B-181620, AUG 27, 1974

B-181620: Aug 27, 1974

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CONTRACTOR WHOSE PRICE FOR PRINTING POSTERS WAS ALMOST 30 PERCENT LOWER THAN NEXT LOW BID BECAUSE OF A DECIMAL POINT ERROR MADE IN ESTIMATING COST OF PAPER FOR POSTERS MAY HAVE CONTRACT RESCINDED. SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID. WHICH WAS ALMOST 30 PERCENT LESS THAN THE NEXT LOW BID. SHOULD HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A POTENTIAL ERROR IN BID SUCH THAT CONFIRMATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN SOUGHT PRIOR TO AWARD. IT ASSERTED THAT IT MADE A DECIMAL POINT ERROR WITH THE RESULT THAT THE COST OF PAPER WAS FIGURED AT $1. THE WORKSHEET FURNISHED BY VALLEY SHOWS THAT THE BID WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF $1.

B-181620, AUG 27, 1974

CONTRACTOR WHOSE PRICE FOR PRINTING POSTERS WAS ALMOST 30 PERCENT LOWER THAN NEXT LOW BID BECAUSE OF A DECIMAL POINT ERROR MADE IN ESTIMATING COST OF PAPER FOR POSTERS MAY HAVE CONTRACT RESCINDED, SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID.

VALLEY OFFSET, INC.:

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 24, 1974, WITH ENCLOSURES, THE ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO), RECOMMENDED THAT PURCHASE ORDER NO. 58124, AWARDED ON APRIL 5, 1974, TO VALLEY OFFSET, INC., FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 160,765 FIVE-COLOR POSTERS ENTITLED "ARMED FORCES INSIGNIA POSTERS" PLUS FILM AND PROGRESSIVE PROOFS USED IN PRINTING BE RESCINDED ON THE GROUND THAT ITS BID OF $10,097, WHICH WAS ALMOST 30 PERCENT LESS THAN THE NEXT LOW BID, SHOULD HAVE PLACED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A POTENTIAL ERROR IN BID SUCH THAT CONFIRMATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN SOUGHT PRIOR TO AWARD.

ON APRIL 8, 1974, VALLEY ADVISED GPO THAT AN ERROR IN BID IN EXCESS OF $9,000 HAD BEEN MADE. IT ASSERTED THAT IT MADE A DECIMAL POINT ERROR WITH THE RESULT THAT THE COST OF PAPER WAS FIGURED AT $1,082 INSTEAD OF $10,820. THE WORKSHEET FURNISHED BY VALLEY SHOWS THAT THE BID WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF $1,082 FOR PAPER. A LETTER FROM VALLEY'S PAPER SUPPLIER VERIFIES THAT THE HIGHER PRICE WAS QUOTED TO VALLEY.

OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR, BUT NEGLECTED TO TAKE THE PROPER STEPS TO VERIFY THE BID. SEE B -179913, JANUARY 8, 1974.

ACCORDINGLY, WE AGREE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECOMMENDATION THAT THE CONTRACT WITH VALLEY BE RESCINDED.