B-181197, JUN 10, 1974

B-181197: Jun 10, 1974

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PURCHASER WHO QUOTED IDENTICAL PRICE FOR TWO DIFFERENT SIZES OF AIRCRAFT TIRES MAY HAVE ITEM COVERING SMALLER SIZE TIRE DELETED FROM CONTRACT SINCE PATTERN OF BIDDING ON BOTH SIZES OF TIRES BY OTHER BIDDERS (HIGHER PRICE FOR LARGER SIZE TIRE - LOWER PRICE FOR SMALLER SIZE TIRE) SHOULD HAVE PLACED CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF MISTAKE AND IN CIRCUMSTANCES BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN VERIFIED BEFORE ACCEPTANCE. 180 WERE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES AND ITEM 178 COVERED SIZE 44 X 16 AIRCRAFT TIRES. THESE WERE THE ONLY AIRCRAFT TIRES OFFERED FOR SALE IN THE INVITATION. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 178 ON JANUARY 29. WHICH IS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED ON FEBRUARY 4.

B-181197, JUN 10, 1974

PURCHASER WHO QUOTED IDENTICAL PRICE FOR TWO DIFFERENT SIZES OF AIRCRAFT TIRES MAY HAVE ITEM COVERING SMALLER SIZE TIRE DELETED FROM CONTRACT SINCE PATTERN OF BIDDING ON BOTH SIZES OF TIRES BY OTHER BIDDERS (HIGHER PRICE FOR LARGER SIZE TIRE - LOWER PRICE FOR SMALLER SIZE TIRE) SHOULD HAVE PLACED CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF MISTAKE AND IN CIRCUMSTANCES BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN VERIFIED BEFORE ACCEPTANCE.

TO TOBY SEXTON TIRE CO., INC.:

THE DEFENSE PROPERTY DISPOSAL REGION OFFICE, DEFENSE DEPOT OGDEN STATION, OGDEN, UTAH, BY SALES INVITATION NO. 41-4144 REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF VARIOUS SURPLUS ITEMS. ITEMS 175, 176, 177, 179, AND 180 WERE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES AND ITEM 178 COVERED SIZE 44 X 16 AIRCRAFT TIRES. THESE WERE THE ONLY AIRCRAFT TIRES OFFERED FOR SALE IN THE INVITATION. RESPONSE, THE TOBY SEXTON TIRE COMPANY, INC. (TOBY), SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO PURCHASE THE TIRES COVERED BY ITEMS 175 THROUGH 180 AT A UNIT PRICE OF $62.11. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 178 ON JANUARY 29, 1974.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 25, 1974, WHICH IS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED ON FEBRUARY 4, 1974, TOBY ALLEGED AN ERROR IN BID STATING THAT IT HAD INTENDED TO BID ON SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES ONLY AND THAT THE BID ON ITEM 178 WAS BASED ON AN ASSUMPTION THAT ITEM 178 CONSISTED OF SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES.

THE 11 OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 178 RANGED FROM $51.00 TO $2.01 EACH. IT IS NOTED THAT 9 OF THE 11 OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 178 QUOTED SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER PRICES FOR THE SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES COVERED BY ITEMS 175, 176, 177, 179, AND 180 THAN THEY QUOTED FOR THE SMALLER SIZE 44 X 16 AIRCRAFT TIRE COVERED BY ITEM 178. IN THAT CONNECTION, COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENSE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICE EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF TOBY'S BID. THE BASIS OF THE OPINION IS THAT THE DISPARATE VALUE BETWEEN THE SIZE 49 X 17 AIRCRAFT TIRES AND THE SIZE 44 X 16 TIRES IS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED BY THE BIDDING PATTERN OF THE OTHER BIDDERS AND THAT KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH BIDDING PATTERN MUST BE CHARGED TO THE SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER. WE AGREE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR AND THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN VERIFIED PRIOR TO AWARD. SEE B-175769, JUNE 1, 1972.

ACCORDINGLY, ITEM 178 OF CONTRACT NO. 41-4144-245 MAY BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE CORPORATION AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.