B-151123, MAY 7, 1963

B-151123: May 7, 1963

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BERG'S QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS 2 AND 6 WERE THE HIGHEST RECEIVED AND WERE ACCEPTED. "IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO PICK UP THE JEEP BECAUSE OF MY EMPLOYMENT. "THIS IS A NOTICE THAT I CAN NOT ACCEPT THE OFFER OF THE BID.'. BERG WAS ADVISED. AS FOLLOWS: "YOUR BID WAS ACCEPTED ON THE BASIS OF THE HIGHEST OFFER RECEIVED FOR EACH VEHICLE. SINCE YOU DID NOT STATE THAT ONLY ONE VEHICLE WAS DESIRED. AWARD WAS MADE TO YOU FOR ITEMS 2 AND 6. "WE REGRET TO ADVISE THAT WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST TO CANCEL THE AWARD MADE TO YOU ON ITEM 2. IF YOUR CERTIFIED CHECK OR MONEY ORDER FOR $215 IS NOT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE BY JANUARY 21. YOUR RIGHT TO PROCEED WITH THE PURCHASE WILL BE TERMINATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE GENERAL SALE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF SALES INVITATION 51-W-ARS-63.

B-151123, MAY 7, 1963

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

BY LETTER DATED MARCH 20, 1963, THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, SUBMITTED FOR DECISION THE QUESTION WHETHER WILLIAM G. BERG, MERIDIAN, IDAHO, MAY BE RELIEVED FROM LIABILITY UNDER HIS ACCEPTED BID ON ITEM 2 OF SALE INVITATION NO. 51-W ARS-63.

THE INVITATION, ISSUED BY THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE,BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF SIX USED WILLYS JEEPS, ITEMS 1 THROUGH 6, AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN NEVADA, COLORADO, CALIFORNIA AND IDAHO. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WILLIAM G. BERG, MERIDIAN, IDAHO, SUBMITTED A BID ON ITEMS 5 AND 6, EACH COVERING ONE JEEP LOCATED AT TWIN FALLS, IDAHO, AND ON ITEM 2, COVERING ONE JEEP LOCATED AT PALISADE, COLORADO. MR. BERG'S QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS 2 AND 6 WERE THE HIGHEST RECEIVED AND WERE ACCEPTED. APPARENTLY ON THE JEEP LOCATED AT TWIN FALLS (ITEM 6) MR. BERG CARRIED OUT THE CONTRACT BY PAYING THE PURCHASE PRICE AND PICKING UP THE VEHICLE.

UPON RECEIVING NOTICE OF AWARD ON ITEM 2, THE JEEP LOCATED AT PALISADE, COLORADO, MR. BERG ADVISED BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 22, 1962, AS FOLLOWS:

"I FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT THE ENCLOSED OFFER FOR THE PURCHASE OF SAID JEEP (ENCLOSURE).

"IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO PICK UP THE JEEP BECAUSE OF MY EMPLOYMENT.

"THIS IS A NOTICE THAT I CAN NOT ACCEPT THE OFFER OF THE BID.'

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 3, 1963, MR. BERG WAS ADVISED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"YOUR BID WAS ACCEPTED ON THE BASIS OF THE HIGHEST OFFER RECEIVED FOR EACH VEHICLE. SINCE YOU DID NOT STATE THAT ONLY ONE VEHICLE WAS DESIRED, AWARD WAS MADE TO YOU FOR ITEMS 2 AND 6.

"WE REGRET TO ADVISE THAT WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST TO CANCEL THE AWARD MADE TO YOU ON ITEM 2. IF YOUR CERTIFIED CHECK OR MONEY ORDER FOR $215 IS NOT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE BY JANUARY 21, 1963, YOUR RIGHT TO PROCEED WITH THE PURCHASE WILL BE TERMINATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE GENERAL SALE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF SALES INVITATION 51-W-ARS-63. THE VEHICLE WILL THEN BE DISPOSED OF BY RESALE AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED $43 LIQUIDATED DAMAGES WHICH IS TWENTY PERCENT OF YOUR BID. THIS AMOUNT IS PAYABLE PROMPTLY AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE ATTACHED STANDARD FORM 114C-C. A COPY OF THE SALES INVITATION 51-W-ARS-63 WHICH YOU RETURNED WITH YOUR LETTER IS ENCLOSED.'

A BID DEPOSIT WAS NOT REQUIRED BY THE TERMS OF THE SALE INVITATION AND THEREFORE THE AMOUNT OF $43 AS LIQUIDATED DAMAGES ON DEFAULT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO BE COLLECTED FROM MR. BERG.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 5, 1963, MR. BERG ALLEGED THAT HE HAD INTENDED SUBMITTING A BID ON ITEMS 1, 5 AND 6 AND NOT ON ITEM 2. HE ALSO STATED THAT ITEM 2 WAS LOCATED MORE THAN 1,000 MILES FROM HIS HOME AND THEREFORE HE OBVIOUSLY WOULD NOT HAVE BID ON IT AS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO PICK IT UP. IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR MR. BERG SUBMITTED HIS COPY OF THE INVITATION WHICH SHOWS A BID ON ITEMS 1, 5 AND 6, RATHER THAN ON ITEMS 2, 5 AND 6. HE ALSO REITERATED HIS CLAIM THAT HE DID NOT INTEND TO BID ON ITEM 2; THAT THE VEHICLE IS MORE THAN 1,000 MILES AWAY FROM HIS HOME AND IT WOULD COST MORE TO PICK IT UP THAN THE VEHICLE IS WORTH--- PLUS THE TIME OFF FROM HIS JOB. HE FURTHER STATED HE INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 1, COVERING A JEEP AT ELKO, NEVADA, AS IT IS ONLY ABOUT 150 MILES FROM HIS HOME AND HE COULD HAVE MADE THE TRIP THERE IN ONE DAY, THE SAME AS THE TRIP WAS MADE TO TWIN FALLS, IDAHO, TO PICK UP ITEM 6.

THE FACTS INVOLVED WOULD SEEM TO SUBSTANTIATE MR. BERG'S CLAIM OF ERROR. ALSO, THE PRICE OF $215 QUOTED FOR ITEM 2 IS MORE THAN 70 PERCENT GREATER THAN THE NEXT HIGHEST BID ON THAT ITEM, WHEREAS IT IS MORE IN LINE WITH THE PRICES QUOTED ON ITEM 1. ITEM 1 IS A 1953 MODEL, WHEREAS ITEM 2 IS A 1949 MODEL JEEP.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, AND SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY, MR. BERG MAY BE RELIEVED FROM ALL LIABILITY UNDER HIS BID ON ITEM 2, AS RECOMMENDED.