B-169967, JUL. 14, 1970

B-169967: Jul 14, 1970

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ALLEGES MATHEMATICAL ERROR IN COMPUTATION OF PRICE WHICH WAS 134% LOWER THAN THE PRICE UNDER A PRIOR CONTRACT MAY BE PAID ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION SINCE WIDE DIFFERENCE IN PRICE AND PREVIOUS CONTRACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTICED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER. KUNZIG: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 8. AMONG THE ITEMS LISTED IN THE SOLICITATION WAS ITEM 9. THE PAPER WAS TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION UU-B-790A. THE ESTIMATED MONTHLY QUANTITY WAS EIGHT ROLLS. BIDS WERE OPENED MARCH 28. ONLY ONE BID WAS RECEIVED ON ITEM 9. GS-07S-13441 WAS MADE TO ST. THIS TELEPHONIC ADVICE WAS CONFIRMED BY LETTER DATED MAY 13. REGIS STATED THAT IT FAILED TO COMPLETE ITS MATHEMATICAL COMPUTATION IN PREPARING ITS BID PRICE AND THE $8.79 QUOTED WAS ACTUALLY THE PRICE OF 1.

B-169967, JUL. 14, 1970

CONTRACTS -- MISTAKES DECISION TO ADMINISTRATOR, GSA APPROVING REQUEST OF SISALKRAFT DIVISION, ST. REGIS PAPER COMPANY FOR RELIEF BECAUSE OF A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED AFTER AWARD. ONLY BIDDER WHO, AFTER AWARD OF REQUIREMENTS TYPE CONTRACT, ALLEGES MATHEMATICAL ERROR IN COMPUTATION OF PRICE WHICH WAS 134% LOWER THAN THE PRICE UNDER A PRIOR CONTRACT MAY BE PAID ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION SINCE WIDE DIFFERENCE IN PRICE AND PREVIOUS CONTRACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTICED BY CONTRACTING OFFICER.

TO MR. KUNZIG:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 8, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL, SUBMITTING FOR OUR DECISION A REQUEST BY SISALKRAFT DIVISION, ST. REGIS PAPER COMPANY (ST. REGIS), FOR RELIEF FROM A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF CONTRACT BY THE FORT WORTH, TEXAS, REGIONAL OFFICE.

THE FORT WORTH REGIONAL OFFICE ISSUED SOLICITATION NO. F/33515-TE ON MARCH 5, 1969, COVERING INDEFINITE QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS FOR 20 ITEMS OF MISCELLANEOUS BUILDING MATERIALS. AMONG THE ITEMS LISTED IN THE SOLICITATION WAS ITEM 9, VEGETABLE FIBER BUILDING PAPER. THE PAPER WAS TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION UU-B-790A, TYPE II, GRADE "E," STYLE 8, 72 INCHES WIDE, 1,800 SQUARE FEET PER ROLL. THE ESTIMATED MONTHLY QUANTITY WAS EIGHT ROLLS. BIDS WERE OPENED MARCH 28, 1969, AND ONLY ONE BID WAS RECEIVED ON ITEM 9, THAT OF ST. REGIS IN THE AMOUNT OF $8.79 PER ROLL. AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. GS-07S-13441 WAS MADE TO ST. REGIS ON APRIL 15, 1969.

ON MAY 12, 1969, ST. REGIS ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY PHONE THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN ITS BID. THIS TELEPHONIC ADVICE WAS CONFIRMED BY LETTER DATED MAY 13, 1969, IN WHICH ST. REGIS STATED THAT IT FAILED TO COMPLETE ITS MATHEMATICAL COMPUTATION IN PREPARING ITS BID PRICE AND THE $8.79 QUOTED WAS ACTUALLY THE PRICE OF 1,000 SQUARE FEET OF THE PAPER RATHER THAN A ROLL OF 1,800 SQUARE FEET. THIS PRICE ($8.79) SHOULD HAVE BEEN MULTIPLIED BY 1.8 TO OBTAIN THE PRICE OF $15.82 FOR AN 1,800-SQUARE- FOOT ROLL. INSTEAD $8.79 WAS SUBMITTED AS THE PRICE QUOTATION FOR AN 1,800-SQUARE-FOOT ROLL. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 16, 1969, ST. REGIS SUBMITTED ITS WORKSHEETS IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATIONS OF ERROR.

THE CONTRACT EXPIRED APRIL 30, 1970, AND IT IS REPORTED THAT ST. REGIS HAS PERFORMED ACCORDING TO CONTRACT TERMS. THREE ORDERS, TOTALING 371 ROLLS, HAVE BEEN PLACED UNDER THE CONTRACT. TWO HAVE BEEN SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AND TIMELY SHIPMENT IS EXPECTED ON THE FINAL ORDER DATED APRIL 17, 1970.

ORDINARILY WHERE, AS HERE, ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED ON AN ITEM, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS; HENCE, THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND RELIEF FOR ALLEGED MISTAKE IN BID MAY NOT BE GRANTED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 560 (1938); 26 ID. 415 (1946). HOWEVER, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THERE WAS A PREVIOUS, INFORMAL PROCUREMENT OF 50 ROLLS OF THE PAPER BY THE FORT WORTH REGIONAL OFFICE FROM ST. REGIS ON DECEMBER 3, 1968. THE PURCHASE PRICE AT THAT TIME WAS $20.54 PER ROLL, 134 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE AWARD PRICE OF $8.79 PER ROLL IN THIS SOLICITATION. IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT THE SELLING PRICE IN THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION STOCK CATALOG FOR THIS ITEM IS $15.24, 73 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE AWARD PRICE.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS CONCLUDED THAT ST. REGIS HAS SUBMITTED CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE AND THAT THE BID ACTUALLY INTENDED WAS $15.82 PER ROLL. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FURTHER STATES THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE MISTAKE BECAUSE OF THE WIDE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BID PRICE, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION SELLING PRICE AND THE PREVIOUS PURCHASE PRICE.

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 CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION SHOULD BE ALLOWED.

ACCORDINGLY, ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IN THE SUM OF $2,608.13 IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO ST. REGIS FOR THE PAPER DELIVERED UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-07S-13441 AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

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

THE FILE TRANSMITTED WITH LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1970, IS RETURNED.