B-183056, APR 4, 1975

B-183056: Apr 4, 1975

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WHERE THERE WAS OBVIOUS DISCREPANCY BETWEEN UNIT AND TOTAL PRICES IN BID FOR FURNISHING STANDARD FORMS. CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF ERROR IN BID FOR WHICH CONTRACTOR IS ENTITLED TO RELIEF LIMITED TO AMOUNT OF NEXT LOW CORRECT BID. SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID. 2. ALTHOUGH CONTRACTOR THAT MADE ERROR IN BID HAS NOT PRESENTED WORKSHEETS PREPARED PRIOR TO BIDDING TO ESTABLISH THAT UNIT PRICE BID WAS INTENDED RATHER THAN TOTAL PRICE BID. SINCE TOTAL PRICE BID FOR TOTAL QUANTITY WOULD RESULT IN PRICE PER THOUSAND SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN COST PER THOUSAND PAID YEAR PRIOR AND UNIT PRICE BID IS HIGHER THAN PRIOR COST.

B-183056, APR 4, 1975

1. WHERE THERE WAS OBVIOUS DISCREPANCY BETWEEN UNIT AND TOTAL PRICES IN BID FOR FURNISHING STANDARD FORMS, CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF ERROR IN BID FOR WHICH CONTRACTOR IS ENTITLED TO RELIEF LIMITED TO AMOUNT OF NEXT LOW CORRECT BID, SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID. 2. ALTHOUGH CONTRACTOR THAT MADE ERROR IN BID HAS NOT PRESENTED WORKSHEETS PREPARED PRIOR TO BIDDING TO ESTABLISH THAT UNIT PRICE BID WAS INTENDED RATHER THAN TOTAL PRICE BID, SINCE TOTAL PRICE BID FOR TOTAL QUANTITY WOULD RESULT IN PRICE PER THOUSAND SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN COST PER THOUSAND PAID YEAR PRIOR AND UNIT PRICE BID IS HIGHER THAN PRIOR COST, CONTRACTOR'S CONTENTION THAT IT INTENDED UNIT PRICE BID RATHER THAN TOTAL PRICE IS CONVINCING.

DATA DOCUMENTS, INC.:

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) HAS REQUESTED A DECISION REGARDING AN ERROR DATA DOCUMENTS, INC. (DATA DOCUMENTS), MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER 30530 IS BASED. IN RESPONSE TO GPO JACKET NO. 538-573 FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 270,600 FOUR-PART SETS OF STANDARD FORM 98 FOR THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, DATA DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED A BID ON THE GPO "BID AND ACCEPTANCE" FORM. IN THE PLACE PROVIDED ON THE FORM, DATA DOCUMENTS INSERTED THE QUANTITY AND ITEM DESCRIPTION. ALONGSIDE THE ITEM DESCRIPTION, IN A COLUMN DESIGNATED "NET AMOUNT," IT BID "$38.24 PER M." IN THAT CONNECTION, THE BID FORM STATED: "THE UNDERSIGNED OFFERS AND AGREES, IF THIS BID BE ACCEPTED, TO FURNISH ANY OR ALL OF THE ITEMS UPON WHICH PRICES ARE QUOTED, AT THE PRICE SET OPPOSITE EACH ITEM, ***." ANOTHER PLACE ON THE FORM, IN A BOX DESIGNATED "NET AMT. OF BID," DATA DOCUMENTS INSERTED "7897.74 TOTAL." THE REMAINING BIDS RECEIVED WERE $9,606.30, $11,591.24, $13,484 AND $15,110.

GPO HAS STATED THAT BIDS WERE NOT REQUESTED ON A PER THOUSAND BASIS, THAT IT DID NOT EXTEND THE $38.24 UNIT RATE AND THAT NO ERROR WAS SUSPECTED NOTWITHSTANDING THE DISPARITY IN BIDS BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS PRODUCTION OF THE SAME ITEM A YEAR EARLIER COST $34.02 PER THOUSAND. A PURCHASE ORDER FOR STANDARD FORM 98 WAS AWARDED ON JULY 24, 1974, TO DATA DOCUMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,897.74. SUBSEQUENT TO DELIVERY OF THE FORMS, DATA DOCUMENTS ADVISED GPO THAT THE UNIT PRICE IN THE BID WAS CORRECT AND THAT IT HAD MADE AN ARITHMETICAL ERROR AND SUBMITTED AN INCORRECT TOTAL BID. DATA DOCUMENTS REQUESTED RELIEF IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,450. AS EVIDENCE OF THE ERROR, DATA DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED A WORKSHEET PREPARED AFTER AWARD. THE WORKSHEET STATED:

"COST - $22.90 PER M

LIST - $38.24 PER M

BID AT FULL LIST

TOTAL - $7897.74."

ALTHOUGH BIDS WERE NOT REQUESTED ON A PER THOUSAND BASIS, IT IS A FACT THAT THE PER THOUSAND PRICE SET OPPOSITE THE ITEM DESCRIPTION WAS AN OFFER TO PERFORM AND WAS A BID ON THAT BASIS AND THAT THERE WAS AN OBVIOUS DISCREPANCY ON THE FACE OF THE BID SINCE THE QUANTITY OF FORMS MULTIPLIED BY THE PRICE PER THOUSAND DOES NOT EQUAL THE TOTAL AMOUNT STATED IN THE BID FORM. THEREFORE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR IN THE DATA DOCUMENTS BID. 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 PROPER STEPS TO VERIFY THE BID. MATTER OF VALLEY OFFSET, INC., B-181620, AUGUST 27, 1974.

ALTHOUGH DATA DOCUMENTS HAS NOT PRESENTED ANY PRE-BID WORKSHEET TO ESTABLISH THE INTENDED BID, SINCE THE TOTAL PRICE BID FOR THE TOTAL QUANTITY WOULD RESULT IN A PRICE PER THOUSAND ($28.61) SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN THE COST PER THOUSAND ($34.02) A YEAR BEFORE, DATA DOCUMENTS' CONTENTION THAT IT INTENDED THE $38.24 RATE RATHER THAN THE $7,897.74 TOTAL PRICE IS CONVINCING. CORRECTION IN THE AMOUNT REQUESTED WOULD RESULT IN A TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE ($10,347.74) HIGHER THAN THE SECOND LOW BID ($9,606.30), WHICH IS ASSUMED TO BE CORRECT. ACCORDINGLY, RELIEF FOR DATA DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT OF THE SECOND LOW BID. MATTER OF YANKEE ENGINEERING COMPANY, INC., B-180573, JUNE 19, 1974.