B-168890, FEB. 24, 1970

B-168890: Feb 24, 1970

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A LOW BID FOR PRINTING FORMS WHICH WAS CONSIDERABLY UNDER THE SECOND LOW BID AND WHICH CONTAINED A PRICE FOR AN ADDITIONAL INCREMENT. AT DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE BID PRICE MAY BE CORRECTED SINCE FACTS AND EVIDENCE SUBSTANTIATE THAT CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR AND REQUESTED VERIFICATION. HARRISON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19. (FRIESEMA) AS A RESULT OF A MISTAKE ALLEGED BY FRIESEMA TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 48867 WAS AWARDED. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST. 200.00 2.90 THE AWARD WAS MADE TO FRIESEMA ON SEPTEMBER 29. OUR OFFICE WILL GRANT RELIEF IF THE MISTAKE WAS MUTUAL OR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE ERROR PRIOR TO THE AWARD. 167031.

B-168890, FEB. 24, 1970

CONTRACTS--MISTAKES--CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ERROR DETECTION DUTY DECISION TO GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AUTHORIZING ADDITIONAL AMOUNT TO FRIESEMA BROS. PRINTING CO. ON BASIS OF MISTAKE IN BID. A LOW BID FOR PRINTING FORMS WHICH WAS CONSIDERABLY UNDER THE SECOND LOW BID AND WHICH CONTAINED A PRICE FOR AN ADDITIONAL INCREMENT, AT DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE BID PRICE MAY BE CORRECTED SINCE FACTS AND EVIDENCE SUBSTANTIATE THAT CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR AND REQUESTED VERIFICATION.

TO MR. HARRISON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING A DECISION CONCERNING A CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT BY FRIESEMA BROS. PRINTING CO. (FRIESEMA) AS A RESULT OF A MISTAKE ALLEGED BY FRIESEMA TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 48867 WAS AWARDED.

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) REQUESTED BIDS UNDER JACKET NO. 362- 220 FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 4,000,000 FORMS ENTITLED "REMINDER CARD - 1969 - CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE." FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST, THE BIDS BEING OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1969. THEY RANGED AS FOLLOWS:

BIDDER BID ADDITIONAL

(4 MM COPIES) (PER M'S)

FRIESEMA BROS. PRINTING CO. $ 6,175.00 $2.48

FOOTE & DAVIES 9,638.00 2.38

MCGREGOR PRINTING CORPORATION 10,800.00 2.70

THE WESSEL COMPANY, INC. 10,808.00 2.65

DRAKE PRINTING COMPANY 12,200.00 2.90 THE AWARD WAS MADE TO FRIESEMA ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1969.

ON OCTOBER 1, 1969, FRIESEMA TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPRESENTATIVE ADVISING HIM THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID PRICE OF $3,900. UPON BEING ADVISED THAT IT COULD REQUEST TO BE HELD IN DEFAULT OR FOLLOW THROUGH WITH PRODUCTION AND SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT, FRIESEMA ELECTED TO PRODUCE THE SUPPLIES AND SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT MIGHT NOT BE HONORED

BY LETTER TO GPO DATED DECEMBER 5, 1969, FRIESEMA STATED THAT IT HAD NOT PROPERLY LOOKED AT THE FIGURES SUPPLIED TO IT BY ITS ESTIMATOR AND MISREAD THE FIGURE ($10,110) AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO BE $6,110 AND MARKED IT UP TO $6,175. ALONG WITH THE LETTER, FRIESEMA SUBMITTED ITS WORKSHEET IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATIONS OF ERROR.

WHERE A MISTAKE HAS BEEN ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, OUR OFFICE WILL GRANT RELIEF IF THE MISTAKE WAS MUTUAL OR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE ERROR PRIOR TO THE AWARD. 167031, JUNE 16, 1969; B-167816, SEPTEMBER 19, 1969; B 167745, SEPTEMBER 2, 1969. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS CONCLUDED THAT IN LIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED AN HONEST MISTAKE HAS BEEN MADE AND THAT BECAUSE OF THE DISPARITY BETWEEN FRIESEMA'S BID AND THE SECOND LOW BID HE SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED FRIESEMA TO REVIEW ITS ESTIMATE AND CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO REPORTED THAT FRIESEMA'S QUOTATION OF $2.48 FOR ADDITIONAL 1,000 COPIES SHOULD HAVE SERVED NOTICE ON HIM OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO US, WE AGREE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF ERROR IN THE BID AND, THEREFORE, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT VERIFICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IN THE SUM OF $3,462 IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO FRIESEMA FOR THE FORMS DELIVERED UNDER PURCHASE ORDER NO. 48867, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. THIS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION COUPLED WITH THE ORIGINAL QUOTATION DOES NOT EXCEED THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE SECOND LOW BIDDER.

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

THE FILE TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1970, IS RETURNED.