B-166523, AUG. 5, 1969

B-166523: Aug 5, 1969

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TO BAYSIDE GRAPHIC ARTS INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 19 AND 25. WAS ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE. PAGE 10 A PLACE WAS PROVIDED FOR BIDDERS TO INSERT THEIR TOTAL PRICE. FIVE BIDS WERE OPENED MARCH 10. 240.00 EXAMINATION OF YOUR BID REVEALED THAT THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN HAD NOT BEEN USED BUT WHAT WERE OBVIOUSLY UNIT PRICES HAD BEEN INSERTED IN THE AMOUNT COLUMN AND YOUR UNIT PRICES WERE ADDED TO ARRIVE AT THE QUOTED TOTAL AMOUNT. AFTER MEETINGS BETWEEN YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID WAS IN ERROR AS TO ITEMS 18 AND 19. YOU STATED THAT YOUR PRICES FOR ITEMS 18 AND 19 WERE BASED ON THE UNIT "SHEETS" INSTEAD OF "LOTS" AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND THAT THIS MISINTERPRETATION AFFECTED THE PRICES OFFERED IN THAT THE GREATER THE VOLUME THE LOWER THE PRICE WOULD BE.

B-166523, AUG. 5, 1969

BID PROTEST - MISTAKES DECISION TO BAYSIDE GRAPHIC ARTS, INC. DENYING REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OF BID FOR DUPLICATING AND BINDING SERVICES FOR DEFENSE PRINTING SERVICE. WHERE INTENDED BID PRICE CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED FROM BID ITSELF AND WHERE CORRECTION WOULD DISPLACE OTHER BIDDERS CORRECTION REQUEST MUST BE DENIED.

TO BAYSIDE GRAPHIC ARTS INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 19 AND 25, 1969, WHICH IN EFFECT REQUEST MODIFICATION OF YOUR BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS N00600- 69-B-0277 ISSUED BY THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD AND IN WHICH YOU PROTEST THE SMALL BUSINESS STATUS OF DARSEL GRAPHIC ARTS SERVICES, INC., ANOTHER BIDDER.

THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SOLICITATION, A 100-PERCENT SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS, WAS ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 29, 1969, BASED ON INDEFINITE QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEFENSE PRINTING SERVICE FOR DUPLICATING AND BINDING. THE SOLICITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR 22 ITEMS CONSISTING OF 16 ITEMS OF DUPLICATING, FIVE ITEMS OF BINDING AND ONE ITEM OF PACKAGING. PAGE 10 A PLACE WAS PROVIDED FOR BIDDERS TO INSERT THEIR TOTAL PRICE. FIVE BIDS WERE OPENED MARCH 10, 1969, QUOTING THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS IN THE TOTAL PRICE COLUMN:

BAYSIDE GRAPHIC ARTS INC. $ 3.5685

DARSEL GRAPHIC ARTS SERVICES, INC. 117,353.50

J. M. PRINTING AND PUBLICATIONS, INC. 101,334.50

REPRODUCTIONS, INC. 93,261.90

LITHOGRAPHIC PUBLICATIONS, INC. 136,240.00 EXAMINATION OF YOUR BID REVEALED THAT THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN HAD NOT BEEN USED BUT WHAT WERE OBVIOUSLY UNIT PRICES HAD BEEN INSERTED IN THE AMOUNT COLUMN AND YOUR UNIT PRICES WERE ADDED TO ARRIVE AT THE QUOTED TOTAL AMOUNT. IN ORDER TO DETERMINE YOUR ACTUAL TOTAL AMOUNT FOR COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER BIDS, THE BUYER PROPERLY COMPUTED THE AMOUNT FOR EACH ITEM BY MULTIPLYING THE UNIT PRICES BY THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF UNITS FOR EACH ITEM. THIS RESULTED IN A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $136,838.075.

