B-145407, APR. 18, 1961

B-145407: Apr 18, 1961

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 20. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH SALES CONTRACT NO. (33-602/S-61-184 IS BASED. IT IS REPORTED THAT WITH ITS BID THE CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DEPOSIT CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $26.07 AND A NOTE WHICH. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON JANUARY 24. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CORRECTED THE TOTAL EXTENDED PRICE ON THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION'S BID ON ITEM 25 FROM $130.39 TO $170.51 AND THAT SUCH ITEM WAS AWARDED TO THE CORPORATION ON THAT BASIS. THE CORPORATION STATED THAT THE NOTE WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO ITS BID DEPOSIT CHECK SUBSTANTIATES ITS INTENT TO BID ON THE TORQUE WRENCHES COVERED BY ITEM 23 AND THAT IT HAD NO USE FOR THE WHEEL ASSEMBLIES COVERED BY ITEM 25.

B-145407, APR. 18, 1961

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 20, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION, OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, MATERIEL, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH SALES CONTRACT NO. (33-602/S-61-184 IS BASED.

THE WILKINS AIR FORCE STATION, SHELBY AIR FORCE DEPOT, SHELBY, OHIO, BY INVITATION NO. 33-602-S-61-24 REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF 13 TORQUE WRENCHES AND 17 WHEEL ASSEMBLIES,ITEMS 23 AND 25, RESPECTIVELY. IN RESPONSE THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DATED JANUARY 9, 1961, OFFERING TO PURCHASE, IN ADDITION TO ANOTHER ITEM, THE 17 WHEEL ASSEMBLIES COVERED BY ITEM 25 AT A PRICE OF $10.03 EACH FOR WHICH IT EXTENDED THE PRICE AS $130.39. IT IS REPORTED THAT WITH ITS BID THE CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DEPOSIT CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $26.07 AND A NOTE WHICH, IN PART, READ AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

"1-9-61 INVITATION BID NO. 33-602-S-61-24

JANUARY 17, 1961

"ITEM NO. 23 - TORQUE WRENCH - $10.03 EA. 130.39 TOTAL BID

DEPOSIT - 20 PERCENT - $26.07"

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE SIX OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 25 RANGED FROM $3.33 TO $0.50 EACH.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON JANUARY 24, 1961, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CORRECTED THE TOTAL EXTENDED PRICE ON THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION'S BID ON ITEM 25 FROM $130.39 TO $170.51 AND THAT SUCH ITEM WAS AWARDED TO THE CORPORATION ON THAT BASIS.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 26, 1961, THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT IT HAD INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 23 INSTEAD OF ITEM 25. THE CORPORATION STATED THAT THE NOTE WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO ITS BID DEPOSIT CHECK SUBSTANTIATES ITS INTENT TO BID ON THE TORQUE WRENCHES COVERED BY ITEM 23 AND THAT IT HAD NO USE FOR THE WHEEL ASSEMBLIES COVERED BY ITEM 25.

ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID OF THE CORPORATION AS TO ITEM 25 SINCE THE UNIT PRICE OF $10.03, WHEN MULTIPLIED BY THE QUANTITY OF 17, DOES NOT EQUAL THE AMOUNT OF $130.39 INSERTED IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT COLUMN. IF THE UNIT PRICE SHOWN FOR ITEM 25 IS MULTIPLIED BY THE QUANTITY SPECIFIED FOR ITEM 23--- THE ITEM ON WHICH THE CORPORATION ALLEGES IT INTENDED TO BID--- THE TOTAL WILL BE THE SAME AS SHOWN IN THE BID SUBMITTED. ALSO SINCE THE CORPORATION HAD INDICATED ON THE NOTE ATTACHED TO ITS BID DEPOSIT CHECK THAT ITS BID DEPOSIT WAS TO BE APPLIED TO THE PURCHASE OF THE TORQUE WRENCHES COVERED BY ITEM 23, THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN APPARENT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER; HENCE THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE CORPORATION TO VERIFY ITS BID AS TO ITEM 25.

WHILE THE INVITATION TO BID PROVIDED THAT IN CASE OF ERROR IN EXTENSION, UNIT PRICES WOULD GOVERN, AND WHILE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THERE IS NO DUTY UPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO COMPUTE THE EXTENSIONS OF UNIT PRICES CONTAINED IN BIDS IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH EXTENSIONS, THAT PRINCIPLE CLEARLY IS NOT FOR APPLICATION WHERE, AS HERE, AN ERROR IN EITHER THE UNIT PRICE OR TOTAL PRICE IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF SUCH ERROR PRIOR TO AND AT THE TIME OF MAKING THE AWARD. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 746; AND 37 ID. 829.

ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. (33-602/S-61-184 MAY BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE WHARTON HARDWARE AND SUPPLY CORPORATION.