B-140405, SEP. 15, 1959

B-140405: Sep 15, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 3. BECAUSE OF AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. WAS ACCEPTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. UPON RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF AWARD THE BIDDER ADVISED THE PROCURING AGENCY THAT AN ERROR WAS COMMITTED IN THE PREPARATION OF ITS BID. IT IS ALLEGED THAT DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE FIGURES OF THE INVITATION WERE AMENDED AND INDISTINCT THE QUOTATION FOR THE MATERIAL WAS COMPUTED ON .003 INCH THICKNESS. AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD CASTS SOME DOUBT AS TO THE CONTRACTOR'S ALLEGATION THAT THE FIGURES REFERRED TO WERE ILLEGIBLE SINCE THE SIGNED BID FORM SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY AND INCLUDED WITH THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED TO US DISCLOSES THAT THE FIGURES ON BOTH ITEMS OF THE INVITATION ARE DISTINCTLY CLEAR AND LEGIBLE.

B-140405, SEP. 15, 1959

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1959, AND ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), TRANSMITTING FOR OUR DECISION THE REQUEST OF GILBERT PLASTICS AND SUPPLY COMPANY, FOR RELIEF IN THE NATURE OF A REFORMATION OF CONTRACT NO. DA-49-018-ENG 2062, BECAUSE OF AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. ENG-49-018-59-57.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT IN RESPONSE TO THE SAID INVITATION THE CONTRACTOR OFFERED TO FURNISH 121 ROLLS OF ACETATE PLASTICS OF .005 INCH THICKNESS, AT A UNIT PRICE OF $32.75, LESS A PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OF 1/4 OF ONE PERCENT. THE BID, BEING THE LOWEST PROPOSAL RECEIVED, WAS ACCEPTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND UPON RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF AWARD THE BIDDER ADVISED THE PROCURING AGENCY THAT AN ERROR WAS COMMITTED IN THE PREPARATION OF ITS BID. IT IS ALLEGED THAT DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE FIGURES OF THE INVITATION WERE AMENDED AND INDISTINCT THE QUOTATION FOR THE MATERIAL WAS COMPUTED ON .003 INCH THICKNESS.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD CASTS SOME DOUBT AS TO THE CONTRACTOR'S ALLEGATION THAT THE FIGURES REFERRED TO WERE ILLEGIBLE SINCE THE SIGNED BID FORM SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY AND INCLUDED WITH THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED TO US DISCLOSES THAT THE FIGURES ON BOTH ITEMS OF THE INVITATION ARE DISTINCTLY CLEAR AND LEGIBLE. ALSO, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT ALL OF THE BID COPIES SUBMITTED BY THE CONTRACTOR WERE CLEAR.

HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED. AN EXAMINATION OF THE BIDS RECEIVED DISCLOSES THAT WHILE THERE IS LESS THAN $0.03 PER FEET DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SECOND LOW BIDDER AND THE THIRTEENTH LOW BIDDER ($0.09898 TO $0.1176 GROSS), THE LOW BIDDER QUOTED A GROSS PRICE OF $0.0655 PER FEET, WHICH AMOUNT APPEARS TO BE MATERIALLY OUT OF LINE WHEN COMPARED WITH A MAJORITY OF THE OTHER BIDS. MORE SALIENT INDICATION THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE ON ITEM NO. 2 IS THE FACT THAT ALL OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED A GREATER AMOUNT FOR ITEM NO. 2 THAN WAS QUOTED ON ITEM NO. 1, WHEREAS THE CONTRACTOR HERE QUOTED SUBSTANTIALLY LESS FOR ITEM NO. 2 THAN FOR ITEM NO. 1 ($32.75 AS TO $40.30 PER 500 FOOT ROLL), NOTWITHSTANDING THE INVITATION CALLED FOR A THICKNESS OF .005 INCHES AS COMPARED TO .003 INCHES REQUIRED UNDER ITEM NO. 1. WE FEEL THAT THE MATERIAL DIFFERENCES OUTLINED ABOVE SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE SUBJECT OF AN INQUIRY BEFORE AWARD, AND THAT THOSE FACTS ARE SUFFICIENT TO CHARGE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH CONSTRUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE OF ERROR IN THE BID.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT MAY BE CORRECTED TO REFLECT A PRICE NOT TO EXCEED THE NET AMOUNT QUOTED ON THE LOWEST CORRECT BID RECEIVED ON ITEM NO. 2. A COPY OF THIS DECISION SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR THE MATERIAL INVOLVED.