B-135714, APR. 28, 1958

B-135714: Apr 28, 1958

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 31. IS BASED. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO ENTER THEIR BID PRICES ON THE SUMMARY BID SHEET INSTEAD OF OPPOSITE THE DESCRIPTION OF EACH ITEM. ALL OF WHICH WERE TO BE FILLED IN BY THE BIDDER. ITEM 186 OF THE INVITATION WAS DESCRIBED AS "INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING. ALL QUANTITIES ARE APPROXIMATE.'. THE COMPANY'S BID WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 187 ON JUNE 6. - WHICH APPARENTLY WERE NOT SHIPPED UNTIL AFTER SEVERAL EXCHANGES OF LETTERS IN WHICH THE BIDDER UNSUCCESSFULLY ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN A CLEAR STATEMENT OF WHAT HE HAD BEEN AWARDED. STATING ITS BID WAS INTENDED FOR THE ITEM DESCRIBED AS . THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEMS 187 WERE $3.51 AND $3.88.

B-135714, APR. 28, 1958

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 31, 1958, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (MATERIAL), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR AN-EV TRADING COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. 13, DATED JUNE 6, 1957, IS BASED.

BY INVITATION NO. B-9-57 THE REDISTRIBUTION AND DISPOSAL BRANCH, MARINE CORPS SUPPLY FORWARDING ANNEX, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTED BIDS-- - TO BE OPENED JUNE 4, 1957--- FOR THE PURCHASE OF MISCELLANEOUS USABLE MATERIAL DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 1 TO 190, INCLUSIVELY. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO ENTER THEIR BID PRICES ON THE SUMMARY BID SHEET INSTEAD OF OPPOSITE THE DESCRIPTION OF EACH ITEM. THE SUMMARY SHEET CONTAINS FOUR COLUMNS TITLED: (1) ITEM NO., (2) DESCRIPTION, (3) PRICE BID PER UNIT, AND (4) TOTAL PRICE BID, ALL OF WHICH WERE TO BE FILLED IN BY THE BIDDER. ITEM 186 OF THE INVITATION WAS DESCRIBED AS "INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING; CONSISTING OF: SHOES, SERVICE, ASSORTED SIZES, QTY 97 PR; TROUSERS, MENS (WINTER), GREEN, ASSORTED SIZES, QTY 59 EA; TROUSERS, MEN'S (SUMMER) KHAKI, ASSORTED SIZES, QTY 75 EA; AND TROUSERS, MEN'S (WINTER) GREEN, QTY 1 PR. ALL QUANTITIES ARE APPROXIMATE.' ITEM 187 COVERED APPROXIMATELY 48 WOMEN'S GREEN SERVICES CAPS.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, AN-EV TRADING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH, ON THE SUMMARY SHEET IT INSERTED 187 AS THE ITEM NUMBER, "IND. CLOTHING" AS THE DESCRIPTION, AND $118.57 AS THE AMOUNT BID. THE COMPANY'S BID WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 187 ON JUNE 6, 1957. UPON RECEIPT OF THE CAPS--- WHICH APPARENTLY WERE NOT SHIPPED UNTIL AFTER SEVERAL EXCHANGES OF LETTERS IN WHICH THE BIDDER UNSUCCESSFULLY ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN A CLEAR STATEMENT OF WHAT HE HAD BEEN AWARDED--- THE COMPANY ALLEGED AN ERROR IN ITS BID, STATING ITS BID WAS INTENDED FOR THE ITEM DESCRIBED AS ,INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING," AND REQUESTED REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF $118.57 PLUS THE SUM OF $15.88 PAID FOR SHIPPING CHARGES.

THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEMS 187 WERE $3.51 AND $3.88. THE SUMMARY BID SHEET ON ITS FACE WAS AMBIGUOUS AND IN VIEW OF THE VERY WIDE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONTRACTOR'S BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 187, WE BELIEVE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED THE COMPANY TO CLEAR UP THE AMBIGUITY IN ITS BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE, AND THAT THE ATTEMPTED ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WAS INEFFECTIVE.

UPON RETURN OF THE CAPS, AT THE COST OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE PURCHASE PRICE OF $118.57 MAY BE REFUNDED THE CONTRACTOR. HOWEVER, SINCE PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE GENERAL SALE TERMS AND CONDITIONS MADE A PART OF THE CONTRACT, LIMITS THE GOVERNMENT'S LIABILITY TO THE REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE, THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE FREIGHT CHARGES CLAIMED.