B-182640, JAN 16, 1975

B-182640: Jan 16, 1975

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REFORMATION OF CONTRACT BY DELETION OF ITEM IS PERMISSIBLE. WIDE DISPARITY BETWEEN ERRONEOUS HIGH BID AND OTHER BIDS RECEIVED (MORE THAN DOUBLE NEXT HIGH BID) AND CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL VALUE (OVER 4 TIMES) IS UNUSUAL. SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN BID AND SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED BID PRICE PRIOR TO AWARD. KENT LUNDT: SALES INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 27-5031 WAS ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE PROPERTY DISPOSAL SERVICE (DPDS). FOURTEEN OTHER BIDS WERE ALSO RECEIVED FOR THIS ITEM AND RANGED IN PRICE FROM $576.76 TO $15.00. THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL WAS $300.00. NO VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRICE ON ITEM 32 WAS REQUESTED OF MR. AWARD OF THAT ITEM AND ONE OTHER ITEM WAS MADE TO MR.

B-182640, JAN 16, 1975

WHERE BIDDER REQUESTED RELIEF FROM ERRONEOUS HIGH BID UNDER SALES IFB FOR ONE OF TWO ITEMS IN CONTRACT, REFORMATION OF CONTRACT BY DELETION OF ITEM IS PERMISSIBLE, SINCE, UNLIKE OTHER TYPES OF USABLE SURPLUS PROPERTY, WITH RESPECT TO COMMERCIAL TYPE TRUCKS, WIDE DISPARITY BETWEEN ERRONEOUS HIGH BID AND OTHER BIDS RECEIVED (MORE THAN DOUBLE NEXT HIGH BID) AND CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL VALUE (OVER 4 TIMES) IS UNUSUAL, AND, THEREFORE, SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN BID AND SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED BID PRICE PRIOR TO AWARD.

KENT LUNDT:

SALES INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 27-5031 WAS ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE PROPERTY DISPOSAL SERVICE (DPDS), COLUMBUS, OHIO, FOR THE SALE OF 291 ITEMS OF SURPLUS PERSONAL PROPERTY.

KENT LUNDT SUBMITTED THE HIGH BID OF $1,251 FOR ITEM 32 OF THE IFB, A COMMERCIAL TYPE 1951 GMC DUMP TRUCK. FOURTEEN OTHER BIDS WERE ALSO RECEIVED FOR THIS ITEM AND RANGED IN PRICE FROM $576.76 TO $15.00. THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL WAS $300.00. NO VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRICE ON ITEM 32 WAS REQUESTED OF MR. LUNDT BY THE SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND AWARD OF THAT ITEM AND ONE OTHER ITEM WAS MADE TO MR. LUNDT ON AUGUST 29, 1974.

SUBSEQUENTLY, MR. LUNDT INFORMED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HE HAD MADE AN ERROR IN BIDDING ON ITEM 32. MR. LUNDT EXPLAINED THAT HE HAD MISTAKENLY BELIEVED THAT THE TRUCK WAS A MILITARY VEHICLE ON THE BASIS OF THE ADVERTISED DESCRIPTION OF THE ITEM, WHEREAS THE TRUCK IS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRICED AT A CONSIDERABLY LOWER AMOUNT. REQUESTS RELIEF FROM HIS CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION ON THIS ITEM.

WE NOTE THAT COUNSEL FOR DPDS RECOMMENDS REFORMATION OF THE CONTRACT BY DELETION OF ITEM 32. COUNSEL STATES THAT, WHILE DISPARITY IN BIDS FOR USUABLE SURPLUS PROPERTY DOES NOT, IN AND OF ITSELF, PLACE A SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF A PROBABLE MISTAKE IN BID, THE SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE SUSPECTED A MISTAKE IN THE INSTANT CASE, BECAUSE PRICES FOR COMMERCIAL TYPE TRUCKS DO NOT VARY AS GREATLY AS PRICES FOR OTHER TYPES OF PROPERTY. HERE, MR. LUNDT'S BID ON ITEM 32 WAS MORE THAN DOUBLE THE NEXT HIGH BID AND OVER 4 TIMES THE CURRENT MARKET APPRAISAL VALUE. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE AGREE THAT THE SALES CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND SHOULD HAVE VERIFIED MR. LUNDT'S BID ON ITEM 32 PRIOR TO AWARD.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT MAY BE REFORMED BY THE DELETION OF ITEM 32 AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED. SEE MATTER OF A & H TRUCK SALES, B 180824, APRIL 12, 1974; AND B-176835, OCTOBER 4, 1972.