B-154110, MAY 14, 1964

B-154110: May 14, 1964

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 30. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE WITHIN THE STATES OF CALIFORNIA. BIDS WERE SOLICITED ON SEVERAL ITEMS FOR VARIOUS DESTINATIONS WITH PRICES FOR DELIVERY ON BOTH F.O.B. BIDS WERE OPENED. CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY WAS AWARDED SEVERAL ITEMS. ALLEGING THAT A DECIMAL POINT HAD BEEN MISPLACED WHEN THE PRICES WERE TRANSMITTED FROM THE COMPANY'S WORKSHEETS TO ITS BID. THE INTENDED PRICES WERE THEREFORE ALLEGED TO BE ?024 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. THE COMPANY POINTS OUT THAT ITS BID PRICES ON OTHER QUANTITIES OF ACETYLENE IN THE SAME SIZE CYLINDERS TO OTHER DESTINATIONS WERE IDENTICAL OR VERY CLOSE TO ITS INTENDED PRICES ON ITEM 33-D.

B-154110, MAY 14, 1964

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED APRIL 30, 1964, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, SUBMITTING THE REQUEST OF THE CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY, SANTA FE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, FOR RELIEF FROM A MISTAKE IN BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. SFD-FSS-13-64, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 10, 1963.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE WITHIN THE STATES OF CALIFORNIA, NEVADA AND HAWAII FOR COMPRESSED AND LIQUEFIED GASES DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1, 1963, THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 1964. BIDS WERE SOLICITED ON SEVERAL ITEMS FOR VARIOUS DESTINATIONS WITH PRICES FOR DELIVERY ON BOTH F.O.B. DESTINATION AND F.O.B. ORIGIN BASES.

ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1963, BIDS WERE OPENED. ON NOVEMBER 29, 1963, CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY WAS AWARDED SEVERAL ITEMS, INCLUDING 33-D, ESTIMATED 944,110 CUBIC FEET OF ACETYLENE GAS, UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS 09S- 12628. BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 13, 1963, CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY REQUESTED CORRECTION OF ITS QUOTATION OF ?0024 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. DESTINATION AND ?0023 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. ORIGIN ON ITEM 33-D, ALLEGING THAT A DECIMAL POINT HAD BEEN MISPLACED WHEN THE PRICES WERE TRANSMITTED FROM THE COMPANY'S WORKSHEETS TO ITS BID. THE INTENDED PRICES WERE THEREFORE ALLEGED TO BE ?024 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. DESTINATION AND ?023 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. ORIGIN.

CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY'S WORKSHEETS SUBSTANTIATE ITS ALLEGATION. ADDITION, THE COMPANY POINTS OUT THAT ITS BID PRICES ON OTHER QUANTITIES OF ACETYLENE IN THE SAME SIZE CYLINDERS TO OTHER DESTINATIONS WERE IDENTICAL OR VERY CLOSE TO ITS INTENDED PRICES ON ITEM 33-D.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS NOTED THAT CALIFORNIA OXYGEN COMPANY'S BID WAS CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN THE NEXT LOW BID OF ?0175 PER CUBIC FOOT F.O.B. DESTINATION AND THAT SUCH DISPARITY IN BID PRICES SHOULD HAVE PLACED HIM ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF A MISTAKE.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE BIDDER MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR, AS ALLEGED, WHICH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE SUSPECTED. THEREFORE, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT VERIFICATION, AND THE CONTRACTOR IS ENTITLED TO ADJUSTMENT OF ITS BID PRICE. HOWEVER, IF THE BID IS INCREASED TO THE AMOUNTS ALLEGEDLY INTENDED, IT WILL NOT BE THE LOWEST BID ON ITEM 33-D. ACCORDINGLY, ADJUSTMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNTS QUOTED IN THE NEXT LOWEST BID ON THE ITEM ON BOTH F.O.B. DESTINATION AND F.O.B. ORIGIN BASES. 36 COMP. GEN. 585.