B-143944, SEP. 20, 1960

B-143944: Sep 20, 1960

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THE PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 9. HAS ALLEGED IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 4709 WAS BASED. WHICH WAS PLACED ON DISPLAY ON AUGUST 22. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE ADVERTISEMENT. INC. $541.00 PRINTING BY YAZGE $670.00 AWARD WAS MADE TO FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES. SHORTLY AFTER MAKING THE AWARD BUT BEFORE THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTOR. HE EXPLAINED THAT WHEN THE BID WAS TYPED ON THE BID AND ACCEPTANCE FORM A DIGIT WAS LEFT OFF THE AMOUNT. " WHICH AMOUNT WAS ITS INTENDED BID PRICE. WITH THAT LETTER THERE WAS FORWARDED A COPY OF THE FIRM'S ESTIMATE SHEET WHICH SUBSTANTIATES ITS CLAIM OF ERROR. YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED YOU THAT WHEN EXAMINING THE BIDS HE SHOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES.

B-143944, SEP. 20, 1960

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, THE PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 9, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER, CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, HAS ALLEGED IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 4709 WAS BASED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY CIRCULAR ADVERTISEMENT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SOLICITED BID PRICES FROM 46 DEALERS FOR FURNISHING 50,000 CHARTS, SIZE 21 BY 14 3/4 INCHES, PRINTED ON ONE SIDE, FOLDED TO 10 1/2 BY 7 3/8 INCHES; ALL PAPER AND MATERIALS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN EXACT ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS AND SHIPMENT TO BE MADE ON OR BEFORE OCTOBER 6, 1960 (JACKET NO. 561557, COVERING REQUISITION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WHICH WAS PLACED ON DISPLAY ON AUGUST 22, 1960, IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE RECEPTION ROOM). THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE ADVERTISEMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC. $285.42

ADCRAFTERS, INC. $541.00

PRINTING BY YAZGE $670.00

AWARD WAS MADE TO FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., AS THE LOW BIDDER ON PURCHASE ORDER NO. 4709, AUGUST 31, 1960.

SHORTLY AFTER MAKING THE AWARD BUT BEFORE THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTOR, MR. PHILIP A. WAGNER, SECRETARY OF THE CONTRACTING FIRM, VISITED YOUR OFFICE AND REPORTED THAT A SERIOUS ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE FIRM'S BID ON THIS JOB. HE EXPLAINED THAT WHEN THE BID WAS TYPED ON THE BID AND ACCEPTANCE FORM A DIGIT WAS LEFT OFF THE AMOUNT, THE PRICE BEING INCORRECTLY TYPED AS "$285.42" INSTEAD OF "$1,285.42," WHICH AMOUNT WAS ITS INTENDED BID PRICE. THE CONTRACTOR, IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 31, 1960, ADDRESSED TO THE PRINTING PROCUREMENT SECTION, CONFIRMED ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND REQUESTED THAT IT BE RELIEVED OF ITS OBLIGATION UNDER THE AWARD. WITH THAT LETTER THERE WAS FORWARDED A COPY OF THE FIRM'S ESTIMATE SHEET WHICH SUBSTANTIATES ITS CLAIM OF ERROR.

YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED YOU THAT WHEN EXAMINING THE BIDS HE SHOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF ITS BID PRICE BEFORE MAKING AN AWARD TO THE FIRM, BUT DUE TO A HEAVY WORKLOAD AT THE TIME OF EVALUATING THE BIDS HE FAILED TO TAKE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT REQUEST THE BIDDER TO VERIFY ITS BID PRICE. HE STATED FURTHER THAT THE PAPER NECESSARY TO PRODUCE THIS JOB WOULD COST APPROXIMATELY $260 AND THAT THE DIFFERENCE ($25.42) BETWEEN THE COST OF THE PAPER AND THE FIRM'S QUOTED PRICE OF $285.42 FOR THE ENTIRE JOB IS NOT A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT TO COVER THE COST OF THE OTHER MATERIALS AND OPERATIONS NECESSARY TO PERFORM THIS JOB. IT IS HIS BELIEF, THEREFORE, THAT THE QUOTED PRICE OF $285.42 IS NOT A FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE TO PAY FOR THE CHARTS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT NO WORK HAS BEEN PERFORMED UNDER THE PURCHASE ORDER AND THAT NONE WILL BE PERFORMED UNTIL RECEIPT OF OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE AWARD MAY BE CANCELED.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, AND SUBSTANTIATED BY ITS WORKSHEET; THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AT THE TIME BIDS WERE BEING EVALUATED; AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRIOR TO HIS ACCEPTANCE THEREOF. CONSEQUENTLY, NOT HAVING DONE SO, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID OF FOREMOST GRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., DID NOT RESULT IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE CONTRACTOR PROMPTLY ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED THE ERROR IN ITS BID AND, FURTHER, SINCE NO WORK HAS BEEN PERFORMED UNDER THE PURCHASE ORDER, THE AWARD MAY BE CANCELED.

THE PAPERS, EXCEPT THOSE PERTAINING TO THE ALLEGED ERROR IN BID, ARE RETURNED, AS REQUESTED.