AFTER MEETINGS BETWEEN YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID WAS IN ERROR AS TO ITEMS 18 AND 19. ITEM 18 CALLED FOR 220,000 LOTS OF COLLATING. THE BUYER MULTIPLIED 220,000 BY THE $0.30 UNIT PRICE BID WHICH TOTALED $66,000. ITEM 19 CALLED FOR 50,000 LOTS OF DRILLING AT A QUOTED UNIT PRICE BY BAYSIDE OF $0.40 TOTALING $20,000. IN A LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1969, YOU STATED THAT YOUR PRICES FOR ITEMS 18 AND 19 WERE BASED ON THE UNIT "SHEETS" INSTEAD OF "LOTS" AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND THAT THIS MISINTERPRETATION AFFECTED THE PRICES OFFERED IN THAT THE GREATER THE VOLUME THE LOWER THE PRICE WOULD BE. YOU THEN REQUESTED THAT THE BIDS FOR ITEMS 18 AND 19 BE REVISED DOWNWARD FROM $0.30 EACH TO $0.095 EACH FOR ITEM 18 AND FROM $0.40 EACH TO $0.185 EACH FOR ITEM 19. THE REQUESTED CORRECTION WOULD, THEREFORE, REDUCE THE TOTAL ESTIMATED BID FROM $136,838.075 TO $80,817.075 AND CHANGE YOUR RELATIVE BIDDING POSITION FROM THE HIGHEST TO THE LOWEST. FOR THIS REASON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR BID NOT BE CORRECTED AND THAT IT BE DISREGARDED.

WE CONCUR IN THAT RECOMMENDATION. PARAGRAPH 2-406.3 (A) (3) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) THE DEPARTMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH MISTAKES IN BIDS, OTHER THAN APPARENT CLERICAL MISTAKES, ALLEGED AFTER OPENING OF BIDS AND PRIOR TO AWARD.

"/3) WHERE THE BIDDER REQUESTS PERMISSION TO CORRECT A MISTAKE IN HIS BID AND CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE ESTABLISHES BOTH THE EXISTENCE OF A MISTAKE AND THE BID ACTUALLY INTENDED, A DETERMINATION PERMITTING THE BIDDER TO CORRECT THE MISTAKE MAY BE MADE; PROVIDED THAT, IN THE EVENT SUCH CORRECTION WOULD RESULT IN DISPLACING ONE OR MORE LOWER BIDS, THE DETERMINATION SHALL NOT BE MADE UNLESS THE EXISTENCE OF THE MISTAKE AND THE BID ACTUALLY INTENDED ARE ASCERTAINABLE SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THE INVITATION AND THE BID ITSELF. IF THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR AND CONVINCING ONLY AS TO THE MISTAKE, BUT NOT AS TO THE INTENDED BID, A DETERMINATION PERMITTING THE BIDDER TO WITHDRAW HIS BID MAY BE MADE.'

IN THAT CONNECTION, IN OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1967, 37 COMP. GEN. 210, WE HELD:

"* * * BUT IN A CASE SUCH AS HERE PRESENTED, WHERE A DOWNWARD CORRECTION WOULD RESULT IN DISPLACEMENT OF ONE OR MORE OTHER BIDDERS, WE FEEL THAT THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN PRESERVING AND MAINTAINING THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM REQUIRES THAT THE RIGHTS OF OTHER BIDDERS BE CONSIDERED AS CALLING FOR DENIAL OF THE CORRECTION, EXCEPT WHERE IT CAN BE ASCERTAINED SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THE INVITATION AND THE BID ITSELF.' SEE, ALSO, 40 COMP. GEN. 432.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOUR INTENDED BID CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED FROM THE BID ITSELF AND ITS CORRECTION, IF PERMITTED, WOULD DISPLACE OTHER BIDDERS CONTRARY TO THE ABOVE-STATED RULE, YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT DARSEL GRAPHIC ARTS IS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY REQUESTED THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) TO EVALUATE THE SIZE STATUS OF DARSEL. SBA'S REPLY STATED THAT DARSEL GRAPHIC ARTS SERVICES, AS OF APRIL 17, 1969, WAS DETERMINED TO BE AN ELIGIBLE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT WHERE THE SIZE CRITERION IS AN EMPLOYMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 500 EMPLOYEES. SINCE THIS WAS THE SIZE CRITERION ASSIGNED TO THIS PROCUREMENT DARSEL MUST BE CONSIDERED A QUALIFIED SMALL BUSINESS BIDDER.