B-173818, OCT 19, 1971

B-173818: Oct 19, 1971

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CONTRACTS - MISTAKE IN BID - RELIEF REQUESTED DECISION THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR GRANTING RELIEF TO LEVY AUTO PARTS. WHILE LEVY ALLEGES THAT THEIR INTENDED BID WAS $0.151 INSTEAD OF $1.51 EACH FOR THE UNIVERSAL JOINTS. THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THAT THE PRICE QUOTED THEREIN WAS NOT AS INTENDED. BECAUSE THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL FOR SUCH ITEMS WAS $1.50 EACH AND THE 10 OTHER BIDS RANGED FROM $1.483 TO $0.011. IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS PLACED ON NOTICE OF A POSSIBLE MISTAKE IN BID PRICE. ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS WAS A SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF AUGUST 5 AND SEPTEMBER 21. REQUESTING RELIEF IN CONNECTION WITH AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN YOUR BID UPON WHICH DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY SALES CONTRACT NO. 11-1180 127 WAS BASED.

B-173818, OCT 19, 1971

CONTRACTS - MISTAKE IN BID - RELIEF REQUESTED DECISION THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR GRANTING RELIEF TO LEVY AUTO PARTS, INC., HIGH BIDDER ON A SALES INVITATION ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE SURPLUS SALES OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PA., FOR 6,157 UNIVERSAL JOINTS. WHILE LEVY ALLEGES THAT THEIR INTENDED BID WAS $0.151 INSTEAD OF $1.51 EACH FOR THE UNIVERSAL JOINTS, THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THAT THE PRICE QUOTED THEREIN WAS NOT AS INTENDED. FURTHER, BECAUSE THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL FOR SUCH ITEMS WAS $1.50 EACH AND THE 10 OTHER BIDS RANGED FROM $1.483 TO $0.011, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS PLACED ON NOTICE OF A POSSIBLE MISTAKE IN BID PRICE, ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS WAS A SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY.

TO LEVY AUTO PARTS, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF AUGUST 5 AND SEPTEMBER 21, 1971, REQUESTING RELIEF IN CONNECTION WITH AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN YOUR BID UPON WHICH DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY SALES CONTRACT NO. 11-1180 127 WAS BASED.

THE DEFENSE SURPLUS SALES OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, BY SALES INVITATION NO. 11-1180 REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF VARIOUS ITEMS, INCLUDING ITEM 098 DESCRIBED AS 6,157 UNIVERSAL JOINTS, UNUSED, IN GOOD CONDITION, WHOSE TOTAL COST WAS STATED TO BE $28,445. THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL ESTABLISHED FOR ITEM 098 WAS $1.50 EACH. RESPONSE, YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED A BID DATED MAY 7, 1971, OFFERING TO PURCHASE THE UNIVERSAL JOINTS UNDER ITEM 098 AT A PRICE OF $1.51 EACH. YOUR BID WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 098 AND OTHER ITEMS ON MAY 19, 1971.

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1971, YOU ADVISED THE SALES OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN YOUR BID ON ITEM 098 IN THAT YOU HAD INTENDED TO QUOTE A PRICE OF $0.151 EACH INSTEAD OF $1.51 EACH FOR THAT ITEM. YOU STATE THAT YOUR INTENDED BID PRICE OF $0.151 EACH WOULD BE MORE REALISTIC FOR THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY OFFERED UNDER ITEM 098 AND YOU REQUESTED THAT 098 BE DELETED FROM THE CONTRACT WITHOUT LIABILITY TO YOUR CORPORATION. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE SALES OFFICE DENIED YOUR REQUEST FOR RELIEF BECAUSE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS NOT ON NOTICE OF A PROBABLE ERROR IN YOUR BID.

IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1971, YOU STATE YOU ARE UNAWARE OF THE AMOUNTS OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 098 BUT THAT A REVIEW OF SUCH BIDS WOULD SUBSTANTIATE YOUR OPINION THAT ITEM 098 IS WORTH CLOSER TO $0.15 THAN $1.51.

THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF YOUR BID TO INDICATE THAT THE PRICE QUOTED THEREIN FOR ITEM 098 WAS NOT AS INTENDED. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE 10 OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 098 RANGED FROM $1.483 TO $0.011. THUS, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DIFFERENCE IN PRICES WAS SUCH AS TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN YOUR BID ON ITEM 098. IN ANY EVENT, IN VIEW OF THE WIDE RANGE OF BID PRICES ORDINARILY RECEIVED FOR SURPLUS PROPERTY, A MERE DIFFERENCE IN THE PRICES BID WOULD NOT NECESSARILY PLACE A CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN A BID FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUCH PROPERTY, AS WOULD A LIKE DIFFERENCE IN THE PRICES QUOTED ON NEW EQUIPMENT. SEE WENDER PRESSES, INC. V UNITED STATES, 343 F. 2D 961 (1965); AND UNITED STATES V SABIN METAL CORPORATION, 151 F. SUPP. 683 (1957), AFFIRMED 253 F. 2D 956 (1958), CITING WITH APPROVAL 16 COMP. GEN. 596 (1936) AND ID. 601 (1936). SEE, ALSO, B-172961, JULY 6, 1971; B-168258, DECEMBER 9, 1969; AND B- 160226, APRIL 26, 1967.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, AND AS NO ERROR WAS ALLEGED UNTIL AFTER AWARD, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WAS MADE IN GOOD FAITH AND CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WHICH FIXED THE RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR GRANTING ANY RELIEF IN THE MATTER.