B-149429, AUG. 2, 1962

B-149429: Aug 2, 1962

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TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12. THE REQUIRED MODULES OR UNITS WERE DESCRIBED ON PAGES 3 TO 7. THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON THE APPARATUS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $6. THE BID OF THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 22. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON MAY 31. A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY INFORMING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF ALL OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS AND REQUESTING THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE EQUIPMENT BE INCREASED BY THE SUM OF $585 TO COVER THE COST OF THE ACCESSORY WHICH WAS OMITTED FROM ITS BID PRICE. THAT THE ERROR WAS DUE TO THE FACT THAT ITS CLERK HAD USED THE LIST OF MODULES CONTAINED IN ITS INFORMAL QUOTATION OF MARCH 30.

B-149429, AUG. 2, 1962

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE RELIEF SOUGHT BY THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY UNDER UNNUMBERED CONTRACT DATED MAY 22, 1962, MAY BE GRANTED.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. KENNETH C. WALKER OF THE ENTOMOLOGY RESEARCH DIVISION, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, YAKIMA, WASHINGTON, INFORMALLY REQUESTED THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY TO SUBMIT AN INFORMAL QUOTATION ON GAS CHROMATOGRAPHIC APPARATUS AND THAT IN RESPONSE THERETO THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A LETTER QUOTATION DATED MARCH 30, 1962, WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO FURNISH THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF THE APPARATUS AND ACCESSORIES AT THE PRICES SPECIFIED OPPOSITE EACH ITEM. PURSUANT TO MR. WALKER'S TELEPHONIC REQUEST, THE COMPANY BY LETTER DATED APRIL 12, 1962, REITERATED ITS QUOTATION OF MARCH 30, 1962, AND IN ADDITION THERETO IT GAVE THE OPERATING SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BASIC COMPONENTS AND ACCESSORIES.

ON MAY 1, 1962, THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, WESTERN REGIONAL BUSINESS OFFICE, BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, BY INVITATION NO. 114-W-ARS-62, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING GAS CHROMATOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY, OR EQUAL, F.O.B. DESTINATION, YAKIMA, WASHINGTON. THE REQUIRED MODULES OR UNITS WERE DESCRIBED ON PAGES 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, OF THE INVITATION. IN RESPONSE THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH THE APPARATUS DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $5,551. THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON THE APPARATUS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $6,500 AND $7,264. THE BID OF THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 22, 1962.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON MAY 31, 1962, A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY INFORMING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF ALL OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS AND REQUESTING THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE EQUIPMENT BE INCREASED BY THE SUM OF $585 TO COVER THE COST OF THE ACCESSORY WHICH WAS OMITTED FROM ITS BID PRICE.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED JUNE 2, 1962, THE COMPANY STATED THAT IN COMPUTING ITS LUMP SUM PRICE FOR THE APPARATUS IT HAD FAILED TO INCLUDE THE COST OF THE MODEL 610 DISC INTEGRATOR COVERED BY ITEM 14G OF THE INVITATION; THAT THE ERROR WAS DUE TO THE FACT THAT ITS CLERK HAD USED THE LIST OF MODULES CONTAINED IN ITS INFORMAL QUOTATION OF MARCH 30, 1962, WHICH DID NOT INCLUDE THE MODEL 610 DISC INTEGRATOR; AND THAT A SUBSEQUENT QUOTATION WHICH CONTAINED THE OPERATING SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE MODULES ALSO DID NOT INCLUDE THE MODEL 610 DISC INTEGRATOR. THE COMPANY REQUESTED PERMISSION TO INVOICE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OMITTED INTEGRATOR. WITH ITS LETTER THE COMPANY SUBMITTED COPIES OF ITS TWO INFORMAL QUOTATIONS AND ITS LATEST PRICE LIST EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1962.

