B-156964, JUN. 28, 1965

B-156964: Jun 28, 1965

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IT IS REPORTED THAT IN APRIL 1965. A NUMBER OF BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON BOTH TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 TABULATING CARDS WITH PRICES SUBMITTED UNDER PRICE CLASSES 1. WHILE THERE ARE FOUR DIFFERENT CLASSES OF TABULATING CARDS PROVIDED FOR IN THE PROPOSAL. YOUR SUBMITTED QUESTION APPLIES ONLY TO PRICE CLASS 4 CARDS WHICH ARE THE ONLY TYPE ON WHICH KLEER-VU INDUSTRIES SUBMITTED A BID. THIS PARTICULAR ITEM IS FURTHER IDENTIFIED AS "D" SINGLE. THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 17. ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HIS PRICES WERE F.O.B. THAT NO SHIPPING CHARGES WERE ENTERED IN THEIR PROPOSAL ON PAGE 22 AND THAT IT WAS THEIR INTENTION NOT TO CHARGE FOR THE SHIPPING. THE BIDDER IS REQUESTED TO INSERT "NC" - MEANING NO CHARGE - IN THE APPLICABLE SPACE.

B-156964, JUN. 28, 1965

TO THE HONORABLE JAMES L. HARRISON, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

BY LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1965, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE BID FROM KLEER-VU INDUSTRIES, INC., SHOULD BE REJECTED AS NOT BEING IN EXACT ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR SPECIFICATIONS UNDER PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING OF TABULATING CARDS OR WHETHER THIS BIDDER MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO AMEND ITS BID AT THIS TIME TO INCLUDE "NO CHARGE" FOR THE SHIPPING SINCE IT FAILED TO COMPLETE ITS BID BY INCLUDING THE REQUIRED SHIPPING CHARGES.

IT IS REPORTED THAT IN APRIL 1965, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FORWARDED TO ALL KNOWN TABULATING CARD SUPPLIERS A PROPOSAL FOR PRICES ON TABULATING CARDS TO BE PROCURED UNDER CONTRACTS BEGINNING AUGUST 1, 1965, AND ENDING JANUARY 31, 1966. IN RESPONSE TO THE PROPOSAL, A NUMBER OF BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON BOTH TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 TABULATING CARDS WITH PRICES SUBMITTED UNDER PRICE CLASSES 1, 2, 3 AND 4. WHILE THERE ARE FOUR DIFFERENT CLASSES OF TABULATING CARDS PROVIDED FOR IN THE PROPOSAL, YOUR SUBMITTED QUESTION APPLIES ONLY TO PRICE CLASS 4 CARDS WHICH ARE THE ONLY TYPE ON WHICH KLEER-VU INDUSTRIES SUBMITTED A BID. THIS PARTICULAR ITEM IS FURTHER IDENTIFIED AS "D" SINGLE,"COPY (DUPLICARD) CARDS," APPEARING UNDER PRICE CLASS 4 ON PAGE 15 OF THE INVITATION. KLEER-VU QUOTED PRICES OF $16.50 PER M FOR UP TO 98,000 CARDS, $16 PER M FOR 100,000 TO 248,000, $15.75 PER M FOR 250,000 TO 998,000 AND $14.50 PER M FOR $1,000,000 AND UP. HOWEVER, UNDER ITEM 38, PAGE 22,"SHIPPING CHARGES," IT DID NOT SPECIFY THOSE CHARGES AS REQUIRED BY THE PROPOSAL.

THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 17, 1965, AND BY LETTER DATED MAY 28, 1965, MR. GEORGE GOLDBERG, SECRETARY OF KLEER-VU, ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HIS PRICES WERE F.O.B. DESTINATION, THAT NO SHIPPING CHARGES WERE ENTERED IN THEIR PROPOSAL ON PAGE 22 AND THAT IT WAS THEIR INTENTION NOT TO CHARGE FOR THE SHIPPING. HE STATED FURTHER THAT ALTHOUGH IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS ON PAGE II, PARAGRAPH 3, THE BIDDER IS REQUESTED TO INSERT "NC" - MEANING NO CHARGE - IN THE APPLICABLE SPACE, AS A RESULT OF A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR THIS INFORMATION WAS NOT TRANSCRIBED FROM THE WORK COPY TO THE FINAL COPY. MR. GOLDBERG HAS STATED THAT HE FEELS HIS BID DOES NOT NEED ANY CORRECTION AND THAT HIS BID CONSTITUTES A LEGALLY BINDING OFFER.

