B-175265, MAR 24, 1972

B-175265: Mar 24, 1972

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THE CONTRACT MAY BE REFORMED SINCE THE WORDING OF THE SOLICITATION CLEARLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE ERROR AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE BY THE FIRM IN SUBMITTING ITS PROPOSAL. RUCKELSHAUS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 16. THE SOLICITATION UNDER WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED AND THE RESULTANT CONTRACT SET FORTH. USSPC CLAIMS TO HAVE SUBMITTED AN OFFER BASED ON THE ERRONEOUS FIGURE OF 280 TOTAL MAN-HOURS AND POINTS OUT THAT THE FIRM HAS BEEN PERFORMING THE CONTRACT AT A RATE OF 320 MAN- HOURS PER WEEK SINCE ITS INCEPTION. WHICH EVIDENCES THE FACT THAT THE FIRM'S OFFER WAS BASED ON THE ERRONEOUS FIGURE OF 280 MAN-HOURS PER WEEK.

B-175265, MAR 24, 1972

CONTRACTS - MISTAKE IN BID - REFORMATION ALLOWED DECISION ALLOWING AN UPWARD PRICE ADJUSTMENT RESULTING FROM AN ERROR IN BID ON A CONTRACT BEING PERFORMED BY THE U.S. SPECIAL POLICE CORPORATION (USSPC) FOR THE FURNISHING OF SECURITY GUARD SERVICES AT THE TECHNICAL CENTER, RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. THE CONTRACT MAY BE REFORMED SINCE THE WORDING OF THE SOLICITATION CLEARLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE ERROR AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE BY THE FIRM IN SUBMITTING ITS PROPOSAL.

TO MR. WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT, RECOMMENDING AN UPWARD PRICE ADJUSTMENT IN CONTRACT NO. 68 02-0151, BEING PERFORMED BY UNITED STATES SPECIAL POLICE CORPORATION (USSPC), FOR THE FURNISHING OF SECURITY GUARD SERVICES AT THE TECHNICAL CENTER, RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NORTH CAROLINA.

THE FILE DISCLOSES THAT, SUBSEQUENT TO THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, THE DIRECTOR OF USSPC NOTIFIED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HE HAD MADE AN ERROR IN BID. MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE SOLICITATION UNDER WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED AND THE RESULTANT CONTRACT SET FORTH, INTER ALIA, MINIMUM GUARD REQUIREMENTS IN MAN-HOURS FOR THE MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY WORKDAYS, AS FOLLOWS:

"SHIFTS HOURS PER WEEK

12-8 8-4 4-12

"OCCUPANT WORK DAYS 24 16 24 280"

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONCURS WITH USSPC THAT THE FIGURE UNDER "HOURS PER WEEK" SHOULD BE 320 RATHER THAN 280. USSPC CLAIMS TO HAVE SUBMITTED AN OFFER BASED ON THE ERRONEOUS FIGURE OF 280 TOTAL MAN-HOURS AND POINTS OUT THAT THE FIRM HAS BEEN PERFORMING THE CONTRACT AT A RATE OF 320 MAN- HOURS PER WEEK SINCE ITS INCEPTION. IN SUPPORT OF ITS CLAIM OF ERROR, WE NOTE THAT, PRIOR TO AWARD, USSPC SUBMITTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DD FORM 633, CONTRACT PRICING PROPOSAL, WHICH EVIDENCES THE FACT THAT THE FIRM'S OFFER WAS BASED ON THE ERRONEOUS FIGURE OF 280 MAN-HOURS PER WEEK.

OUR REVIEW INDICATES THAT AN ERROR IN MATHEMATICAL CALCULATION RESULTED IN THE INSERTION OF THE ERRONEOUS FIGURE OF 280 MAN-HOURS TO REFLECT THE EXTENSION OF THE SPECIFIED MAN-HOURS PER 8-HOUR SHIFT IN THE CONTRACT. MULTIPLYING THE LISTED MAN-HOUR FIGURES OF 24, 16 AND 24 BY 5 WORKDAYS COMPUTES TO THE CORRECT FIGURE OF 320 HOURS. IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE RESULTANT AMBIGUITY SHOULD HAVE BEEN READILY APPARENT TO USSPC AND THAT A REASONABLE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CONTRACT WOULD REQUIRE USSPC TO PERFORM AT THE RATE OF 320 HOURS PER WEEK. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE AMBIGUOUS SPECIFICATION, AS WORDED, CLEARLY CAUSED OR CONTRIBUTED TO THE BIDDER'S ERROR. MOREOVER, THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CONTRACT PRICING PROPOSAL SUBMITTED WITH THE USSPC OFFER SHOULD HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE BY THE FIRM IN SUBMITTING ITS PROPOSAL. THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE USSPC OFFER BEFORE ACCEPTANCE.

THEREFORE, WE CONCUR IN THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT THAT THE CONTRACT BE REFORMED TO REFLECT AN INCREASE IN PRICE IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,015.59, WHICH AMOUNT HAS BEEN VERIFIED BY AUDIT TO BE CORRECT.