B-152904, DEC. 20, 1963

B-152904: Dec 20, 1963

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16. ON ACCOUNT OF AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED. THE MATTER WILL BE DISPOSED OF BY DECISION RATHER THAN BY CLAIM SETTLEMENT. EACH BUNDLE WAS TO CONSIST OF TWO SHEETS OF WALLBOARD. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO DELIVERIES OF WALLBOARD TO SHELBY. DELIVERY OF THE WALLBOARD WAS REQUESTED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 29. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 IN THAT THE UNIT PRICES FOR THE WALLBOARD COVERED BY THESE ITEMS WERE BASED ON FURNISHING ONE SHEET RATHER THAN A BUNDLE OF TWO SHEETS AND THAT IN PREVIOUS INVITATIONS PRICES FOR THE WALLBOARD WERE REQUESTED ON THE BASIS OF PER SHEET RATHER THAN PER BUNDLE.

B-152904, DEC. 20, 1963

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE CHIEF, ACCOUNTING AND REPORTS, MANAGEMENT DIVISION, FORWARDING TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE CLAIM OF THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION STATED TO BE DUE UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-05S-1477, ON ACCOUNT OF AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT FINAL PAYMENT OF THE CONTRACT HAS NOT BEEN MADE, THE MATTER WILL BE DISPOSED OF BY DECISION RATHER THAN BY CLAIM SETTLEMENT.

THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, BY INVITATION NO. CHFT-348 REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF 4,152 BUNDLES OF GYPSUM WALLBOARD, GROUP V, ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24, TO BE DELIVERED AS ORDERED BY THE STORES DEPOTS AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND SHELBY, OHIO, DURING A 1-YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING FROM THE DATE OF THE AWARD. EACH BUNDLE WAS TO CONSIST OF TWO SHEETS OF WALLBOARD. RESPONSE THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED MAY 27, 1963, OFFERING TO DELIVER TO SHELBY, OHIO, THE WALLBOARD DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 AT PRICES RANGING FROM $1.53 TO $3.90 PER BUNDLE. JULY 1, 1963, THE BID OF THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO DELIVERIES OF WALLBOARD TO SHELBY, OHIO, UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24.

ON JULY 18, 1963, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION STORES DEPOT, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, SHELBY, OHIO, ISSUED PURCHASE ORDER NO. WCH 37037 REQUESTING DELIVERY OF 127 BUNDLES OF 1/2 INCH THICK GYPSUM WALLBOARD, STOCK NO. 5640-527-8334, ITEM 23 OF THE INVITATION. DELIVERY OF THE WALLBOARD WAS REQUESTED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 29, 1963.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 26, 1963, THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 IN THAT THE UNIT PRICES FOR THE WALLBOARD COVERED BY THESE ITEMS WERE BASED ON FURNISHING ONE SHEET RATHER THAN A BUNDLE OF TWO SHEETS AND THAT IN PREVIOUS INVITATIONS PRICES FOR THE WALLBOARD WERE REQUESTED ON THE BASIS OF PER SHEET RATHER THAN PER BUNDLE. THE COMPANY STATED THAT THE COST TO IT OF THE 1/2 INCH THICK WALLBOARD REQUIRED BY THE PURCHASE ORDER WAS $2.64 PER SHEET WHICH AMOUNT INCLUDES FREIGHT OF $1.19 AND IN SUPPORT THEREOF THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A COPY OF AN INVOICE RECEIVED FROM ITS SUPPLIER. BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1963, THE COMPANY WAS ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO RESCIND OR REFORM THE CONTRACT BUT THAT AFTER DELIVERY OF THE WALLBOARD THE COMPANY COULD SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR THE LOSSES INCURRED BY IT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL THROUGH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

IN A LETTER INVOICE DATED AUGUST 21, 1963, THE COMPANY STATED THAT IT SHOULD HAVE INDICATED IN ITS BID THAT ITS PRICE OF $3.03 UNDER ITEM 23 WAS FOR ONE SHEET RATHER THAN A BUNDLE OF TWO HEETS; THAT ON THE BASIS OF ITS REVISED BID PRICE THE TOTAL PRICE FOR 127 BUNDLES OF 1/2 INCH THICK WALLBOARD IS $769.62. ON THE INVOICE THE COMPANY INDICATED THAT THE COST TO IT OF 254 SHEETS (127 BUNDLES OF 2) OF 1/2 INCH THICK WALLBOARD WAS $369.50 AND THAT TO THIS AMOUNT SHOULD BE ADDED THE SUMS OF $21.52 ($15.50 AND $6.02) AND $170.00 TO COVER THE COST OF LABOR INCIDENT TO THE BANDING AND LOADING OF THE WALLBOARD, MAKING AN AGGREGATE TOTAL COST OF $561.02.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE TWO OTHER RESPONSIVE BIDDERS ON THE 1/2 INCH THICK WALLBOARD COVERED BY ITEM 23 (SHELBY) QUOTED PRICES OF $4.88 AND $6.29 PER BUNDLE. IN HIS REPORT OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1963, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THE UNIT OF ISSUE FOR THE WALLBOARD WAS RECENTLY CHANGED FROM SHEET TO BUNDLE; THAT IN COMPARING THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY FOR THE WALLBOARD WITH THE CURRENT SELLING PRICE OF SUCH ITEM AND THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT PRICE THEREOF HE FAILED TO TAKE IN ACCOUNT THE UNIT OF ISSUE CHANGE; AND THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY. WE ALSO ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE COMPANY HAS DELIVERED 127 BUNDLES OF THE TYPE OF WALLBOARD DESCRIBED UNDER ITEM 23 OF THE INVITATION AND THAT IT HAS BEEN PAID THEREFOR AT ITS ORIGINAL BID PRICE FOR THAT ITEM. ACCORDINGLY, THE J. J. BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY MAY BE PAID THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITS BID PRICE FOR ITEM 23 AND THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOW RESPONSIVE BID ON THAT ITEM FOR THE 127 BUNDLES OF WALLBOARD DELIVERED BY IT TO SHELBY, OHIO, AND FOR ANY OTHER WALLBOARD DELIVERED BY IT UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24, THE COMPANY MAY BE PAID THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOW RESPONSIVE BID ON THE ITEM IN QUESTION. THE COMPANY ALSO MAY BE RELIEVED OF THE OBLIGATION OF FURNISHING WALLBOARD DURING THE BALANCE OF THE CONTRACT PERIOD.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHERS COVERING SUCH PAYMENTS.

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