B-180673, APR 2, 1974

B-180673: Apr 2, 1974

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MAY HAVE CONTRACT AWARDED HIM RESCINDED. ORDINARILY A WIDE RANGE OF BID PRICES IN SURPLUS SALE IS NOT DEEMED SUFFICIENT TO PUT CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF MISTAKE IN BID. GAO AGREES WITH ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION THAT CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NEXT HIGH BID WAS $717. PROPERTY'S CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL WAS $120. WAS THE HIGHEST RECEIVED. THIS ITEM WAS AWARDED TO MR. WHICH WAS A TRACTOR. ITEM 134 WAS AWARDED TO ANOTHER BIDDER FOR $5. A WIDE RANGE OF BID PRICES IN SURPLUS PROPERTY SALES IS NOT DEEMED TO BE SUFFICIENT TO PUT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR BECAUSE OF THE MANY POSSIBLE USES TO WHICH THE PROPERTY MAY BE PUT.

B-180673, APR 2, 1974

BIDDER, WHO MISTAKENLY BID $3,500 ON SURPLUS SALE ITEM, MAY HAVE CONTRACT AWARDED HIM RESCINDED. ORDINARILY A WIDE RANGE OF BID PRICES IN SURPLUS SALE IS NOT DEEMED SUFFICIENT TO PUT CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF MISTAKE IN BID; HOWEVER, GAO AGREES WITH ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION THAT CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NEXT HIGH BID WAS $717, PROPERTY'S CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL WAS $120, AND BID REPRESENTED APPROXIMATELY 60 PERCENT OF ACQUISITION COST OF PROPERTY DESCRIBED AS BEING IN POOR CONDITION AND REQUIRING REPAIRS.

TO ORVAL N. GARTNER:

PURSUANT TO SALE NO. 31-4099, THE DEFENSE PROPERTY DISPOSAL SERVICE, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, INVITED BIDS FOR VARIOUS SURPLUS ITEMS. MR. ORVAL N. GARTNER SUBMITTED BIDS ON ITEMS 124 AND 135. HIS BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,500.00, ON ITEM 124, WHICH CONSISTED OF ONE LOT OF CRANE ATTACHMENTS, WAS THE HIGHEST RECEIVED. CONSEQUENTLY, THIS ITEM WAS AWARDED TO MR. GARTNER UNDER SALE CONTRACT NO. 31-4099-138.

MR. GARTNER REQUESTS THAT THIS CONTRACT BE RESCINDED DUE TO A MISTAKE IN HIS BID. HE STATES THAT HE HAD NOT INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 124, BUT RATHER HAD INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 134, WHICH WAS A TRACTOR. ITEM 134 WAS AWARDED TO ANOTHER BIDDER FOR $5,290.00.

RESCISSION OF THIS CONTRACT CAN ONLY BE ALLOWED, IF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE THAT MR. GARTNER HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN BID. ORDINARILY, A WIDE RANGE OF BID PRICES IN SURPLUS PROPERTY SALES IS NOT DEEMED TO BE SUFFICIENT TO PUT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR BECAUSE OF THE MANY POSSIBLE USES TO WHICH THE PROPERTY MAY BE PUT. WENDER PRESSES, INC. V. UNITED STATES, 170 CT. CL. 483 (1965); B-174940, APRIL 20, 1972; B-179305, OCTOBER 23, 1973. HOWEVER, IN THE PRESENT CASE, MR. GARTNER'S BID FAR EXCEEDED THE NEXT HIGH BID OF $717.00 AND THE PROPERTY'S $120.00 CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL. MOREOVER, EVEN THOUGH THE PROPERTY IS DESCRIBED AS BEING IN POOR CONDITION AND REQUIRING REPAIRS, MR. GARTNER'S BID REPRESENTS APPROXIMATELY 60 PERCENT OF THE PROPERTY'S ACQUISITION COST. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE BELIEVE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A MISTAKE IN MR. GARTNER'S BID. SEE B-176123, JULY 3, 1972; B- 177167, OCTOBER 30, 1972.

ACCORDINGLY, WE AGREE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECOMMENDATION THAT THIS CONTRACT BE RESCINDED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO MR. GARTNER.