B-141931, FEB. 15, 1960

B-141931: Feb 15, 1960

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GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4. IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE ORDER WAS ISSUED. AN AWARD IN THIS AMOUNT WAS MADE BY PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13402 TO THE PRINTING HOUSE AS THE LOW BIDDER. THE PRINTING HOUSE ADVISED THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT ITS INTENDED PRICE WAS $2. SHOULD HAVE. IF THE WORKLOAD HAD NOT BEEN SO HEAVY HE WOULD HAVE QUESTIONED THE BID PRICE BEFORE ISSUING THE PURCHASE ORDER. OUR OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO A CANCELLATION OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13402. ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

B-141931, FEB. 15, 1960

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THERE MAY BE CANCELLED GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13402, IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE ORDER WAS ISSUED.

THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE SUBMITTED A BID DATED JANUARY 14, 1960, UNDER GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE JACKET NO. 535257 OFFERING TO PRODUCE AND FURNISH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED, 100,000 COPIES OF A CERTAIN 20-PAGE PAMPHLET FOR A TOTAL CONSIDERATION OF $1,769. JANUARY 20, 1960, AN AWARD IN THIS AMOUNT WAS MADE BY PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13402 TO THE PRINTING HOUSE AS THE LOW BIDDER. BY TELEGRAM DATED JANUARY 22, 1960, THE PRINTING HOUSE ADVISED THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT ITS INTENDED PRICE WAS $2,730. BY LETTER ALSO DATED JANUARY 22, 1960, THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR OCCURRED THROUGH THE TRANSPOSITION ON THE BID FORMS OF TWO DIFFERENT ESTIMATES WHICH HAD BEEN PREPARED ON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE JACKET NO. 535314 AS WELL AS JACKET NO. 535257. THE PRINTING HOUSE REQUESTS RELIEF IN THE MATTER.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT THE BID OF $1,769 OF THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE DOES NOT REPRESENT A FAIR AND REASONABLE COMMERCIAL PRICE TO PAY FOR THE WORK COVERED BY JACKET NO. 535257. STATES FURTHER THAT THROUGH OVERSIGHT HE HAD NOT, BUT SHOULD HAVE, NOTED THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID PRIOR TO AWARD BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID OF $1,769 AND THE NEXT LOW BID OF $2,280, AND IF THE WORKLOAD HAD NOT BEEN SO HEAVY HE WOULD HAVE QUESTIONED THE BID PRICE BEFORE ISSUING THE PURCHASE ORDER.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, AND SINCE THE RECORDS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AFFIRM THE EXPLANATION OF THE NORTHWESTERN PRINTING HOUSE AS TO HOW THE ERROR OCCURRED, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO A CANCELLATION OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 13402.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE LETTER DATED JANUARY 22, 1960, FROM THE PRINTING HOUSE, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

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