B-153140, MAR. 4, 1964

B-153140: Mar 4, 1964

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5. ON ACCOUNT OF ERRORS 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. THE WALLBOARD WAS TO BE FURNISHED IN BUNDLES OF TWO. BIDS WERE ALSO REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF 2. THE BID OF THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO DELIVERIES TO CHICAGO. THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM 19 IN THAT A PRICE OF $5.35 INSTEAD OF $1.67 PER SHEET SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUOTED FOR THE HARDBOARD. THE INVITATION PROVIDED ON PAGE 6 THEREOF THAT AGGREGATE AWARDS WOULD BE MADE FOR EACH GROUP OF ITEMS SHOWN THEREIN AND THAT ITEMS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED IN A GROUP WILL BE AWARDED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS.

B-153140, MAR. 4, 1964

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE CHIEF, ACCOUNTING AND REPORTS DIVISION, FORWARDING TO CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE CLAIM OF THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION STATED TO BE DUE UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-05S-1485, ON ACCOUNT OF ERRORS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT FINAL PAYMENT UNDER 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 ESTIMATED QUANTITIES OF GYPSUM WALLBOARD, GROUP V, ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24, TO BE DELIVERED AS ORDERED BY THE STORES DEPOT AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND SHELBY, OHIO, DURING A 1 YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING FROM THE DATE OF AWARD. THE WALLBOARD WAS TO BE FURNISHED IN BUNDLES OF TWO. BIDS WERE ALSO REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF 2,480 SHEETS OF 1/4-INCH HARDBOARD (FIBERBOARD), 4 BY 8 FEET, ITEM 19 OF GROUP IV, TO BE DELIVERED AS ORDERED BY THE STORES DEPOTS. RESPONSE THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED MAY 27, 1963, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE HARDBOARD UNDER ITEM 19 AT A PRICE OF $1.67 PER SHEET AND THE GYPSUM WALLBOARD UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 AT PRICES RANGING FROM $1.50 TO $2.42 PER BUNDLE. THE BID OF THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO DELIVERIES TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, OF HARDBOARD UNDER ITEM 17 THROUGH 19 AND OF GYPSUM WALLBOARD UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 31, 1963, THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM 19 IN THAT A PRICE OF $5.35 INSTEAD OF $1.67 PER SHEET SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUOTED FOR THE HARDBOARD. THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT THE PRICE OF ITEM 19 BE CORRECTED TO READ $3.85 PER SHEET, THE AMOUNT QUOTED BY THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER ON THAT ITEM. IN A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 18, 1963, THE COMPANY STATED THAT IN COMPUTING ITS BID PRICE FOR ITEM 19 IT FAILED TO MULTIPLY THE COST PER FOOT BY 32--- THE NUMBER OF FEET IN A SHEET-- BEFORE ADDING ITS MARKUP OF 23 PERCENT. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ESTIMATE SHEETS.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED ON PAGE 6 THEREOF THAT AGGREGATE AWARDS WOULD BE MADE FOR EACH GROUP OF ITEMS SHOWN THEREIN AND THAT ITEMS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED IN A GROUP WILL BE AWARDED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY QUOTED A UNIT PRICE OF $1.67 FOR ITEM 19 (DELIVERED TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS) AND THAT FOR GROUP IV, CONSISTING OF ITEMS 17, 18 AND 19, THE COMPANY QUOTED AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $7,384. IT ALSO INDICATES THAT THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER ON GROUP IV, SUPER WOOD CORPORATION, QUOTED A UNIT PRICE OF $3.85 PER SHEET FOR ITEM 19 AND AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $9,127.80 FOR THAT GROUP. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AGGREGATE TOTAL BID PRICE QUOTED BY THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY AND THAT QUOTED BY THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER ON GROUP IV, 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 WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE COMPANY HAS DELIVERED VARIOUS QUANTITIES OF HARDBOARD UNDER ITEM 19 (DELIVERED TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS) OF THE INVITATION AND THAT IT HAS BEEN PAID THEREFOR AT ITS ORIGINAL BID PRICE FOR THAT ITEM. THE COMPANY HAS REQUESTED THAT THE PRICE OF ITEM 19 BE INCREASED TO THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOWEST BID ON THAT ITEM, NAMELY, $3.85 PER SHEET; HOWEVER, IF THE COMPANY'S BID PRICE OF ITEM 19 IS INCREASED TO $3.85 PER SHEET ITS AGGREGATE TOTAL BID PRICE FOR GROUP IV (ITEMS 17, 18 AND 19) WILL NOT BE THE LOWEST AGGREGATE BID ON THAT GROUP. THE MAXIMUM PRICE THAT MAY BE PAID TO THE COMPANY FOR THE HARDBOARD COVERED BY ITEM 19 IS $2.88 PER SHEET. ACCORDINGLY, THE WELSCHLUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY MAY BE PAID THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITS BID PRICE FOR ITEM 19 AND THE AMOUNT OF $2.88 FOR EACH SHEET OF HARDBOARD DELIVERED BY IT TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND FOR ANY OTHER HARDBOARD DELIVERED BY IT UNDER ITEM 19, THE COMPANY MAY BE PAID AT THE RATE OF $2.88 PER SHEET. THE COMPANY ALSO MAY BE RELIEVED OF THE OBLIGATION OF FURNISHING HARDBOARD UNDER ITEM 19 OF THE CONTRACT DURING THE BALANCE OF THE CONTRACT PERIOD.

