B-140209, AUG. 27, 1959

B-140209: Aug 27, 1959

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INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 28-HS-59-7 WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 12. WAS SUBMITTED BY HAMMER. AWARD FOR THAT ITEM AND ANOTHER WAS MADE TO HAMMER ON DECEMBER 12. WHEN DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR UNDER THE CONTRACT WAS RECEIVED. IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE PHOTOMULTIPLIER TUBE HAD NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT. COMMUNICATION ON THE MATTER WITH THE CONTRACTOR REVEALED THAT THE BID ON ITEM NO. 3 HAD BEEN SUBMITTED AS THOUGH ONLY THE PREAMPLIFIER WAS CALLED FOR. THE CONTRACTOR CONCEDED THAT WHILE THE ERROR HAD BEEN CAUSED BY ITS OWN OVERSIGHT THE REQUIREMENT WAS UNUSUAL IN THAT THE PREAMPLIFIER AND TUBE ARE USUALLY SOLD SEPARATELY. ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS.

B-140209, AUG. 27, 1959

TO HONORABLE JOHN A. MCCONE, CHAIRMAN, ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION:

WE REFER TO A LETTER OF JULY 13, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, SIGNED BY THE ACTING GENERAL MANAGER, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER CONTRACT NO. AT-/28-1/-35 WITH THE HAMMER ELECTRONICS CO., INC., OF PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, MAY BE MODIFIED TO INCREASE THE PRICE.

INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 28-HS-59-7 WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 12, 1958, BY THE NEW BRUNSWICK AREA OFFICE. ITEM NO. 3 OF THE INVITATION CALLED FOR ONE EACH:

"PHOTOMULTIPLIER PREAMPLIFIER FOR USE WITH AND INCLUDING RCA NO. 6810 PHOTOMULTIPLIER TUBE.'

THE ONLY RESPONSIVE BID FOR THE ITEM, IN THE AMOUNT OF $163, WAS SUBMITTED BY HAMMER. AWARD FOR THAT ITEM AND ANOTHER WAS MADE TO HAMMER ON DECEMBER 12, 1958. ON MARCH 5, 1959, WHEN DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR UNDER THE CONTRACT WAS RECEIVED, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE PHOTOMULTIPLIER TUBE HAD NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT. COMMUNICATION ON THE MATTER WITH THE CONTRACTOR REVEALED THAT THE BID ON ITEM NO. 3 HAD BEEN SUBMITTED AS THOUGH ONLY THE PREAMPLIFIER WAS CALLED FOR. THE CONTRACTOR CONCEDED THAT WHILE THE ERROR HAD BEEN CAUSED BY ITS OWN OVERSIGHT THE REQUIREMENT WAS UNUSUAL IN THAT THE PREAMPLIFIER AND TUBE ARE USUALLY SOLD SEPARATELY. NEVERTHELESS, THE CONTRACTOR SUPPLIED THE TUBE UNDER THE CONTRACT TERMS AND HAS NOT REQUESTED AN INCREASE IN THE CONTRACT PRICE BY $275, ITS COST FOR THE TUBE.

ORDINARILY, WHERE, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 560; 26 COMP. GEN. 415. HOWEVER, THE USUAL PRICE ($275) CHARGED BY THE SOLE MANUFACTURER OF THE TUBE IS CONSIDERABLY IN EXCESS OF THE PRICE BID BY THE CONTRACTOR FOR BOTH PREAMPLIFIER AND TUBE. IT APPEARS, THEREFORE, THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTOR IN COMPUTING ITS BID. TO COMPEL PERFORMANCE ON THE BASIS OF THE BID PRICE, THEREFORE, WOULD BE INEQUITABLE. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE DELIVERY HAS BEEN MADE, AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT TO COVER THE VALUE OF THE TUBE IN THE AMOUNT OF $275 IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO THE CONTRACTOR.

THE VOUCHER COVERING THE ADDITIONAL PAYMENT SHOULD CONTAIN A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION.