B-165702, DEC. 19, 1968

B-165702: Dec 19, 1968

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HARRISON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 43483 IS BASED. ONE-HALF OF THE POSTERS WERE TO BE FURNISHED WITH EASELS AND THE OTHER HALF WITHOUT EASELS. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE POSTERS WITHOUT EASELS COULD BE PRINTED ON EITHER WHITE POSTCARD STOCK OR ON WHITE C.W. AWARD WAS TO BE MADE TO THE BIDDER QUOTING THE LOWEST AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE FOR THE POSTERS. THE BID OF MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON JULY 9. PURCHASE ORDER NO. 43483 WAS ISSUED ON THE FOLLOWING DAY. IT IS REPORTED THAT A NOTICE OF AWARD WAS MAILED TO MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY ON JULY 9.

B-165702, DEC. 19, 1968

TO MR. HARRISON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE COMPTROLLER, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 43483 IS BASED.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS UNDER JACKETS NOS. 307-815 AND 307-820 FOR THE PRINTING OF TWO POSTERS IN QUANTITIES OF 4,000 AND 400 COPIES, RESPECTIVELY. ONE-HALF OF THE POSTERS WERE TO BE FURNISHED WITH EASELS AND THE OTHER HALF WITHOUT EASELS. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE POSTERS WITHOUT EASELS COULD BE PRINTED ON EITHER WHITE POSTCARD STOCK OR ON WHITE C.W. INDEX PAPER. AWARD WAS TO BE MADE TO THE BIDDER QUOTING THE LOWEST AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE FOR THE POSTERS. RESPONSE, MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED JULY 3, 1968, OFFERING TO FURNISH 4,000 POSTERS UNDER JACKET NO. 307-815 FOR A PRICE OF $994 AND TO FURNISH 400 POSTERS UNDER JACKET NO. 307-820 FOR A PRICE OF $475, MAKING A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $1,469 FOR ALL POSTERS. THE BID OF MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON JULY 9, 1968, AND PURCHASE ORDER NO. 43483 WAS ISSUED ON THE FOLLOWING DAY.

IT IS REPORTED THAT A NOTICE OF AWARD WAS MAILED TO MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY ON JULY 9, 1968; THAT LATER THAT SAME DAY AN OFFICIAL OF MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND ALLEGED THAT THE COMPANY'S ESTIMATOR IN COMPUTING THE COMPANY'S BID PRICES FOR THE POSTERS HAD FAILED TO INCLUDE THEREIN THE COST OF EASELING THE TWO QUANTITIES OF POSTERS; AND THAT THE COMPANY STATED THAT SINCE THE COPY AND NOTICE OF AWARD HAD BEEN FORWARDED TO IT, THE COMPANY WOULD PROCEED WITH PRODUCTION OF THE POSTERS AND SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR RELIEF.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED JULY 9, 1968, THE COMPANY STATED THAT THE CORRECT AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE FOR THE POSTERS IS $2,069. BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1968, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET AND ON SUCH SHEET THE COMPANY INDICATED THAT THE COST OF EASELING THE POSTERS IS $600.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD INFORMALLY THAT THE SUBJECT INVITATION AS ORIGINALLY ISSUED PERMITTED CONTRACTORS TO USE ONLY POSTCARD STOCK FOR THE POSTERS WITHOUT EASELS; THAT NO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE ORIGINAL INVITATION; AND THAT CERTAIN BIDDERS WHEN ASKED WHY THEY HAD NOT SUBMITTED BIDS REPLIED THAT THE REQUIRED POSTCARD STOCK WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO THEM. IN A MEMORANDUM DATED AUGUST 7, 1968, THE ACTING CHIEF, PRINTING PROCUREMENT SECTION, STATES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE REINVITATION FOR BIDS WAS TO AMEND THE SPECIFICATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR A SUBSTITUTE STOCK IF POSTCARD STOCK WAS UNAVAILABLE; THAT THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION WERE BASED ON USING C.W. INDEX PAPER IN LIEU OF POSTCARD STOCK; AND THAT A REVIEW OF THE BID EVALUATION NOW REVEALS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED THE EXTREME DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED AND THAT HE SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED THE MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE BID OF THE MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,469 IS $1,831 LOWER THAN THE ONLY OTHER BID RECEIVED ON THE POSTERS WHICH WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,300. IN VIEW OF THE SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOTH BIDS AND THE FACT THAT BOTH BIDS WERE BASED ON USING WHITE C.W. INDEX PAPER FOR THE POSTERS WITHOUT EASELS, WE AGREE WITH THE ACTING CHIEF, PRINTING PROCUREMENT SECTION, THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE COMPANY'S BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE POSTERS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED AND PAID FOR, AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT OF $600 IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO THE MOEBIUS PRINTING COMPANY FOR THE QUANTITY OF POSTERS DELIVERED UNDER PURCHASE ORDER NO. 43483, AS RECOMMENDED BY YOUR COMPTROLLER.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING THE ADDITIONAL PAYMENT ON THE POSTERS.