B-143815, OCT. 12, 1960

B-143815: Oct 12, 1960

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HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT UNDATED LETTERS (WITH ENCLOSURES) REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER REFUND OF $85.50 MAY BE MADE TO A AND Z OFFICE MACHINE AND EQUIPMENT CO. CONTENDS THAT THE MACHINE TENDERED HIM UNDER THE CONTRACT WAS DIFFERENT FROM THAT DESCRIBED IN THE BID INVITATION IN WHICH HIS BID WAS BASED AND. THAT HE WAS NOT AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO INSPECT THE PROPERTY PRIOR TO SUBMITTING HIS BID BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WENT TO THE DISPOSAL SITE TO MAKE AN INSPECTION OF THE ADVERTISED MATERIALS HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE MACHINE WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE DISPOSAL SITE FOR INSPECTION SINCE IT WAS STILL IN POSSESSION OF AN EMPLOYEE IN THE FIELD. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE CHICAGO REGIONAL OFFICER WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID INVITATION AND THE SALE TRANSACTION HAS REPORTED THAT THE BID INVITATION DESCRIPTION WAS ERRONEOUS.

B-143815, OCT. 12, 1960

TO MR. HARRY R. DUCKETT, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR RECENT UNDATED LETTERS (WITH ENCLOSURES) REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER REFUND OF $85.50 MAY BE MADE TO A AND Z OFFICE MACHINE AND EQUIPMENT CO., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WHICH AMOUNT REPRESENTS THE PRICE PAID BY THE COMPANY FOR ONE MARCHANT CALCULATOR PURCHASED BY IT ON SURPLUS SALES CONTRACT NO. (ADM-C/D-12-P AWARDED TO IT ON APRIL 4, 1960, PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 60 2, ITEM NO. 4A.

MR. ALEX M. ZARIT, OWNER OF THE CLAIMANT COMPANY, CONTENDS THAT THE MACHINE TENDERED HIM UNDER THE CONTRACT WAS DIFFERENT FROM THAT DESCRIBED IN THE BID INVITATION IN WHICH HIS BID WAS BASED AND, FURTHER, THAT HE WAS NOT AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO INSPECT THE PROPERTY PRIOR TO SUBMITTING HIS BID BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WENT TO THE DISPOSAL SITE TO MAKE AN INSPECTION OF THE ADVERTISED MATERIALS HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE MACHINE WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE DISPOSAL SITE FOR INSPECTION SINCE IT WAS STILL IN POSSESSION OF AN EMPLOYEE IN THE FIELD.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE CHICAGO REGIONAL OFFICER WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE BID INVITATION AND THE SALE TRANSACTION HAS REPORTED THAT THE BID INVITATION DESCRIPTION WAS ERRONEOUS. HE EXPLAINED THAT THE SOURCE ACTUALLY USED IN THE PREPARATION OF THE BID INVITATION WAS THE INVENTORY RECORD AND THAT THE MACHINE INTENDED TO BE SOLD WAS SHOWN ON THAT DOCUMENT AS A MACHINE BEARING SERIAL NO. 10D-157809, BUT THAT IN THE PREPARATION OF THE INVITATION THE LETTER "M" WAS INADVERTENTLY TYPED THEREON INSTEAD OF "D" APPEARING IN THE LEDGER DESCRIPTION. THE DISPOSAL OFFICER ALSO CONFIRMED THAT THE MACHINE WAS NOT MADE AVAILABLE TO INSPECT THE MACHINE PRIOR TO SUBMITTING HIS BID, AND HE STATED ALSO THAT THE DISPOSAL AGENCY DID NOT HAVE A MACHINE FOR SALE MEETING THE INVITATION DESCRIPTION. ALSO, IN YOUR LETTERS YOU STATE THAT THE MACHINE TENDERED THE PURCHASER DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE DESCRIPTION IN THE BID INVITATION AND THAT THE DIFFERENCE IS VITAL IN THAT THE "10M" CALCULATOR LISTED IN THE ADVERTISEMENT IS FULLY AUTOMATIC AND IS MORE VALUABLE THAN A "10D" MACHINE WHICH IS NOT FULLY AUTOMATIC.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE DESCRIPTION IN THE BID INVITATION WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT CORRECT INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CALCULATOR WAS AVAILABLE WHEN THE INVITATION WAS PREPARED.

WHILE THE PROPERTY HERE IN QUESTION WAS OFFERED FOR SALE AS SURPLUS AND THE PURCHASER MADE NO INSPECTION OF THE MATERIAL PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF ITS BID, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED, IN VIEW OF THE FINDING THAT THE ERRONEOUS DESCRIPTION APPEARING IN THE INVITATION WAS NOT BASED ON THE "BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION" AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE GENERAL SALE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT, THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID OF THE A AND Z OFFICE MACHINE AND EQUIPMENT CO. DID NOT RESULT IN A LEGAL AND BINDING CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE AWARD TO THE COMPANY PROPERLY MAY BE CANCELED AND THE PURCHASE PRICE OF $85.50 REFUNDED TO IT. ..END :