THE REQUIRED MODULES OR UNITS WERE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION UNDER ITEMS 1 TO 15, INCLUSIVE. ITEMS 14 AND 15 WERE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS FOLLOWS:

"14. ONE RECORDER--- RESEARCH SPECIALTIES CO.CAT. 608-2A AND 610, OR EQUAL.

"A. 0 TO 5 MILLIVOLT SCALE.

"B. 1 SECOND RESPONSE SPEED.

"C. HIGH STRAY REJECTION AND FILTERED INPUT.

"D. CAPILLARY PEN WITH REMOTE RESERVOIR.

"E. ZENER DIODE REFERENCE.

"F. FOUR (4) SPEED CHART DRIVE GIVING 15, 30, 45 AND 60 INCHES PER HOUR.

"G. DISC INTEGRATOR.

"H. 12 INCH CHART WITH RIGHT HAND ZERO, 2 INCH SPACE FOR INTEGRATOR TRACING ON RIGHT HAND SIDE.

"I. "BLIP" READOUT.

"15. ONE COLUMN VIBRATOR--- RESEARCH SPECIALTIES CO.CAT. 2461, OR EQUAL.'

IT IS NOTED THAT ITEMS 14G (DISC INTEGRATOR) AND 15 (ONE COLUMN VIBRATOR) ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY'S INFORMAL QUOTATIONS OF MARCH 30 AND APRIL 12, 1962. THE INFORMAL QUOTATION OF MARCH 30, 1962, WHICH WAS USED BY THE COMPANY AS A WORKSHEET, SHOWS THAT TO THE PRICES SHOWN THEREON THE COMPANY ADDED THE SUM OF $56 TO COVER THE COST OF THE MODEL 2461 COLUMN VIBRATOR COVERED BY ITEM 15 AND THE AMOUNT OF $40 TO COVER THE COST OF FREIGHT TO ARRIVE AT ITS ORIGINAL BID PRICE OF $5,551. NONE OF THE PRICES SHOWN ON THE WORKSHEET APPEAR TO COVER THE COST OF THE OMITTED MODEL 610 DISC INTEGRATOR.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE INVITATION ON MAY 1, 1962, THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY SUBMITTED TWO INFORMAL QUOTATIONS DATED MARCH 30 AND APRIL 12, 1962, TO THE ENTOMOLOGY DIVISION, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, YAKIMA, WASHINGTON. IT APPEARS THAT IN PREPARING THE INVITATION, THE PURCHASING OFFICE COPIED THE ITEMS SHOWN ON THE TWO INFORMAL QUOTATIONS AND ADDED TWO OTHER ITEMS, THE COLUMN VIBRATOR AND THE DISC INTEGRATOR. SINCE THE ENTOMOLOGY DIVISION, TO WHICH THE APPARATUS WAS TO BE DELIVERED, HAD RECEIVED TWO INFORMAL WRITTEN QUOTATIONS DATED MARCH 30 AND APRIL 12, 1962, FROM THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY, IN WHICH THE COMPANY INDICATED THAT THE GAS CHROMATOGRAPHIC APPARATUS WITHOUT THE COLUMN VIBRATOR AND THE DISC INTEGRATOR WOULD COST $5,455 F.O.B. ORIGIN, $96 LESS THAN THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE COMPANY FOR FURNISHING F.O.B. DESTINATION, ALL OF THE APPARATUS, INCLUDING THE COLUMN VIBRATOR AND THE EXPENSIVE DISC INTEGRATOR AND HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT THE PURCHASING OFFICE WAS ON NOTICE THAT THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE OF NEARLY $1,000 BETWEEN THE COMPANY'S BID AND THE NEXT LOWEST BID, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS AT LEAST ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE BID.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE FEEL THAT THE COMPANY IS ENTITLED TO THE RELIEF REQUESTED. ACCORDINGLY, AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT OF $585 IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO THE RESEARCH SPECIALTIES COMPANY FOR THE DISC INTEGRATOR DELIVERED BY THE COMPANY.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISIONS SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING THE PAYMENT AUTHORIZED HEREIN.