B-160529, MAR. 2, 1967

B-160529: Mar 2, 1967

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 3. BIDDERS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A BID DEPOSIT. RUDDY SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH PRICES RANGING FROM $31.49 TO $179.99 WERE SHOWN OPPOSITE ITEMS 1 THROUGH 47. RUDDY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO 18 ITEMS ON AUGUST 11. THE TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE ON THE 18 MAIL SCOOTERS WAS $1. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON AUGUST 16. STATED THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED BY HER 14-YEAR-OLD SON. THAT HE THOUGHT THAT IF HE WERE THE HIGH BIDDER ON MORE THAN ONE ITEM. RUDDY WAS INFORMED THAT IF HER SON HAD SUBMITTED THE BID AND WAS A MINOR. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE BID WAS ACTUALLY SIGNED BY THE BOY'S FATHER. STATED THAT HE SIGNED THE BID FORM AT HIS SON'S REQUEST PRIOR TO INSPECTING THE VEHICLES OFFERED FOR SALE AT THE MIAMI POST OFFICE AND IN THE BELIEF THAT HE WAS BIDDING ON ONLY 1 VEHICLE.

B-160529, MAR. 2, 1967

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL, FURNISHING A REPORT CONCERNING THE REQUEST OF MR. JAMES F. RUDDY, MIAMI, FLORIDA, FOR RELIEF FROM THE ASSESSMENT OF LIQUIDATED DAMAGES ARISING FROM HIS DEFAULT UNDER A SALES CONTRACT DATED AUGUST 11, 1966.

THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, UTILIZATION AND DISPOSAL SERVICE, PERSONAL PROPERTY DIVISION, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, REQUESTED BIDS UNDER SALE NO. 4UPS 67-29 ON 70 MAILSTERS (MAIL SCOOTERS), ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 53. BIDDERS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A BID DEPOSIT. IN RESPONSE JAMES F. RUDDY SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH PRICES RANGING FROM $31.49 TO $179.99 WERE SHOWN OPPOSITE ITEMS 1 THROUGH 47. THE BID OF MR. RUDDY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO 18 ITEMS ON AUGUST 11, 1966. THE TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE ON THE 18 MAIL SCOOTERS WAS $1,448.82.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON AUGUST 16, 1966, MRS. RUDDY TELEPHONED THE REGIONAL OFFICE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AND STATED THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED BY HER 14-YEAR-OLD SON; THAT HER SON HAD WANTED TO PURCHASE ONLY 1 SCOOTER; AND THAT HE THOUGHT THAT IF HE WERE THE HIGH BIDDER ON MORE THAN ONE ITEM, HE COULD SELECT THE SCOOTER HE WANTED. MRS. RUDDY WAS INFORMED THAT IF HER SON HAD SUBMITTED THE BID AND WAS A MINOR, THE CONTRACT WOULD BE CANCELED UPON RECEIPT OF EVIDENCE SUBSTANTIATING HER CONTENTION.

BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 16, 1966, MRS. RUDDY RETURNED THE NOTICE OF AWARD TO THE REGIONAL OFFICE AND ADVISED THAT HER SON HAD INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 38 ONLY. UPON INVESTIGATION BY THE ATLANTA REGIONAL COMPLIANCE DIVISION, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE BID WAS ACTUALLY SIGNED BY THE BOY'S FATHER, MR. JAMES F. RUDDY, SR. IN AN AFFIDAVIT DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1966, IN WHICH HE ACKNOWLEDGED THE SIGNATURE APPEARING ON THE BID AS HIS OWN, MR. JAMES F. RUDDY, SR., STATED THAT HE SIGNED THE BID FORM AT HIS SON'S REQUEST PRIOR TO INSPECTING THE VEHICLES OFFERED FOR SALE AT THE MIAMI POST OFFICE AND IN THE BELIEF THAT HE WAS BIDDING ON ONLY 1 VEHICLE. MR. RUDDY ALSO STATED THAT AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION, HIS SON INSERTED THE PENCILLED FIGURES SHOWN ON THE BID FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 47 AND THAT LATER HE WROTE INKED FIGURES OVER THE PENCILLED FIGURES, BUT STILL FELT THAT HE COULD SELECT 1 VEHICLE IF HIS BID WERE SUCCESSFUL.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13, 1966, THE ATLANTA REGIONAL OFFICE ADVISED MR. RUDDY THAT IT HAD NO AUTHORITY TO RELIEVE HIM FROM THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SALE; THAT MR. RUDDY HAD 15 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE LETTER TO PAY FOR AND REMOVE THE PROPERTY PURCHASED; AND THAT HIS FAILURE TO COMPLY WOULD CONSTITUTE A DEFAULT OF THE CONTRACT. LETTER DATED DECEMBER 1, 1966, MR. RUDDY WAS NOTIFIED THAT HIS CONTRACT HAD BEEN DEFAULTED AND THAT, PURSUANT TO THE GENERAL SALE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT, THE AMOUNT OF $289.76, REPRESENTING 20 PERCENT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF 18 MAIL SCOOTERS, WAS ASSESSED AS LIQUIDATED DAMAGES. IT IS REPORTED THAT UPON MR. RUDDY'S DEFAULT, THE 18 MAIL SCOOTERS WERE READVERTISED FOR SALE AND THAT THE TOTAL RESALE PRICE WAS $1,396.95 OR $51.87 LESS THAN MR. RUDDY'S TOTAL BID PRICE. IN HIS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1967, YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL RECOMMENDS THAT THE CONTRACT BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO MR. RUDDY.

UNDER THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT NO FURTHER ACTION NEED BE TAKEN TO EFFECT ANY RECOVERY UNDER THE CONTRACT WITH MR. RUDDY.