B-144433, DEC. 5, 1960

B-144433: Dec 5, 1960

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HE ASKED IF THAT WAS CORRECT AND WAS TOLD HIS BID SHOULD BE ENTERED ON AF FORM 331 WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO FORM 114. IT WAS ACCEPTED. * * *" AF FORM 331. WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 28. IT WAS NOTICED THAT MR. THE ACQUISITION COST OF ITEM 159 WAS $20. 000 WERE RECEIVED FOR IT. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER THAT A SIMPLE MISTAKE WAS MADE BY THE BIDDER IN COPYING ITS QUOTATION ONTO THE AF FORM 331 AS REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. NOT ONLY WAS THE COPIED QUOTATION APPROXIMATELY FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE NEXT BID. AS POINTED OUT IN THE SUBMISSION: "* * * THIS IS A CASE IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAD ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE BEFOREHAND WHAT THE BIDDER INTENDED. IT WAS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WHO REQUESTED THAT HELSLEY ENTER FIGURES ON THE INSIDE PAGES AND HE HIMSELF WITNESSED THE MISTAKE.'.

B-144433, DEC. 5, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

IN LETTER OF NOVEMBER 10, 1960, THE DEPUTY FOR PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION REQUESTED A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF AWARDING ITEM 159 OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 41-608-S-60-71, ISSUED BY KELLY AIR FORCE BASE ON MAY 31, 1960, TO THE ADDRESSING MACHINE SERVICE COMPANY, AS HIGH BIDDER.

PAGE 1 OF THE INVITATION, WHICH OFFERED VARIOUS ITEMS FOR SALE, CONTAINED BLANK SPACES FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING ITEM NUMBERS, DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY, QUANTITY, UNIT OF MEASURE, PRICE PER UNIT AND TOTAL PRICE BID (STANDARD FORM 114). THE ADDRESSING MACHINE SERVICE COMPANY COMPLETED THIS PAGE, OFFERING TO PURCHASE, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, ITEM "NO. 159," AN "INJECTION MOLD," DESCRIBED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS ONE INJECTION MOLDING MACHINE, FOR "$10,157.50.'

THE DEPUTY FOR PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTED THAT:

"MR. EDWIN HELSLEY OF THE ADDRESSING MACHINE SERVICE COMPANY PRESENTED HIS BID TO THIS OFFICE IN PLENTY OF TIME BEFORE THE OPENING. HE HAD HIS BID WRITTEN ON THE FRONT SHEET (STANDARD FORM 114). HE ASKED IF THAT WAS CORRECT AND WAS TOLD HIS BID SHOULD BE ENTERED ON AF FORM 331 WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO FORM 114. HE IMMEDIATELY SAT DOWN AND ENTERED THE ITEMS ON FORM 331 AND HANDED IT IN. IT WAS ACCEPTED. * * *"

AF FORM 331, DESCRIBED AS A BID SHEET, LISTED THE 182 ITEMS BEING SOLD AND CONTAINED APPROPRIATE SPACES FOR UNIT PRICE AND TOTAL PRICE BID. THE LISTINGS CORRESPONDED WITH THOSE ON ATTACHED PAPERS DESCRIBING EACH ITEM. WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 28, 1960, IT WAS NOTICED THAT MR. HELSLEY IN TRANSCRIBING THE BIDS OF HIS COMPANY TO THE AF FORM 331 HAD ENTERED THE AMOUNT OF $10,157.50 IN THE UNIT AND TOTAL BID PRICE SPACES OPPOSITE ITEM 160, WHICH COVERED A DIE CASTING MACHINE, ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT A COST OF $455. BIDS RECEIVED FOR IT RANGED AS HIGH AS $1,899.99. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE ACQUISITION COST OF ITEM 159 WAS $20,000, AND TWO OTHER BIDS OF MORE THAN $10,000 WERE RECEIVED FOR IT.

THERE SEEMS TO BE NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER THAT A SIMPLE MISTAKE WAS MADE BY THE BIDDER IN COPYING ITS QUOTATION ONTO THE AF FORM 331 AS REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. NOT ONLY WAS THE COPIED QUOTATION APPROXIMATELY FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE NEXT BID, BUT IT DID NOT CORRESPOND WITH THE QUOTATION ON PAGE 1, AND, AS POINTED OUT IN THE SUBMISSION:

"* * * THIS IS A CASE IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAD ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE BEFOREHAND WHAT THE BIDDER INTENDED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW HOW HELSLEY HAD PREPARED HIS BID AND THE FORM IN WHICH HE INTENDED TO SUBMIT IT. IT WAS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WHO REQUESTED THAT HELSLEY ENTER FIGURES ON THE INSIDE PAGES AND HE HIMSELF WITNESSED THE MISTAKE.'

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BID OF THE ADDRESSING MACHINE SERVICE COMPANY WAS THAT ENTERED ON PAGE 1 OF THE INVITATION, IN THE SPACES FOR UNIT AND TOTAL PRICE BIDS UNDER THE HEADING "TO BE SUPPLIED BY BIDDER," AND THAT IT DID NOT MAKE AN ACCEPTABLE BID FOR ITEM 160. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ERRONEOUSLY TRANSCRIBED FIGURES MAY BE DISREGARDED AND AWARD MADE TO IT AS THE HIGHEST BIDDER FOR ITEM 159.