B-146649, OCT. 31, 1961

B-146649: Oct 31, 1961

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF OCTOBER 5. "A "SCHEDULE OF DISCOUNTS" IS ALSO ENCLOSED.'. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTED THAT NORMALLY LIST ITEMS ARE SPOT CHECKED AGAINST THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT FOR PRICE TRENDS. MODEL 600 WAS A NEW ITEM AND COULD NOT BE COMPARED WITH ANY PREVIOUS OFFER. OTHER ACTION WAS TAKEN TO CHECK THE PRICE OFFERED FOR MODEL 600 AND ON JULY 18. WAS AWARDED TO SPEED-O-PRINT CORPORATION FOR FIVE ITEMS INCLUDING 51-103. SPEED-O-PRINT NOTIFIED GSA BY LETTER THAT ITS PRICE OF $257.14 FOR ITEM 51-103 WAS SUBMITTED IN ERROR AND THE PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS. IT IS UNNECESSARY TO DISCUSS THE PROPRIETY OF CONSIDERING EVIDENCE OUTSIDE THE BID TO DETERMINE WHICH PRICE IS THE ONE INTENDED.

B-146649, OCT. 31, 1961

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM MR. BERNARD L. BOUTIN, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CONCERNING AN ALLEGATION OF AN ERROR IN BID BY THE SPEED-O-PRINT CORPORATION ON ITEM NO. 51 103, CONTRACT NO. GS-00S-34589, FSC GROUP 36, PART II, PRINTING, DUPLICATING AND BOOK-BINDING EQUIPMENT.

ON MARCH 18, 1961, IN RESPONSE TO A SOLICITATION FOR OFFERS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 1, 1961, THE SPEED-O-PRINT CORPORATION SUBMITTED OFFERS ON FOUR ITEMS. BY LETTER OF MAY 4, 1961, THE CORPORATION AMENDED ITS OFFER TO INCLUDE AN ADDITIONAL ITEM AS FOLLOWS:

"ITEM 51-103, DUPLICATING MACHINE, TYPE VII, SPEED-O-PRINT MODEL 600 ELECTRIC, EQUIPPED WITH CLOSED CYLINDER, AUTOMATIC BRUSH INKING, INCLUDING 4 DIGIT RESET COUNTER AND FEDERAL EXCISE TAX OF $17.94. $257.14

"QUANTITY DISCOUNTS SET FORTH IN OUR BID APPLY ALSO TO THE MODEL 600.

"A "SCHEDULE OF DISCOUNTS" IS ALSO ENCLOSED.'

THE SCHEDULE OF DISCOUNTS SET FORTH THE GOVERNMENT DISCOUNT AS 10 PERCENT OF THE LIST PRICE, AND SALES LITERATURE FURNISHED ON MODEL 600 SHOWED THE MANUFACTURER'S COMMERCIAL LIST PRICE TO BE $299, WITH A RESET 4-DIGIT COUNTER $14.50 EXTRA.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTED THAT NORMALLY LIST ITEMS ARE SPOT CHECKED AGAINST THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT FOR PRICE TRENDS. HOWEVER, MODEL 600 WAS A NEW ITEM AND COULD NOT BE COMPARED WITH ANY PREVIOUS OFFER. OTHER ACTION WAS TAKEN TO CHECK THE PRICE OFFERED FOR MODEL 600 AND ON JULY 18, 1961, CONTRACT NO. GS-OOS-34589 FOR THE PERIOD JULY 18, 1961, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1962, WAS AWARDED TO SPEED-O-PRINT CORPORATION FOR FIVE ITEMS INCLUDING 51-103. ON AUGUST 4, 1961, SPEED-O-PRINT NOTIFIED GSA BY LETTER THAT ITS PRICE OF $257.14 FOR ITEM 51-103 WAS SUBMITTED IN ERROR AND THE PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS, BASED ON THE PRICE LIST AND DISCOUNT SCHEDULE FURNISHED WITH THE OFFER:

TABLE

"MACHINE LIST PRICE $299.00

RESET COUNTER PRICE 14.50

$313.50

LESS DISCOUNT 10 PERCENT 31.35

$282.15

FEDERAL EXCISE TAX 17.94

CORRECT NET PRICE $300.09"

SPEED-O-PRINT COULD NOT LOCATE ITS ORIGINAL WORKING PAPERS NOR COULD IT RECONSTRUCT A CALCULATION WHICH WOULD RESULT IN A PRICE OF $257.14, BUT IT ASKED THAT THE CONTRACT BE AMENDED TO SHOW THE INTENDED PRICE FOR ITEM 51- 103 OR THAT THE ITEM BE DELETED FROM THE CONTRACT.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE COMPUTATION SUGGESTED BY SPEED-O-PRINT COULD, IN FACT, BE MADE FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED WITH THE OFFER. HE CONCLUDED THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR HAD BEEN MADE AND RECOMMENDED THAT THE CONTRACTOR BE GRANTED RELIEF.

THE SPEED-O-PRINT BID CONTAINED, ON ITS FACE, SUFFICIENT CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE PRICE QUOTED FOR ITEM 51-103. HOWEVER, IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED FROM THE BID ITSELF WHETHER THE ERROR OCCURRED IN COMPUTING THE STATED PRICE OR WHETHER AN INCORRECT LIST PRICE OR AN ERRONEOUS DISCOUNT SCHEDULE HAD BEEN FURNISHED. IN THIS INSTANCE, IT IS UNNECESSARY TO DISCUSS THE PROPRIETY OF CONSIDERING EVIDENCE OUTSIDE THE BID TO DETERMINE WHICH PRICE IS THE ONE INTENDED, SINCE SPEED-O-PRINT COULD NOT LOCATE ITS ORIGINAL WORKING PAPERS AND WE HAVE ONLY ITS UNSUPPORTED STATEMENT THAT THE HIGHER PRICE IS THE ONE INTENDED. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, NOT ONLY DO WE FIND NO BASIS FOR REFORMING THE CONTRACT TO THE HIGHER PRICE BUT WE MUST ALSO CONCLUDE THAT ACCEPTANCE OF THE OFFER DID NOT RESULT IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT FOR ITEM 51-103. SEE

WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO GRANTING THE CONTRACTOR'S REQUEST THAT ITEM 51- 103 BE DELETED FROM THE CONTRACT, IN ACCORD WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S RECOMMENDATION THAT RELIEF BE GIVEN TO THE CONTRACTOR.