B-182045, NOV 5, 1974

B-182045: Nov 5, 1974

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A SUBSTANTIAL MISTAKE IN ITS BID AND AGENCY STATES THAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE PROBABLE ERROR. CONTRACTOR IS PERFORMING CONTRACT IN GOOD FAITH. COMFORT PRINTING AND STATIONERY COMPANY: COMFORT PRINTING AND STATIONERY COMPANY (COMFORT) WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) FOR THE DELIVERY OF 100. COMFORT SUBMITTED A WORKSHEET INDICATING THAT ITS REVISED PRICE FOR THE JOB WAS $9. WAS ADVISED BY GPO TO SUBMIT THE MATTER TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION. COMFORT ADVISED OUR OFFICE THAT IT WAS PROCEEDING WITH THE JOB DESPITE THE $3. THE GPO REPORTS THAT ITS ESTIMATE FOR THE UNDERTAKING IS $8. THAT SUCH ESTIMATE WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF AWARD AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT SEEK CONFIRMATION OF BID PRICES PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-182045, NOV 5, 1974

CORRECTION OF CONTRACT PRICE TO REFLECT QUANTUM VALABANT VALUE OF ARTICLES TO GOVERNMENT MAY BE PERMITTED WHERE CONTRACTOR ALLEGED, AFTER AWARD, A SUBSTANTIAL MISTAKE IN ITS BID AND AGENCY STATES THAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE PROBABLE ERROR, BUT FAILED TO VERIFY BID, AND CONTRACTOR IS PERFORMING CONTRACT IN GOOD FAITH.

COMFORT PRINTING AND STATIONERY COMPANY:

COMFORT PRINTING AND STATIONERY COMPANY (COMFORT) WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) FOR THE DELIVERY OF 100,000 GPO JACKETS AT ITS BID PRICE OF $6,192.00, AND AT THE RATE OF $6.18 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL 1,000. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, GATEWAY PRESS, INC., BID $6,750, FOLLOWED BY RICH PRINTING COMPANY, INC., AT $9,033.18, AND FIVE OTHER BIDS RANGING AS HIGH AS $12,087.

AFTER AWARD, COMFORT ALLEGED AN ERROR IN ITS BID PRICE IN THE SUM OF $3,716.45 BASED UPON A DECIMAL POINT ERROR IN THE COST OF PAPER AND THE OMISSION OF FREIGHT CHARGES. COMFORT SUBMITTED A WORKSHEET INDICATING THAT ITS REVISED PRICE FOR THE JOB WAS $9,908.45, AND $9.89 PER ADDITIONAL 1,000. COMFORT STATES THAT IT ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT, BUT WAS ADVISED BY GPO TO SUBMIT THE MATTER TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION. COMFORT FURTHER STATES THAT IT CONTACTED GATEWAY (THE SECOND LOW BIDDER) AND REQUESTED THAT GATEWAY PERFORM THE JOB AS ITS SUBCONTRACTOR AT THAT FIRM'S BID PRICE OF $6,750, BUT GATEWAY DECLINED TO ACCEPT THE JOB. SUBSEQUENTLY, COMFORT ADVISED OUR OFFICE THAT IT WAS PROCEEDING WITH THE JOB DESPITE THE $3,716.45 ERROR, AND REQUESTED REFORMATION OF THE CONTRACT PRICE IN THE SUM OF $2,841.18, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITS BID PRICE AND THAT OF THE THIRD LOW BIDDER, RICH PRINTING COMPANY.

THE GPO REPORTS THAT ITS ESTIMATE FOR THE UNDERTAKING IS $8,953.55, BUT THAT SUCH ESTIMATE WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF AWARD AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT SEEK CONFIRMATION OF BID PRICES PRIOR TO AWARD. MOREOVER, GPO REPORTS THAT AN ANALYSIS OF COMFORT'S WORKSHEET INDICATES AN ERROR WITH REGARD TO THE PRICE OF PAPER, WHICH GPO ESTIMATED AT $4,555.00. (COMFORT'S SUBTOTAL FOR MATERIAL WAS $1,084.33, AND THIS WAS REVISED TO $4,079.76 UPON DISCOVERY OF THE ERROR SUBSEQUENT TO AWARD.) GPO STATES THAT ON THE BASIS OF THE PRICES RECEIVED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR BOTH IN THE LOW AND SECOND LOW BIDS, AND SHOULD HAVE SOUGHT CONFIRMATION OF COMFORT'S BID PRIOR TO AWARD. THEREFORE, GPO EXPRESSES RESERVATION AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THE CONTRACT AND RECOMMENDS AN INCREASE IN THE CONTRACT PRICE IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED RICH'S BID PRICE OF $9,033.18. GPO FURTHER ADVISES THAT PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT IS PROGRESSING SATISFACTORILY, AND PROOFS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED.

IN VIEW OF GPO'S ADMISSION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A PROBABLE ERROR, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO AN ADJUSTMENT IN THE CONTRACT PRICE TO $9,033. 18 ON A QUANTUM VALEBANT BASIS TO REFLECT WHAT GPO APPARENTLY CONSIDERS TO BE THE REASONABLE WORTH OF THE ARTICLES TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE B-180610, AUGUST 12, 1974.