Allegation of Errors in Appraisal and Advertisement of Timber Sales

B-191906(2): Mar 13, 1979

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A company protested what it alleged were fundamental errors in the appraisal and subsequent advertisement of timber sales in the Black Hills National Forest. The protester argued that there were errors in the method used to measure roundwood and in conversion of the volume measured to thousand board feet. These alleged errors resulted in an overstated total volume of timber and required purchasers to pay for roundwood at the escalated rate for sawtimber. The protester was informed by the agency that the following issues involved in its protest had been resolved: (1) the Whitewood Index will be used to escalate stumpage on all sales advertised after July 12, 1978; (2) a new Roundwood Volume Table has been developed for use on all sales sold after August 21, 1978; and (3) a new contract provision, with a different method for measuring sawtimber volume, will be included in all timber sale contracts after August 21, 1978. In view of these changes, many of the issues the protester raised were moot. The remaining issues in the protest will be studied by the Forest Service or reviewed during the protester's appeal. Therefore, GAO declined to consider the same issues since these scientific and technical issues are primarily within the discretion of the contracting agency.