, INC. WAS NOT GIVEN THE 10-DAYS' NOTICE AS SPECIFIED IN THE BID SHEET, NOR WERE WE GIVEN THE FULL 10 DAYS IN WHICH TO PERFORM THE WORK REQUIRED AS SPECIFIED IN THE BID SHEET.

"2. THIS OFFICE OF MANPOWER, INC. FOUND IT NECESSARY TO UNSEAL A NUMBER OF THE ENVELOPES WHICH WERE IN A SEALED STATE UPON OUR RECEIVING THEM FROM INTERNAL REVENUE'S TACOMA'S OFFICE.

"3. AT THE TIME WE WERE NOTIFIED BY INTERNAL REVENUE'S SEATTLE OFFICE THAT WE WERE TO PERFORM THIS WORK, THEIR REPRESENTATIVES REMARKED THAT OUR BID WAS RIDICULOUSLY LOW. IN FACT, BOTH THE SEATTLE AND TACOMA REPRESENTATIVES WITH WHOM WE DISCUSSED THIS WORK AGREED THAT OUR BID WAS AS STATED IN THEIR WORDS,"RIDICULOUSLY LOW.'

"4. PRIOR TO, AND SUBSEQUENT TO, OUR PERFORMING THIS WORK, THE COSTS HAD BEEN GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT OF $214.46 WHICH WE CLAIM TO BE OUR COSTS AND ASK AS COMPENSATION.'

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PROCURING AGENCY, DUE TO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, DEVIATED FROM THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT BY REQUESTING THE WORK TO COMMENCE WITHOUT THE TEN-DAY PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE REQUIRED BY THE AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, WE FEEL THAT THE BRANCH MANAGER WAIVED THIS REQUIREMENT BY OFFERING NO PROTEST AT THE TIME OF VERBAL NOTIFICATION AND PROCEEDING TO THE COMPLETION OF THE WORK ON AUGUST 27, 1956. IN THIS REGARD, IT IS NOTED THAT THE EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION CHARGE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE FAILURE TO GIVE THE TEN-DAY WRITTEN NOTICE WAS, AT YOUR REQUEST, DELETED FROM YOUR INVOICE.

WITH REGARD TO THE SEALED ENVELOPES WHICH ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY YOUR BRANCH OFFICE, THERE APPEARS NO JUSTIFIABLE BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF ANY COSTS OCCASIONED THEREBY IN VIEW OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE:

"IN THE PAST WHEN SIMILAR STUFFING OPERATIONS WERE PERFORMED BY THE PERSONNEL OF THIS DISTRICT'S COLLECTION DIVISION, THEY ADVISE THEY HAVE NEVER FOUND THAT ENVELOPES HAVE BEEN IN A ,SEALED" STATE WHICH REQUIRED EXTRA MANHOURS TO UNSEAL THEM PRIOR TO STUFFING OPERATIONS. TO THE BEST KNOWLEDGE OF THIS OFFICE AND OPERATING PERSONNEL PREVIOUSLY INVOLVED IN STUFFING OPERATIONS A MAXIMUM OF 10 OR 15 ENVELOPES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED WHEREIN SOME OF THE GLUE ON THE FLAP OF THE ENVELOPE MAY HAVE BECOME DAMP WHICH RESULTED IN THE FLAP BEING PARTIALLY STUCK TO THE ENVELOPE. IN NO INSTANCE HAVE WE EXPERIENCED HAVING TO COMPLETELY "UNSEAL" AN ENVELOPE. IT IS BEYOND THE COMPREHENSION OF THE COLLECTION DIVISION THAT 3,000 ENVELOPES WERE IN A "SEALED" STATE.

"THE CONTRACTOR, HAD HE CAREFULLY EVALUATED THE SITUATION AND IN ORDER TO CONSERVE HIS MANPOWER AND TIME SHOULD HAVE CONTACTED THIS OFFICE FOR A REPLACEMENT SHIPMENT OF THE ENVELOPES. HAD WE KNOWN OF THIS DIFFICULTY EVERY EFFORT WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO FURNISH HIM WITH "UNSEALED" ENVELOPES WITH A MINIMUM OF DELAY.'

AS TO THE STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE THAT THE BID OF MANPOWER, INC., SEATTLE, WAS "RIDICULOUSLY LOW," THE RECORD DOES NOT DISCLOSE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHARED THAT VIEW. TO THE CONTRARY, AS POINTED OUT IN THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 25, 1957, IT IS REPORTED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED THAT SINCE THE SEATTLE OFFICE IS A BRANCH OF A LARGE CORPORATION WITH OFFICES IN MANY LOCATIONS ON THE WEST COAST, HE DEEMED THAT THE BID AS SUBMITTED WAS ACCURATE. HOWEVER THAT MAY BE, THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FIVE OTHER BIDS RANGING FROM $3.95 TO $9.08 ON ITEM 1 WERE RECEIVED. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $0.91 AND THE OTHER BIDS, WE NOW FEEL THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN YOUR BID AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED YOU TO VERIFY YOUR BID BEFORE THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF. ACCORDINGLY, INSTRUCTIONS ARE BEING ISSUED TODAY TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE TO ALLOW IN FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $59.15 FOR ITEM 1 WHICH REPRESENTS THE COST OF WORK ON 65,000 ADDITIONAL FORMS AS ORIGINALLY CLAIMED.

THERE HAS NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED THE CLAIM IN THE SAME AMOUNT ($59.15) FOR STUFFING, SEALING AND MAILING 65,000 FORM 1124B CARBONS. OBVIOUSLY, NO MISTAKE COULD HAVE BEEN MADE AS TO CARBONS, WHICH ARE NOT FORMS AND WERE PURPOSELY RETAINED IN THE ASSEMBLIES SO AS TO PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF ERRORS IN STUFFING MORE THAN THE TWO PRE ADDRESSED FORMS PER ENVELOPE. HAD THE BRANCH MANAGER QUESTIONED THE NEED OF REMOVAL OF THE CARBONS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ADVISED ACCORDINGLY.

OUR OFFICE DOES NOT QUESTION THE STATEMENT THAT THE COSTS OF PERFORMING THE WORK WERE GREATER THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT CLAIMED BUT WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR ALLOWING ANY AMOUNT IN ADDITION TO THAT ALREADY PAID AND THAT AUTHORIZED HEREINABOVE.