B-135860, APR. 23, 1958

B-135860: Apr 23, 1958

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GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 16. THE SECOND AND THIRD LOW BIDS WERE $3.83 AND $3.84 PER M AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE WAS $4.40 PER M. IT IS STATED THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOGNIZED THAT THE BID OF CULLOM AND GHERTNER COMPANY WAS UNUSUALLY LOW. AS THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE IN THE BID ITSELF TO SUGGEST AN ERROR. THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE COMPANY AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13142 ISSUED ON APRIL 1. THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR WAS CAUSED BY THE TRANSPOSITION OF FIGURES ($4.62 TO $2.64). WAS MADE. THE OTHER BIDS AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE APPEARS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE INDICATED THE PROBABILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE BID.

B-135860, APR. 23, 1958

TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 16, 1958, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR CULLOM AND GHERTNER COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE ON ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO JACKET NO. 457649.

ON MARCH 18, 1958, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ADVERTISED FOR BIDS ON CERTAIN PRINTING SERVICES TO BE COMPLETED ON OR BEFORE APRIL 30, 1958. CULLOM AND GHERTNER COMPANY SUBMITTED THE LOW BID OF $3.14 PER M. THE SECOND AND THIRD LOW BIDS WERE $3.83 AND $3.84 PER M AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE WAS $4.40 PER M. IT IS STATED THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE EXAMINED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOGNIZED THAT THE BID OF CULLOM AND GHERTNER COMPANY WAS UNUSUALLY LOW, BUT AS THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE IN THE BID ITSELF TO SUGGEST AN ERROR, THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE COMPANY AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13142 ISSUED ON APRIL 1, 1958.

ON APRIL 4, 1958, THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR WAS CAUSED BY THE TRANSPOSITION OF FIGURES ($4.62 TO $2.64), RESULTING IN AN ERRONEOUS UNIT PRICE OF $3.14 INSTEAD OF $5.17. BY LETTER OF APRIL 4, 1958, THE COMPANY RETURNED THE PURCHASE ORDER TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND REQUESTED THAT IT BE DECLARED IN DEFAULT. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THEN DECLARED THE COMPANY IN DEFAULT AND ISSUED A NEW PURCHASE ORDER TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER. BY LETTER OF APRIL 7, 1958, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWING HOW THE ERROR OCCURRED, AND AN ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWING THE CORRECTED BID PRICE.

THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD INDICATES THAT AN ERROR, IN FACT, WAS MADE, AND SINCE THE VERY WIDE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONTRACTOR'S BID, THE OTHER BIDS AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE APPEARS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE INDICATED THE PROBABILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE BID, IT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, CULLOM AND GHERTNER COMPANY SHOULD NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY EXCESS COST.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTERS OF APRIL 4 AND 7, 1958, AND THE TWO ESTIMATE SHEETS, ARE RETURNED.