THE INSTRUCTIONS IN YOUR PROPOSAL FOR BIDDING ON PRICE CLASS 4 (ITEM 5, PAGE 15) INCLUDE THE WORDS "THE PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING COST.' BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO QUOTE THE SHIPPING CHARGES FOR PRICE CLASS 4 ON PAGE 22, ITEM 38 OF THE PROPOSAL. THE SHIPPING PRICES WERE TO BE QUOTED PER 1,000 CARDS FOR THE VARIOUS QUANTITIES STATED FOR DELIVERY TO THE REGIONAL AREAS LISTED. ON THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE IT IS STATED THAT THE BIDDER MAY ENTER A RATE OF NC (NO CHARGE); ALSO, THAT SPACES LEFT BLANK WILL INDICATE NO BID (CANNOT FURNISH). WHILE KLEER-VU INDICATED THE SHIPPING POINT AS "ARDMORE, PENNSYLVANIA," IT DID NOT SPECIFY "NO CHARGE" OR ANY OTHER ENTRY IN RESPECT TO ANY ITEM ON THIS PAGE. IN PARAGRAPH 39 ON PAGE 9 OF THE PROPOSAL IT IS STATED THAT THE PRICES QUOTED FOR PRICE CLASS 1 CARDS INCLUDE THE SHIPPING CHARGE TO ANY DESTINATION; BUT THAT THE PRICES QUOTED FOR PRICE CLASS 2, 3 AND 4--- APPLICABLE TO THE KLEER-VU BID --- PLUS THE APPROPRIATE CHARGE IN ITEM 38, 39 OR 40--- THE SHIPPING CHARGES--- COVER DELIVERY TO ANY DESTINATION FALLING WITH THE RESPECTIVE AREA.

ALL BIDDERS WERE NOTIFIED ON PAGE II OF THE PROPOSAL THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE IN EXACT ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS, THAT ANY OBLITERATIONS OR ALTERATIONS TO THE TERMS, SECTIONS, STIPULATIONS OR THE ORDER AND MANNER OF SUBMITTING QUOTATIONS AS PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE OF PRICES WILL BE REASON FOR REJECTION OF BIDS, AND THAT IN THE EVENT THE BIDDER WILL FURNISH AN ITEM OR OPERATION AT NO CHARGE TO THE GOVERNMENT, HE MUST SO INDICATE BY INSERTING NC (WILL FURNISH AT NO CHARGE) IN THE APPLICABLE SPACE.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR PRICE CLASS 4CARDS AND THAT ALL OF THESE BIDDERS PROPERLY ENTERED EITHER A PRICE OR NC IN THE SPACES PROVIDED FOR THE SHIPPING COSTS.

THE PROVISION IN THE PROPOSAL REQUIRING BIDDERS TO STATE A SHIPPING CHARGE FOR ITEMS BID UPON, OTHER THAN THOSE IN PRICE CLASS 1, IS INTENDED TO FIX EXACTLY THE TOTAL MAXIMUM COST, INCLUDING SHIPPING, TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE SHIPPING CHARGE IS THUS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE BID AND IS MATERIAL IN DETERMINING THE TOTAL AMOUNT THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE CARDS AT THE DESIRED DESTINATION AND AFFECTS THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID. 38 COMP. GEN. 819. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED IN ADVERTISED PROCUREMENTS THAT A BIDDER'S FAILURE TO SUPPLY INFORMATION IN HIS BID WHICH IS NECESSARY TO A COMPLETE AND FULL EVALUATION OF THE BID WILL RENDER THE BID NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. B-150676, FEBRUARY 7, 1963.

IN BIDDER'S LETTER OF MAY 28, 1965, IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE OMISSION OF THE SHIPPING CHARGES WAS THE RESULT OF A CLERICAL ERROR, THAT THE COMPANY INTENDED TO MAKE NO CHARGE FOR SHIPPING AND THAT THE OMISSION OF NC DESIGNATION IS NOT SUFFICIENT REASON TO REJECT THE BID. HOWEVER, A NONRESPONSIVE BID DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER WHICH MAY PROPERLY BE ACCEPTED, AND TO PERMIT A BIDDER TO MAKE HIS BID RESPONSIVE BY CHANGING, ADDING TO, OR DELETING A MATERIAL PART OF THE BID ON THE BASIS OF AN ERROR ALLEGED AFTER THE OPENING WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO PERMITTING A BIDDER TO SUBMIT A NEW BID. AN ALLEGATION OF ERROR IS PROPER FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY IN CASES WHERE THE BID IS RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND IS OTHERWISE PROPER FOR ACCEPTANCE. B-134391, JANUARY 30, 1958; 38 COMP. GEN. 819. SINCE WE CONCLUDE THAT THE BID OF KLEER-VU WAS NOT A RESPONSIVE BID, IT MAY NOT BE CORRECTED TO MAKE IT RESPONSIVE AND ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE KLEER-VU BID MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE IT DID NOT QUOTE ON THE BASIS OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE PROPOSAL.