B-141754, FEB. 4, 1960

B-141754: Feb 4, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20. WHEN THE EIGHT BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON DECEMBER 23. VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION WAS FOUND TO HAVE SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID. THE NEXT LOWEST BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $181. VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID. REQUIRED FOR THE WORK HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THEIR COST ESTIMATE AND THE PRICE WHICH HAD BEEN INCLUDED THEREIN TO COVER THE PAPER WAS THAT FOR NON-RAG PAPER INSTEAD OF A 25 PERCENT RAG. THE VICE PRESIDENT STATED THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $231. THE CONTRACTOR'S VICE PRESIDENT STATED THAT $135 SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE TO COVER THE "STOCK.

B-141754, FEB. 4, 1960

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1960, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PURCHASE ORDER NO. 12011, DATED DECEMBER 30, 1959, ISSUED TO VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION, YORKVILLE, NEW YORK, FOR FURNISHING 10,000 COPIES OF A 4-PAGE FOLDER DESCRIBED IN FHA PRINTING AND BINDING REQUISITION NO. 307-60 (JACKET 534043) TO THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR THE PRICE OF $121, MAY BE CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED.

IT APPEARS THAT YOUR AGENCY PLACED THE REQUISITION ON DISPLAY IN ITS RECEPTION ROOM IN ORDER TO OBTAIN BIDS FOR FURNISHING THE SUPPLIES, THE ITEM BEING DESCRIBED THEREIN AS A 4-PAGE FOLDER, TRIM SIZE 8 1/2 BY 28 INCHES FOLDED TO 8 1/2 BY 14 INCHES, TO BE PRINTED ON 25 PERCENT RAG LEDGER, SUBSTANCE 48. WHEN THE EIGHT BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON DECEMBER 23, 1959, VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION WAS FOUND TO HAVE SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID, IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $121. THE NEXT LOWEST BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $181, AND THE REMAINDER THEREOF RANGED FROM $213.40 TO $362.

BY THE PURCHASE ORDER REFERRED TO ABOVE, VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID. HOWEVER, YOU STATE THAT ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 6, 1960, THE CONTRACTOR'S VICE PRESIDENT CALLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON THE TELEPHONE AND ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE BID IN THAT ONLY ONE-HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF PAPER, OR STOCK, REQUIRED FOR THE WORK HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THEIR COST ESTIMATE AND THE PRICE WHICH HAD BEEN INCLUDED THEREIN TO COVER THE PAPER WAS THAT FOR NON-RAG PAPER INSTEAD OF A 25 PERCENT RAG, AS REQUIRED BY THE REQUISITION. THE VICE PRESIDENT STATED THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $231, RATHER THAN $121. IN A LETTER DATED JANUARY 11, 1960, REQUESTING THAT IT BE ALLOWED TO "WITHDRAW" FROM PRODUCING THE ORDER, THE CONTRACTOR'S VICE PRESIDENT STATED THAT $135 SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE TO COVER THE "STOCK," WHEREAS THE AMOUNT OF $47.70 HAD ACTUALLY BEEN INCLUDED THEREIN TO COVER THIS ITEM, AS INDICATED BY THE WORKSHEET ATTACHED TO THE LETTER. THE VICE PRESIDENT STATED THAT CORRESPONDINGLY,"THE IMPRESSIONS WERE FIGURED AT ONE-HALF THE REQUIRED RUN," AND THAT THE BID PRICE, THEREFORE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN $231.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE:

"THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY WORKLOAD AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE OPENED, HE FAILED TO NOTICE THAT THE BID FROM VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION WAS POSSIBLY IN ERROR; THEREFORE, MADE AWARD TO THIS FIRM AS THE LOW BIDDER. * * *.

"THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT UPON FURTHER EXAMINATION OF THE BIDS, HE FINDS THAT THE BID OF $121.00 FROM VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION APPEARS TO BE IN ERROR AS THIS PRICE IS NOT A FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE TO PAY FOR 10,000 COPIES OF THE 4-PAGE FOLDERS AS DESCRIBED IN THE DEPARTMENT'S REQUISITION, AND HAS STATED FURTHER THAT THE COMMERCIAL COST OF THE PAPER REQUIRED TO PRINT THIS JOB COULD POSSIBLY COST THIS FIRM $135.00 AS EXPLAINED IN HIS LETTER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FEELS THAT HE SHOULD HAVE NOTED THE ERROR BEFORE AWARDING THE CONTRACT FOR THE WORK; ALSO, THAT HE SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED THE BIDDER TO REVIEW THE INFORMATION TAKEN FROM THE DEPARTMENT'S REQUISITION AND CONFIRM HIS BID PRICE ON THIS JOB.

"BECAUSE OF THE STATEMENTS MADE BY OUR CONTRACTING OFFICER, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THIS OFFICE BE AUTHORIZED TO CANCEL THE ORDER WHICH WAS PLACED WITH VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION FOR THE 10,000 FOLDERS. * * *.'

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, VICKS LITHOGRAPH AND PRINTING CORPORATION MAY BE CONSIDERED FREE OF ANY RESPONSIBILITY TO FURNISH THE SUPPLIES INVOLVED.

THE ENCLOSURES TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LETTER OF JANUARY 11, 1960, AND ATTACHED WORKSHEET, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.