B-168233, DEC. 9, 1969

B-168233: Dec 9, 1969

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AFTER BEGINNING PRODUCTION COMPANY ADVISED CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT PRICE BID WAS FOR 10-PAGE PUBLICATION. 178 IS NOT FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE FOR JOB. SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON NOTICE OF ERROR BY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOW BID AND OTHER PRICES QUOTED. BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION THEREOF. HARRISON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 77-70 WAS AWARDED. THE THREE OTHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON AUGUST 7. IT IS REPORTED THAT AFTER THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY STARTED PRODUCTION OF THE PUBLICATION. 178 WAS FOR A PUBLICATION CONTAINING 10 PAGES RATHER THAN 24 PAGES AND THAT THE PAPER AND PRODUCTION WERE COMPUTED ON A 10-PAGE JOB.

B-168233, DEC. 9, 1969

MISTAKES--ALLEGATION PRIOR TO AWARD--CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ERROR DETECTION DUTY--NOTICE OF ERROR WHERE LOW BIDDER OFFERED TO FURNISH 15,000 COPIES OF 24-PAGE PUBLICATION FOR $1,178, OTHER THREE BIDS QUOTED PRICES OF $2,253.20, $2,350, AND $2,382, AND AFTER BEGINNING PRODUCTION COMPANY ADVISED CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT PRICE BID WAS FOR 10-PAGE PUBLICATION, TOTAL PRICE OF $2,042.84 MAY BE PAID FOR WORK (AS REQUESTED BY COMPANY AND RECOMMENDED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER) AS CONTRACTING OFFICER BELIEVES COMPANY MADE HONEST ERROR AND THAT $1,178 IS NOT FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE FOR JOB; AND, SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON NOTICE OF ERROR BY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOW BID AND OTHER PRICES QUOTED, BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION THEREOF.

TO MR. HARRISON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1969, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 77-70 WAS AWARDED.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS UNDER JACKET NO. 814 037 FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 15,000 COPIES OF A 24-PAGE PUBLICATION. RESPONSE, THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED AUGUST 7, 1969, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF COPIES OF THE PUBLICATION FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $1,178. THE THREE OTHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2,253.20, $2,350, AND $2,382. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON AUGUST 7, 1969.

IT IS REPORTED THAT AFTER THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY STARTED PRODUCTION OF THE PUBLICATION, IT ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $1,178 WAS FOR A PUBLICATION CONTAINING 10 PAGES RATHER THAN 24 PAGES AND THAT THE PAPER AND PRODUCTION WERE COMPUTED ON A 10-PAGE JOB. IT ALSO IS REPORTED THAT IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED AUGUST 11, 1969, THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE JOB BE INCREASED FROM $1,178 TO $2,042.84.

YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT IN RECENT BID OPENINGS HE HAS EXPERIENCED A WIDE RANGE IN BIDS AND THAT HE DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE BID OF THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY AS BEING SUSPICIOUSLY LOW AT THE BID OPENING FOR THIS TYPE OF CONTRACT. YOU ALSO STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BELIEVES THAT AN HONEST ERROR WAS MADE BY THE COMPANY IN ITS BID AND THAT THE PRICE OF $1,178 QUOTED BY THE COMPANY IS NOT A FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE FOR THE JOB.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED PRICES RANGING FROM $2,253.20 TO $2,382. CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT THERE IS ONLY A RANGE OF $128.80 IN THIS GROUP OF BIDS AND THE FACT THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF $1,075.20 BETWEEN THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE ACTIVE LETTER AND PRINTING COMPANY AND THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE SECOND LOWEST BIDDER, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON NOTICE OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF THE COMPANY AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION THEREOF.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE COMPANY HAS DELIVERED THE PUBLICATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 77-70 MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $2,042.84 FOR THE PUBLICATIONS, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE COMPTROLLER, AND PAYMENT FOR THE WORK IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE ON THAT BASIS. THE BID, AS CORRECTED, WILL STILL BE THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED ON THE JOB.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT TO THE CONTRACT.