B-164540, JUN. 27, 1968

B-164540: Jun 27, 1968

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TO GENERAL MCKEE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 6. THE SUBJECT CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THE CONTRACTOR AS LOW BIDDER ON FEBRUARY 15. THE QUANTITY OF TYPE II INSTRUCTION BOOKS TO BE FURNISHED IS 100 EACH. WERE FOR EACH COPY OF EACH PAGE AND NOT FOR "50 COPIES OF EACH PAGE.'. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE WAS NOT ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A MISTAKE IN BID AT THE TIME OF AWARD SINCE THE VARIANCE IN PRICES OF ITEM 4 WAS NOT CONSIDERED SIGNIFICANT IN RELATION TO THE TOTAL BID PRICES. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THERE IS AN AMBIGUITY IN THE INVITATION AND THAT IN HIS OPINION THE CONTRACTOR DID MAKE A BONA FIDE ERROR AND. IF THE CONTRACTOR IS ALLOWED TO INCREASE ITS UNIT PRICES FOR ITEM 4.

B-164540, JUN. 27, 1968

TO GENERAL MCKEE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 6, 1968, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER CERTAIN UNIT PRICES UNDER CONTRACT NO. FA68NS98 WITH ELECTRONIC LABORATORIES INC. MAY BE INCREASED TO ALLOW FOR THE CONTRACTOR'S ALLEGED MISTAKE IN ITS BID.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AS A RESULT OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N8-NS-114-5, DATED OCTOBER 5, 1967, THE SUBJECT CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THE CONTRACTOR AS LOW BIDDER ON FEBRUARY 15, 1968, IN THE AMOUNT OF $229,196.25. THE CONTRACT PROVIDES FOR THE FURNISHING OF 11 CODED TIME SOURCE SYSTEMS, 22 AUDIO TAPED TIME DISPLAY UNITS, TEST AND INSTALLATION SERVICES, TYPES I, I-A, II-M AND II INSTRUCTION BOOKS, REPLACEABLE PARTS LIST, ITEM IDENTIFICATION AND SPARE PARTS. THE QUANTITY OF TYPE II INSTRUCTION BOOKS TO BE FURNISHED IS 100 EACH. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 22, 1968, THE CONTRACTOR ALLEGED THAT THE UNIT PRICES OF $0.20 AND $0.15 QUOTED FOR THE INSTRUCTION BOOKS, ITEM 4, WERE FOR EACH COPY OF EACH PAGE AND NOT FOR "50 COPIES OF EACH PAGE.' THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE WAS NOT ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A MISTAKE IN BID AT THE TIME OF AWARD SINCE THE VARIANCE IN PRICES OF ITEM 4 WAS NOT CONSIDERED SIGNIFICANT IN RELATION TO THE TOTAL BID PRICES. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THERE IS AN AMBIGUITY IN THE INVITATION AND THAT IN HIS OPINION THE CONTRACTOR DID MAKE A BONA FIDE ERROR AND, THEREFORE, ITS CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED. IF THE CONTRACTOR IS ALLOWED TO INCREASE ITS UNIT PRICES FOR ITEM 4, THE TOTAL COST FOR THE TYPE II INSTRUCTION BOOKS WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $3,500. THE NEW TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE OF $232,600 WOULD BE $17,325 LOWER THAN THAT OF THE SECOND LOW BIDDER.

UNDER THE DESCRIPTION FOR ITEM 4, PAGE 3 OF THE SCHEDULE, THE FOLLOWING APPEARS:

"PER PAGE PRICE FOR PRINTING ONLY

"/A) FIRST 50 COPIES (OR LESS) OF A PAGE. $------

"/B) EACH ADDITIONAL 100 COPIES (OR MORE)

OF A PAGE. $------" WE AGREE WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE WORDS "PER PAGE PRICE FOR PRINTING ONLY" ARE MISLEADING AND COULD BE CONSTRUED AS REQUIRING A QUOTATION OF A PRICE PER PAGE INSTEAD OF A PRICE FOR 50 PAGES AS APPARENTLY WAS INTENDED BY THE GOVERNMENT. BECAUSE OF THIS AMBIGUITY AND IN VIEW OF THE VARIANCE IN THE PRICES QUOTED FOR ITEM 4 BY THE OTHER BIDDERS, WE THINK THAT THE RECORD SUBSTANTIATES THE CONTRACTOR'S ALLEGATION THAT THE PRICES QUOTED FOR ITEM 4 WERE INTENDED TO COVER THE PRICE PER PAGE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT PRICES FOR ITEM 4 MAY BE INCREASED TO $0.20 PER INDIVIDUAL COPY OF A PAGE FOR THE FIRST 50 COPIES AND $0.15 PER INDIVIDUAL COPY OF A PAGE FOR EACH ADDITIONAL 100 COPIES AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.