B-141340, DEC. 7, 1959

B-141340: Dec 7, 1959

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 24. BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE PRINTING OF 3. THE OTHER TWO BIDS ON THE MAPS ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $3. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE IS $3. YOU STATE THAT BECAUSE THE BID OF THE BRADFORD-ROBINSON PRINTING COMPANY ON THE MAPS WAS APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE AND $1. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID AND THAT. A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY STATED THAT IT SEEMED THAT HE MAY HAVE MADE AN ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND THAT HE WOULD SEND AN ESTIMATOR OUT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO LOOK AT THE BUREAU'S CRONAR PLATES. THAT WHEN ITS ESTIMATOR INSPECTED THE PLATES HE FOUND THAT THE MATERIAL WAS ON ACETATE SHEETS.

B-141340, DEC. 7, 1959

TO MR. W. B. WALLACE, CONTRACTING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 24, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE REFERENCE 5.20D-3, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE BRADFORD-ROBINSON PRINTING COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON OCTOBER 20, 1959.

BY INVITATION NO. 60-20, BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE PRINTING OF 3,000 COPIES OF MILK RIVER AREA MAPS AS DESCRIBED THEREIN. IN RESPONSE THE BRADFORD-ROBINSON PRINTING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED OCTOBER 19, 1959, OFFERING TO PRINT THE MAPS FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $1,790. THE OTHER TWO BIDS ON THE MAPS ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $3,750 AND $4,904, AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE IS $3,500.

YOU STATE THAT BECAUSE THE BID OF THE BRADFORD-ROBINSON PRINTING COMPANY ON THE MAPS WAS APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE AND $1,960 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOWEST BID THEREON, THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID AND THAT, IN RESPONSE TO SUCH REQUEST, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY STATED THAT IT SEEMED THAT HE MAY HAVE MADE AN ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND THAT HE WOULD SEND AN ESTIMATOR OUT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO LOOK AT THE BUREAU'S CRONAR PLATES.

AFTER THE BUREAU'S CRONAR PLATES HAD BEEN INSPECTED BY THE COMPANY'S ESTIMATOR, THE COMPANY ADVISED BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 21, 1959, THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT IT HAD MISINTERPRETED THE SPECIFICATIONS; THAT THE PART OF THE SPECIFICATIONS COVERING THE PRINTING OF THE FULL COLOR MAPS PROVIDED "REGISTERED COLOR SEPARATION PLATES FURNISHED,"WHICH, IN LITHOGRAPHIC LANGUAGE, MEANS PLATES READY TO BE PLACED ON THE PRESS FROM WHICH IT COULD PRINT; AND THAT WHEN ITS ESTIMATOR INSPECTED THE PLATES HE FOUND THAT THE MATERIAL WAS ON ACETATE SHEETS, WHICH MEANS IT WOULD HAVE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED AND PLATES MADE.

IN A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1959, THE COMPANY REQUESTED IT BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID ON THE REPRODUCTION OF THE MAPS. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ESTIMATE SHEET AND THE AFFIDAVIT OF THE ESTIMATOR WHO HAD MADE THE ALLEGED ERROR. IN HIS AFFIDAVIT THE COMPANY'S ESTIMATOR STATED THAT IN ADDITION TO MISINTERPRETING THE SPECIFICATIONS HE ALSO MADE TWO ARITHMETICAL ERRORS IN COMPUTING THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE ON THE MAPS.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID OF THE BRADFORD-ROBINSON PRINTING COMPANY WAS ERRONEOUS, AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE COMPANY MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.