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

THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY ALSO ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE ON ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 FOR DELIVERY OF GYPSUM WALLBOARD TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. THE COMPANY STATED THAT ITS BID PRICE FOR THE GYPSUM WALLBOARD WAS FOR ONE SHEET RATHER THAN A BUNDLE OF TWO SHEETS.

IN HIS REPORT OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1963, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY FOR ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 WERE VERY CLOSE TO THE PRICES BID BY THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY, AND THAT THE OTHER TWO RESPONSIVE BIDDERS UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 QUOTED PRICES WHICH WERE MORE THAN TWICE THE AMOUNT BID BY THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO STATES THAT THE UNIT OF ISSUE FOR THE WALLBOARD COVERED BY ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 WAS RECENTLY CHANGED FROM SHEET TO BUNDLE; THAT IN COMPARING THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY FOR THE WALLBOARD WITH THE CURRENT MAILING PRICE FOR SUCH ITEM AND THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT PRICE THEREOF HE FAILED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE UNIT OF ISSUE CHANGE; AND THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY 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 HAVE NOT BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUIRING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID.

IN REGARD TO THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER, THE BARNEY LUMBER COMPANY, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT IT ALSO HAD MADE AN ERROR ON ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 IN THAT IT HAD INADVERTENTLY BASED ITS BID PRICE ON FURNISHING ONE SHEET RATHER THAN A BUNDLE OF TWO SHEETS OF WALLBOARD; THAT THE COMPANY'S REQUEST FOR RELIEF WAS SUBMITTED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION; AND THAT BY DECISION OF DECEMBER 20, 1963, B-152904, TO YOU, WE AUTHORIZED THE GRANTING OF RELIEF TO THAT COMPANY.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE COMPANY HAS DELIVERED VARIOUS QUANTITIES OF THE TYPE OF WALLBOARD DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 OF THE INVITATION AND THAT IT HAD BEEN PAID THEREFOR AT ITS ORIGINAL BID PRICES FOR THOSE ITEMS. ACCORDINGLY, THE WELSCH LUMBER AND SUPPLY COMPANY MAY BE PAID THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITS BID PRICES FOR ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 AND THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOW RESPONSIVE BID ON THESE ITEMS FOR THE QUANTITIES OF WALLBOARD DELIVERED BY IT TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 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 ITEMS IN QUESTION. THE COMPANY ALSO MAY BE RELIEVED OF THE OBLIGATION OF FURNISHING WALLBOARD UNDER ITEMS 20 THROUGH 24 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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