B-152478, NOV. 6, 1963

B-152478: Nov 6, 1963

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TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 11. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID WHICH WAS ACCEPTED ON JUNE 7. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT A PAIR OF SIGNS CONSISTS OF ONE SIGN WITH A LEFT-HAND ARROW AND ONE SIGN WITH A RIGHT-HAND ARROW AS SHOWN ON DRAWING NO. 14-253. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE LOWEST BID ON THE SIGNS WAS SUBMITTED BY THE MASSILLON-CLEVELAND AKRON SIGN COMPANY WHICH QUOTED PRICES OF $0.79 AND $0.81 PER PAIR OR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $1. THE COMPANY WAS PERMITTED TO CORRECT ITS BID. SINCE THE CORRECTED BID OF MASSILLON WAS NO LONGER THE LOWEST BID. AN AWARD WAS MADE TO THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER. IT IS REPORTED THAT BY LETTER DATED JUNE 19.

B-152478, NOV. 6, 1963

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 11, 1963, FROM THE ACTING ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY HAWKINS-HAWKINS CO., INC., BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID WHICH WAS ACCEPTED ON JUNE 7, 1963.

THE BUREAU OF FACILITIES, WASHINGTON, D.C., BY INVITATION NO. 220 REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 2,000 PAIRS OF FLAT METAL POST OFFICE PARKING SIGNS. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT A PAIR OF SIGNS CONSISTS OF ONE SIGN WITH A LEFT-HAND ARROW AND ONE SIGN WITH A RIGHT-HAND ARROW AS SHOWN ON DRAWING NO. 14-253. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE LOWEST BID ON THE SIGNS WAS SUBMITTED BY THE MASSILLON-CLEVELAND AKRON SIGN COMPANY WHICH QUOTED PRICES OF $0.79 AND $0.81 PER PAIR OR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $1,596 FOR THE SIGNS; THAT THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT IT HAD INADVERTENTLY PRICED THE PARKING SIGNS ON THE BASIS OF PER EACH INSTEAD OF PER PAIR; AND THAT AFTER REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE COMPANY IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY WAS PERMITTED TO CORRECT ITS BID. SINCE THE CORRECTED BID OF MASSILLON WAS NO LONGER THE LOWEST BID, AN AWARD WAS MADE TO THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER, HAWKINS-HAWKINS CO., INC., WHICH QUOTED PRICES RANGING FROM $1.036 TO $1.097 PER PAIR OR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $2,132.80.

IT IS REPORTED THAT BY LETTER DATED JUNE 19, 1963, HAWKINS-HAWKINS CO., INC., ALLEGED THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID IN THAT IT HAD INADVERTENTLY PRICED THE PARKING SIGNS ON THE BASIS OF PER EACH INSTEAD OF PER PAIR; AND THAT THEREAFTER EVIDENCE WAS SUBMITTED BY THE CORPORATION IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR WHICH SHOWED THAT ITS UNIT BID PRICE WAS BASED ON FURNISHING ONE PARKING SIGN RATHER THAN A PAIR OF PARKING SIGNS. IT IS NOTED THAT A COPY OF THE CORPORATION'S LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1963, AND ITS WORKSHEETS DID NOT ACCOMPANY THE REQUEST FOR A DECISION. IT IS REQUESTED THAT IN THE FUTURE COPIES OF ALL CORRESPONDENCE AND EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF AN ALLEGED ERROR SUBMITTED BY A BIDDER BE SENT WITH THE REQUEST FOR A DECISION. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION SECTIONS 1-2.406-4 (F) (2) AND 1- 2.406-4 (I) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE THIRD LOWEST BIDDER, SELECTO-FLASH, INC., QUOTED AN AVERAGE PRICE OF $1.35 PER PAIR AND THAT PRIOR PROCUREMENTS OF IDENTICAL PARKING SIGNS IN LARGER QUANTITIES WERE MADE AT AVERAGE PRICES OF $1.32 AND $1.42 PER PAIR. AS STATED HEREINABOVE, THE LOWEST BIDDER, MASSILLON, MADE THE SAME TYPE OF ERROR AND WAS PERMITTED TO CORRECT ITS BID SO THAT IT WOULD READ $1.58 INSTEAD OF $0.79 PER PAIR. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AVERAGE BID PRICE OF HAWKINS OF $1.074 PER PAIR AND THE THIRD LOW BID PRICE OF $1.35 PER PAIR AND THE PRICES PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR SUCH ITEM IN LARGER QUANTITIES, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT HAWKINS SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD BE INEQUITABLE TO REQUIRE HAWKINS-HAWKINS CO., INC., TO FURNISH THE PARKING SIGNS FOR THE ERRONEOUS PRICES QUOTED IN ITS BID. ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT MAY BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE CORPORATION, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

IN REGARD TO THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROPER FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE THIRD LOW BIDDER, SELECTO FLASH, INC., FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF THE PARKING SIGNS, THIS OFFICE WILL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO SUCH ACTION BEING TAKEN BY YOUR DEPARTMENT.