B-141433, DEC. 28, 1959

B-141433: Dec 28, 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 NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER (R11.2 L8) LS/MT4-15. WAS ACCEPTED ON OCTOBER 8. WAS CREDITED AGAINST THE TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE. STATED THAT IT WAS SURPRISED THAT IT HAD BEEN AWARDED ITEM NO. 84 "WHICH KNOWINGLY WE HAD NOT BID ON AS IT IS NOT OUR TYPE OF COMMODITY.'. EXPLAINING THAT A NEW EMPLOYEE WHO WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH FILLING OUT BID FORMS PLACED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE CORPORATION'S INTENDED BID ON ALL ITEMS. AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 12 OPPOSITE ITEM NO. 84 WHERE "THERE IS A STATEMENT "BID PER LOT" WHICH PROTRUDES FURTHER OUT THEN THE REST OF THE ITEMS ON THE PAGE.'. PERTAINING TO THE SALE TRANSACTION STATES THAT AT THE TIME THE AWARD WAS MADE IT SEEMED STRANGE TO HIM THAT CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION WOULD PLACE A BID ON SUCH AN ITEM (ITEM NO. 84).

B-141433, DEC. 28, 1959

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER (R11.2 L8) LS/MT4-15,), DATED DECEMBER 4, 1959, FROM THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF PURCHASING, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, CONCERNING THE MATTER OF A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED BY CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION, ASHLAND, NEW JERSEY, AFTER AWARD OF SALES CONTRACT NO. N665S-45974 TO IT BY NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT CLEAR FIELD, OGDEN, UTAH.

BY INVITATION NO. B-47-60-665, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 17, 1959, NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT CLEAR FIELD, DISPOSAL DEPARTMENT, OGDEN UTAH, SOLICITED BIDS-- TO BE OPENED OCTOBER 5, 1959--- FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CERTAIN SURPLUS MISCELLANEOUS USABLE PROPERTY LOCATED AT BUCKLEY FIELD, DENVER, COLORADO, AS LISTED IN THE INVITATION. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DATED OCTOBER 2, 1959, OFFERING TO PURCHASE A NUMBER OF THE ITEMS LISTED, INCLUDING ITEM NO. 84. ITS BID ON ITEMS NOS. 72, 79, 80, 81, AND 84, BEING THE HIGHEST, WAS ACCEPTED ON OCTOBER 8, 1959, FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $266 AND AWARD OF THE SALE OF THOSE ITEMS ISSUED ON CONTRACT NO. N665S-45974. THE CORPORATION'S BID DEPOSIT IN THE SUM OF $30.60, WHICH ACCOMPANIED ITS BID, WAS CREDITED AGAINST THE TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $235.40 DUE THE GOVERNMENT ON THE SALE.

IN A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 12, 1959, TO THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICER OF THE DEPOT, CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, BUT STATED THAT IT WAS SURPRISED THAT IT HAD BEEN AWARDED ITEM NO. 84 "WHICH KNOWINGLY WE HAD NOT BID ON AS IT IS NOT OUR TYPE OF COMMODITY.' THE CORPORATION ALLEGED AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS TO ITEM NO. 84, EXPLAINING THAT A NEW EMPLOYEE WHO WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH FILLING OUT BID FORMS PLACED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE CORPORATION'S INTENDED BID ON ALL ITEMS, $153, AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 12 OPPOSITE ITEM NO. 84 WHERE "THERE IS A STATEMENT "BID PER LOT" WHICH PROTRUDES FURTHER OUT THEN THE REST OF THE ITEMS ON THE PAGE.' THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTED THAT ITEM NO. 84 BE ELIMINATED FROM ITS BID.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN HIS STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 27, 1959, PERTAINING TO THE SALE TRANSACTION STATES THAT AT THE TIME THE AWARD WAS MADE IT SEEMED STRANGE TO HIM THAT CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION WOULD PLACE A BID ON SUCH AN ITEM (ITEM NO. 84); HOWEVER, IT WAS DECIDED THAT THIS BIDDER UNDOUBTEDLY HAD A SUFFICIENT USE FOR THE PROPERTY AND NO FURTHER QUESTION WAS RAISED. IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASER'S CONTENTION THAT THE PRICE OF $153 REPRESENTED ITS TOTAL BID ON THE SALE AND SHOULD HAVE APPEARED AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 12 INSTEAD OF IN THE PRICE COLUMN ON ITEM NO. 84, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT IT IS NOW NOTED, IN FURTHER SUBSTANTIATION OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, THAT THE AMOUNT OF $153 APPEARS ON PAGE 1 OF THE BID IN THE LINE MARKED "BID" BUT THIS WAS NOT DETECTED AT THE TIME THE AWARD WAS MADE AND, FURTHERMORE, THE DEPOSIT OF $30.60 WOULD NOT HAVE CONSTITUTED 20 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT BID INCLUDING THE PRICE OF $153 ON ITEM 84. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE URGENCY OF THE SALE, IT WAS DECIDED THAT AN AWARD WOULD BE MADE, PERMITTING THE PURCHASER TO REMIT THE FULL AMOUNT, AS IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR A BIDDER TO INCORRECTLY FIGURE THE DEPOSIT REQUIREMENT. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO STATES THAT IN REVIEWING THE FACTS OF THE CASE IT IS NOW REASONABLY CERTAIN TO HIM THAT THE PURCHASER PLACED AN ERRONEOUS BID ON ITEM NO. 84, AND HE RECOMMENDS THAT IT BE RELIEVED FROM THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE CONTRACT AS TO THAT ITEM.

FROM THE FOREGOING, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR AS TO ITEM NO. 84 IN THE BID OF CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION WAS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF ITS BID, AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCEPTED THE BID WITHOUT REQUESTING THE BIDDER TO VERIFY IT. IT IS, THEREFORE, CONCLUDED THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF ITEM NO. 84 DID NOT RESULT IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE PROPERTY IS STILL IN THE POSSESSION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT PAID FOR BY THE PURCHASER, ITEM NO. 84 MAY BE CANCELED FROM CONTRACT NO. N665S-45974 WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION TO CINE PRODUCTS SUPPLY CORPORATION.