B-182414, JAN 27, 1975

B-182414: Jan 27, 1975

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WHERE LOW BIDDER FOR GPO CONTRACT ALLEGED ERROR AFTER AWARD AND IT IS NORMAL PROCEDURE TO EXTEND "ADDITIONAL RATES" (AN AMOUNT WHICH SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOWER THAN A TOTAL BID FOR BASIC QUANTITIES) AT TIME BIDS ARE RECEIVED BUT TYPIST INADVERTENTLY COPIED INCORRECT SUM OF $18. CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A POTENTIAL ERROR IN TOTAL BID AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED BID VERIFICATION. WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NINE DIFFERENT TRIANGULAR DIE CUT PRESSURE SENSITIVE SIGNS (GPO JACKET 550 -356. BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY FORMAL ADVERTISING FOR A SINGLE PRICE FOR THE TOTAL QUANTITY. THE FOLLOWING THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED: SDC $18.

B-182414, JAN 27, 1975

WHERE LOW BIDDER FOR GPO CONTRACT ALLEGED ERROR AFTER AWARD AND IT IS NORMAL PROCEDURE TO EXTEND "ADDITIONAL RATES" (AN AMOUNT WHICH SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOWER THAN A TOTAL BID FOR BASIC QUANTITIES) AT TIME BIDS ARE RECEIVED BUT TYPIST INADVERTENTLY COPIED INCORRECT SUM OF $18,982.15 FOR TOTAL BID WHEN "ADDITIONAL RATES" BID TOTALED $21,935.50, CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A POTENTIAL ERROR IN TOTAL BID AND SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED BID VERIFICATION. CONTRACT MAY BE REFORMED TO INCREASE PRICE TO SECOND LOWEST BID, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.

SMITH DECALCOMANIA CO., INC.:

ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1974, SMITH DECALCOMANIA CO., INC. (SDC), WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NINE DIFFERENT TRIANGULAR DIE CUT PRESSURE SENSITIVE SIGNS (GPO JACKET 550 -356, P.O. 32548). BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY FORMAL ADVERTISING FOR A SINGLE PRICE FOR THE TOTAL QUANTITY. THE FOLLOWING THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED:

SDC $18,982.15

MINNESOTA MINING & MFG. 21,132.22

HUTCHESON DISPLAYS 27,700.00

IN ADDITION, BIDS WERE REQUESTED IN ADDITIONAL 100'S OF EACH OF THE NINE ITEMS, IF PRODUCED AT THE SAME TIME.

ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1974, SDC NOTIFIED OUR OFFICE THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN BID CAUSED BY ITS TYPIST WHO INADVERTENTLY COPIED THE TOTAL SHOWN ON PAGE ONE OF ITS ESTIMATE SHEETS. THE TOTAL BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $25,390.50, AS REFLECTED IN ITS WORKSHEETS. SDC FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE EXTENSIONS SHOWN ON ITS BID FOR THE "ADDITIONAL 100'S" WOULD TOTAL $21,955.50, AN AMOUNT WHICH SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOWER THAN A TOTAL BID FOR THE BASIC QUANTITIES. IN THIS REGARD, GPO STATES:

"INASMUCH AS ADDITIONAL QUANTITIES PRODUCED DURING THE SAME PRODUCTION RUN SHOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE (INITIAL COSTS SUCH AS MAKE READY, PLATES, ETC., DO NOT HAVE TO BE AMORTIZED OVER THE ADDITIONAL PRODUCTION RUN), IT IS NORMAL PROCEDURE TO EXTEND THE ADDITIONAL RATES AT THE TIME BIDS ARE RECEIVED TO DETERMINE IF THEY ARE REASONABLE OR IF ANY ERROR EXISTS. THE INSTANT MATTER, THE EXTENSIONS WERE PERFORMED, BUT WERE ERRONEOUS SINCE HAD THEY BEEN CORRECTLY CALCULATED AGAINST THE BASIC QUANTITIES, THE BID PRICE WOULD HAVE BEEN $21,935.50 AT THE ADDITIONAL 100'S RATE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THEREFORE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF A POTENTIAL ERROR, SUCH THAT CONFIRMATION OF THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED.

"AN ANALYSIS OF THE WORKSHEET VERIFIES THE EXISTENCE OF THE ERROR, AND THE BID INTENDED. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE OFFICE THAT THE CONTRACT BE REFORMED TO INCREASE THE PRICE TO $21,132.22, THE AMOUNT OF THE SECOND LOW BID."

WHERE A MISTAKE IN BID IS ALLEGED AFTER AWARD OF A CONTRACT, OUR OFFICE WILL GRANT RELIEF ONLY IF THE MISTAKE IS MUTUAL OR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD. COMP. GEN. 672 (1969), AND B-178706, JUNE 15, 1973. CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE IS SAID TO EXIST WHEN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AS HERE, CONSIDERING ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES, SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN BID. 44 COMP. GEN. 383, 386 (1965).

SINCE WE AGREE THAT CONFIRMATION OF THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BEFORE AWARD, THE CONTRACT MAY BE REFORMED TO INCREASE THE PRICE TO $21,132.22, THE AMOUNT OF THE SECOND LOW BID, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.