B-143593, JUL. 29, 1960

B-143593: Jul 29, 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 DATED JULY 25. TO MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY MAY BE CANCELED BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID ON WHICH AN AWARD AND THE PURCHASE ORDER WERE BASED. RESPONSE TO THE ADVERTISEMENT SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED. 747 AWARD WAS MADE ON JULY 15. 015 WAS ISSUED AND MAILED ON THE SAME DAY. THE OFFICIAL NOTICE OF AWARD WAS RECEIVED BY MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY ON FRIDAY. THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS RECEIVED ON MONDAY. WHEREAS THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDE THAT ONLY THE CARBON BETWEEN PARTS 1 AND 2 ARE TO BE 8 3/4 INCHES SHORT AND THE BALANCE (5 CARBONS) ARE TO BE ONLY 1/2 INCH SHORT. IT WAS FORWARDED TO THEIR FACTORY IN CHICAGO.

B-143593, JUL. 29, 1960

TO PUBLIC PRINTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 25, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1527 ISSUED JULY 15, 1960, TO MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY MAY BE CANCELED BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID ON WHICH AN AWARD AND THE PURCHASE ORDER WERE BASED.

ON JUNE 29, 1960, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ADVERTISED FOR PRICES ON 300,000 (PLUS OR MINUS 25,000) CARBON INTERLEAVED SETS, 7 PARTS, 8 1/2 BY 14 INCHES, ALL MATERIALS AND SERVICES TO BE FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTOR AND COMPLETE SHIPMENT TO BE MADE ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 6, 1960. RESPONSE TO THE ADVERTISEMENT SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

BIDDER BID PRICE

MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY $ 6,015

NATIONAL LITHO FORMS CO. 7,680

MOORE BUSINESS FORMS, INC. 7,947

WESLEY-HODGES BUSINESS FORMS 9,330

ARTHUR J. GARVRIN PRESS 10,278

M. G. LEWIS PRINTING CO. 12,570

ALFRED ALLEN WATTS COMPANY, INC. 18,747

AWARD WAS MADE ON JULY 15, 1960, TO MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY AS THE LOW BIDDER AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1527 COVERING 300,000 SETS AT A COST OF $6,015 WAS ISSUED AND MAILED ON THE SAME DAY. THE OFFICIAL NOTICE OF AWARD WAS RECEIVED BY MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY ON FRIDAY, JULY 15, AND THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS RECEIVED ON MONDAY, JULY 18. THEREAFTER, ON JULY 18, MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE THAT AN ERROR OF $2,600 HAD BEEN MADE IN THEIR BID ON THIS JOB, EXPLAINING THAT IN PREPARING THEIR BID ESTIMATE THEY HAD MISTAKENLY FIGURED ALL OF THE CARBON SHEETS TO BE 8 3/4 INCHES SHORT, WHEREAS THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDE THAT ONLY THE CARBON BETWEEN PARTS 1 AND 2 ARE TO BE 8 3/4 INCHES SHORT AND THE BALANCE (5 CARBONS) ARE TO BE ONLY 1/2 INCH SHORT. IN A LETTER DATED JULY 21, 1960, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THOS. W. MCGREGOR, PRESIDENT, CONFIRMED HIS COMPANY'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR IN THEIR BID AND THE EXPLANATION AS TO HOW IT OCCURRED. HE STATED THAT IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT OF THE OFFICIAL NOTICE OF AWARD ON FRIDAY, JULY 15, IT WAS FORWARDED TO THEIR FACTORY IN CHICAGO, WHERE THE ERROR WAS PROMPTLY DISCOVERED. IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, THE COMPANY'S ESTIMATE SHEET WAS FORWARDED WITH THE JULY 21 LETTER. THE ESTIMATE SHEET SUBSTANTIATES THE ERROR, AS ALLEGED, SINCE IT SHOWS THAT ONLY $199 WAS INCLUDED AS THE COST OF CARBON ON THIS JOB, AND SINCE FIVE OF THE CARBONS REQUIRED ARE 8 1/2 BY 13 1/2 INCHES THIS AMOUNT IS OBVIOUSLY INCORRECT.

YOU STATE THAT YOUR CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT THE COMPANY'S QUOTED PRICE OF $6,015 IS NOT A FAIR PRICE TO PAY FOR THE CARBON INTERLEAVED FORMS AS DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THAT HE, THEREFORE, SHOULD HAVE NOTED THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID OF MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY BEFORE MAKING AN AWARD, BUT BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY WORKLOAD AT THE TIME BIDS WERE EXAMINED HE FAILED TO NOTE THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND MADE THE AWARD WITHOUT REQUESTING THE BIDDER TO REVIEW THE SPECIFICATIONS AND TO CONFIRM THEIR BID PRICE ON THE JOB. IS HIS RECOMMENDATION THAT CANCELLATION OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1527 BE PERMITTED.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT MCGREGOR CARBON FORMS COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN THEIR BID, AS ALLEGED, AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE. HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID, THEREFORE, DID NOT RESULT IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE CONTRACTOR PROMPTLY ALLEGED ERROR IN THEIR BID UPON RECEIPT OF THE PURCHASE ORDER AND, FURTHER, SINCE NO WORK HAS BEEN PERFORMED THEREUNDER, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 1527 MAY BE CANCELED.

THE PAPERS, EXCEPT THE BIDDER'S LETTER DATED JULY 21, 1960, AND THE ESTIMATE SHEET, ARE RETURNED, AS REQUESTED.