B-146594, AUG. 22, 1961

B-146594: Aug 22, 1961

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 4. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 75 PERCENT OF THE ORDERS WILL BE REQUIRED WITHIN THE 3 TO 7 DAY WORKING PERIOD. THE REMAINING 25 PERCENT OF THE ORDERS WILL BE REQUIRED WITHIN 1 TO 2 DAYS WORKING TIME AND GENERALLY CONSIST OF APPROXIMATELY 50 COPIES OF A REPORT WHICH MAY COMPRISE SEVERAL ITEMS OF THE SCHEDULE. IF A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL IS APPLICABLE ON THE JOBS WHICH ARE REQUIRED WITHIN 1 OR 2 WORKING DAYS. "THE UNIT BID PRICES STATED IN THE SCHEDULE WILL BE INCREASED BY . WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN EVALUATING BIDS.'. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED. WERE OPENED AT 2:00 P.M. THE BID OF JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES WAS OPENED AND READ FIRST.

B-146594, AUG. 22, 1961

TO BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 4, 1961, FILE 810, REQUESTING ADVICE RELATIVE TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON AN ALLEGED ERROR IN A BID SUBMITTED BY JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 100-1056.

THE INVITATION IN QUESTION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING REPRODUCTION SERVICES REQUIRED BY THE BOISE REGIONAL OFFICE DURING FISCAL YEAR 1962, AND THE BID SCHEDULE LISTED BID ITEMS FOR LITHOGRAPHIC REPRODUCTION OF GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED MASTERS AND FOR FOLDING, COLLATING AND STAPLING. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SCHEDULE, THE INVITATION CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE:

"PRICES ON THE ABOVE SCHEDULE SHOULD BE BASED ON COMPLETION OF EACH ORDER WITHIN 3 TO 7 WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE ORDER. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 75 PERCENT OF THE ORDERS WILL BE REQUIRED WITHIN THE 3 TO 7 DAY WORKING PERIOD. THE REMAINING 25 PERCENT OF THE ORDERS WILL BE REQUIRED WITHIN 1 TO 2 DAYS WORKING TIME AND GENERALLY CONSIST OF APPROXIMATELY 50 COPIES OF A REPORT WHICH MAY COMPRISE SEVERAL ITEMS OF THE SCHEDULE. IF A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL IS APPLICABLE ON THE JOBS WHICH ARE REQUIRED WITHIN 1 OR 2 WORKING DAYS, THE SPACE BELOW SHOULD BE FILLED OUT BY THE BIDDER. OUT BY THE BIDDER.

"THE UNIT BID PRICES STATED IN THE SCHEDULE WILL BE INCREASED BY -- ----- PERCENT ON EACH ORDER, OR PORTION THEREOF, REQUIRING COMPLETION WITHIN 8 TO 16 WORKING HOURS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE MATERIAL. SUCH INCREASE, IF ANY, WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN EVALUATING BIDS.'

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED, ONE FROM JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES AND ONE FROM SYMS- YORK COMPANY, AND WERE OPENED AT 2:00 P.M. ON JULY 20, 1961. THE BID OF JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES WAS OPENED AND READ FIRST. WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE BID QUOTED NO PRICE DIFFERENTIAL FOR ORDERS REQUIRING COMPLETION WITHIN 8 TO 16 WORKING HOURS AFTER RECEIPT, MR. CHARLES W. JOSLYN, THE PRESIDENT OF JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES, STATED THAT THIS WAS A MISTAKE, SINCE IT WAS INTENDED TO BID A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL, AND HE ASKED WHETHER A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL FIGURE COULD BE INSERTED IN THE BID BEFORE ANY OTHER BID WAS OPENED. HE WAS ADVISED THIS COULD NOT BE PERMITTED BUT THAT HIS CLAIM OF ERROR WOULD BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION. IN THIS CONNECTION IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE JOSLYN BID AS SUBMITTED WAS A RESPONSIVE BID, AND THE CASE THEREFORE DOES NOT INVOLVE THE GENERAL RULE THAT CORRECTION OF A NONRESPONSIVE BID IS NOT PERMITTED.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 24, 1961, MR. JOSLYN SUBMITTED THE COMPANY'S WORKSHEETS FOR PREPARATION OF ITS BID ON THE 1962 REQUIREMENTS. THESE INDICATE THAT IT WAS INTENDED TO BID A 50 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL FOR 8 TO 16 -HOUR SERVICE, AND MR. JOSLYN'S SECRETARY CONFIRMS THAT SHE WAS SO INSTRUCTED. MR. JOSLYN'S LETTER OF JULY 24 ALSO INDICATES THAT HIS COMPANY HAD BID A 50 PERCENT INCREASE ON 8 TO 16-HOUR ORDERS IN 1960, AND YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4 STATES THAT THE RECORDS OF YOUR OFFICE SHOW A 50 PERCENT PRICE INCREASE WAS BID BY THE COMPANY IN BOTH 1959 AND 1960.

FROM THE FOREGOING WE BELIEVE IT IS CLEAR THAT JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES INTENDED TO BID A PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN SOME AMOUNT FOR ORDERS REQUIRING COMPLETION IN 16 WORKING HOURS OR LESS, AND THAT THE FAILURE TO INSERT A PERCENTAGE FIGURE IN THE BID FORM CONSTITUTED AN ERROR IN ITS BID. THE ONLY REMAINING QUESTION THEREFORE IS WHETHER THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED ESTABLISHES THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE WHICH IT WAS INTENDED TO BID ON SUCH ORDERS. 31 COMP. GEN. 183; 35 ID. 279.

OUR EXAMINATION OF THE DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED BY MR. JOSLYN LEAVES NO DOUBT THAT THESE WERE THE ORIGINAL WORKPAPERS USED TO PREPARE THE BID ON INVITATION FOR BIDS 100-1056, AND THAT THE BID WAS IN FACT PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH MR. JOSLYN'S INSTRUCTIONS ON SUCH WORKSHEETS, EXCEPT FOR THE SECRETARY'S FAILURE TO INSERT THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE FIGURE FROM THE 1960 BID AS DIRECTED BY MR. JOSLYN'S MARGINAL NOTE. IN VIEW OF THIS AND THE FIRM'S PAST BIDS, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE LITTLE, IF ANY, ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE FIGURE "50" WOULD HAVE BEEN INSERTED IN THE 1961 BID BUT FOR THE ERROR OF MR. JOSLYN'S SECRETARY. THE BID OF JOSLYN AND ASSOCIATES MAY THEREFORE BE CORRECTED AS REQUESTED AND CONSIDERED FOR AWARD IN SUCH CORRECTED FORM.