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TO HONORABLE POSTMASTER GENERAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14. WHICH WAS OPENED ON JANUARY 17. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM II WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2. WHICH PRICE WAS COMPLETELY IN ERROR. THE COMPANY STATED THAT THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR SUCH A QUOTATION AND REQUESTED THAT THE BID BE DISREGARDED. THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIGURED ON THE BASIS OF $740 PER SECTION. A PRICE OF $575 WAS QUOTED. THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY'S QUOTED PRICE WAS IN FACT ERRONEOUS AS ALLEGED. THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH. THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN BID CASES WHERE ERROR IS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND WITHDRAWAL OF THE BID IS REQUESTED.

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B-127011, FEB. 24, 1956

TO HONORABLE POSTMASTER GENERAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1956, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID ON ITEM II OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 1298, WHICH WAS OPENED ON JANUARY 17, 1956.

ITEM II OF THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS ON THREE SECTIONS OF LOCK BOXES TO BE DELIVERED TO THE POST OFFICE AT PINE ISLAND, MINNESOTA. THE KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY QUOTED A PRICE OF $575. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM II WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2,251, $2,256 AND $2,307.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 17, 1956, THE KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY ADVISED THAT IT HAD RECEIVED A REPORT ON THE RESULTS OF THE BID OPENING AND FOUND THAT IT HAD QUOTED A PRICE OF $575 FOR ITEM II, WHICH PRICE WAS COMPLETELY IN ERROR. THE COMPANY STATED THAT THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR SUCH A QUOTATION AND REQUESTED THAT THE BID BE DISREGARDED. IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIGURED ON THE BASIS OF $740 PER SECTION, OR A TOTAL PRICE OF $2,244 FOR THE THREE SECTIONS; BUT SOMEHOW, THROUGH ERROR, A PRICE OF $575 WAS QUOTED, WHICH PRICE HAD NO RELATIONSHIP TO INDIVIDUAL UNIT PRICES OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATED TO THE MATTER.

WHILE THE COMPANY HAS NOT ESTABLISHED THE BASIS OF ITS ERROR, IN VIEW OF THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE THREE OTHER BIDDERS, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY'S QUOTED PRICE WAS IN FACT ERRONEOUS AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF THE KEYLESS LOCK COMPANY ON ITEM II SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

YOU REQUEST AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ADMINISTRATIVELY, WITHOUT THE SUBMISSION TO THIS OFFICE FOR ADVANCE DECISION, THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN BID CASES WHERE ERROR IS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND WITHDRAWAL OF THE BID IS REQUESTED. IT IS STATED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WOULD BE CENTRALIZED AND, BEFORE ANY ACTION PERMITTING WITHDRAWAL WOULD BE TAKEN, AN OPINION WOULD BE SECURED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS PRESENTED, WITHDRAWAL WOULD BE PROPER. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT A COMPLETE STATEMENT OF THE FACTS WOULD BE PROVIDED WITH THE CONTRACT AWARDED IN EACH CASE IN WHICH THE LOW BIDDER WAS PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW, AND THAT IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE APPROVAL OF SUCH PROCEDURE WOULD NOT AFFECT THE RIGHT OF OUR OFFICE TO QUESTION THE CORRECTNESS OF ANY SUCH ACTION NOR DEPRIVE ANY BIDDER OF THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE MATTER DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE SHOULD HE SO REQUEST. SEE 29 COMP. GEN. 393.

UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS, AUTHORITY IS HEREBY GRANTED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE ADMINISTRATIVELY THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN MISTAKE -IN-BID CASES WHERE ERROR IS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND WITHDRAWAL OF THE BID IS REQUESTED.

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