B-174017, NOV 4, 1971

B-174017: Nov 4, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

AS THE PREVIOUS PRINTING OF THIS JOB WAS PROCURED AT $5. 950 AND THERE WAS A 40% DIFFERENCE IN LOW BID AND THE NEXT LOW BID. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE AND SHOULD HAVE CONFIRMED THE LOW BID BEFORE ACCEPTANCE. SPENCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 20. FOR RELIEF IN CONNECTION WITH AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 52694 IS BASED. BIDS WERE SOLICITED FOR A BASIC 25. BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 11. THE FOUR BIDS RECEIVED WERE AS FOLLOWS: BASIC ADDITIONAL QUANTITY 1. 675.00 250.00 WHILE NO ESTIMATE FOR THE JOB WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME BIDS WERE OPENED. NO CONFIRMATION OF THE LOW BID WAS REQUESTED AND AWARD WAS MADE TO BB PRINTING ON MAY 12.

B-174017, NOV 4, 1971

CONTRACTS - MISTAKE IN BID - RELIEF DECISION RELIEVING BB PRINTING COMPANY FOR A MISTAKE IN BID UPON PURCHASE ORDER ISSUED BY GPO. AS THE PREVIOUS PRINTING OF THIS JOB WAS PROCURED AT $5,950 AND THERE WAS A 40% DIFFERENCE IN LOW BID AND THE NEXT LOW BID, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE AND SHOULD HAVE CONFIRMED THE LOW BID BEFORE ACCEPTANCE. THEREFORE, BIDDER MAY BE RELIEVED OF CONTRACT.

TO MR. ADOLPHUS N. SPENCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 20, 1971, FROM YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL, REPORTING ON THE REQUEST OF THE BB PRINTING COMPANY, COLUMBUS, OHIO, FOR RELIEF IN CONNECTION WITH AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID UPON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 52694 IS BASED.

UNDER JACKET NO. 423-338 FOR FIVE-PART FORMS FOR USE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BIDS WERE SOLICITED FOR A BASIC 25,000 QUANTITY AND EACH ADDITIONAL 1,000. BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 11, 1971, AND THE FOUR BIDS RECEIVED WERE AS FOLLOWS:

BASIC ADDITIONAL

QUANTITY 1,000'S

BB PRINTING CO. $3,091.25 $ 91.15

A. F. SINCLAIR, INC. 5,221.00 203.00

ELGIN BUSINESS FORMS, INC. 5,990.00 239.60

JOHNSON PRINTING CO., INC. 6,675.00 250.00

WHILE NO ESTIMATE FOR THE JOB WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME BIDS WERE OPENED, A PREVIOUS PRINTING OF THE SAME QUANTITY OF THE SAME FORM HAD BEEN PROCURED FOR $5,950. NO CONFIRMATION OF THE LOW BID WAS REQUESTED AND AWARD WAS MADE TO BB PRINTING ON MAY 12, 1971.

ON MAY 14, 1971, THE CONTRACTOR CLAIMED AN ERROR IN BID AND SUBMITTED WORKSHEETS IN SUPPORT OF ITS CLAIM THAT ONLY ONE-HALF THE AMOUNT OF THE PAPER STOCK REQUIRED FOR THE JOB WAS INCLUDED IN ITS BID. THE WORKSHEETS INDICATE THE INCLUSION OF $1,073 FOR STOCK PLUS A 25-PERCENT MARKUP OR $1,341.25 IN THE BID, WHEN THE ACTUAL COST OF THE STOCK WAS $1,991.60 PLUS A 25 PERCENT MARKUP OR $2,489.50. IT IS REPORTED THAT GPO COSTS FOR THE SAME QUANTITY OF PAPER ARE ABOUT EQUIVALENT TO THE CONTRACTOR'S COST.

THE GENERAL COUNSEL STATES THAT DUE TO THE 40-PERCENT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO LOW BIDS AND THE DIFFERENCE OF ALMOST 50 PERCENT FROM THE PREVIOUS PROCUREMENT OF THE SAME ITEM, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS CHARGED WITH NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF A MISTAKE AND SHOULD HAVE SOUGHT CONFIRMATION OF THE LOW BID.

FROM THE FOREGOING, WE AGREE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR IN THE BID AND THAT VERIFICATION OF THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BEFORE AWARD. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE RELIEF REQUESTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,148.25 MAY BE GRANTED.