U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS STUART M. FOSS, Administrative Law Judge Appeal of EDITORS PRESS INCORPORATED Docket No. GPO BCA 03-90 Jacket No. 220-476 Purchase Order 81647 September 4, 1991 DECISION AND ORDER This appeal, timely filed by Editors Press Incorporated, 6200 Editors Park Drive, Hyattsville, Maryland, 20782 (hereinafter the Contractor or Appellant), is from the final decision, dated October 25, 1989, of contracting Officer, Mr. Jack G. Marken of the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (hereinafter the Respondent or GPO), with regard to its contract identified as Jacket No. 220-476, denying the Appellant's claim of $23,508.60 for additional costs incurred by the Contractor when it temporarily shut down its press pending an answer to whether certain brown spots discovered in the paper stock were acceptable. 1 For the reasons which follow, the decision of the Contracting Officer is hereby Affirmed. 2 BACKGROUND The relevant facts in this appeal are essentially undisputed, and are recited here only to the extent necessary to decide the issue presented. This dispute arises from a contract between the Appellant and GPO for the procurement of "1990 Census of the United States - Long Form Questionnaire Mailing Packages," (Census Form) based on the Contractor's bid of $7,884,911.00 (R4 File, Tab A, p. 1, and Tab B). The contract has been completely and satisfactorily performed, and the Contractor has received the contract price for the work. This appeal, instead, involves a secondary dispute between the parties regarding an additional request for payment submitted by the Appellant for costs incurred while its press was idle pending confirmation from GPO that the paper stock on which the Census Form was to be printed would be suitable for FOSDIC use. As indicated in the contract, the scope of the specifications covered the printing, binding, assembly, and manufacturing of five (5) items to create a conventional mailing package with separate outgoing and return envelopes, as well as the printing of three (3) additional items to support their distribution (R4 File, Tab A, p. 1). The predominant production function was presswork (R4 File, Tab A, p. 2). The specifications also contained detailed provisions regarding paper stock, printing and manufacture, and testing of samples of paper stock/manufactured product prior to and during production, and after delivery of the manufactured product (R4 File, Tab A). Further, the contract was governed by the applicable articles of GPO Contract Terms, Publication 310.2, effective December 1, 1987 (hereinafter Contract Terms), and Quality Assurance Through Attributes Program, GPO Publication 310.1, Revised September 1, 1986 (R4 File, Tab A, p. 1). Under the terms of the contract the Appellant was required to supply (plus or minus 1 percent of each item) 19,006,050 copies of the Census Form (Form No. D-2), a 20-page self-cover pamphlet with an extension on the front leaf, an equal number of instruction guides, motivational inserts, outgoing envelopes (Form D-7 (BR) and D-7 (UL)), and return envelopes, as well as 350,000 Postmaster/Station Manager instructions and 280,000 shipping labels (Forms D-741 and D-741A) (R4 File, Tab A). Of particular importance in this appeal is the fact that the completed Census Form was to be read on an optical scanning machine. Accordingly, detailed provisions were set forth concerning the quality of paper stocks to be used, GPO's inspection of paper samples, and the Contractor's ultimate responsibility to ensure that the Census Forms would be produced on paper compatible with computerized imaging and equipment. In that regard, the contract terms told the Appellant, in pertinent part, that: 1. [The Census Form (item 1)] . . . "is for use on a Film Optical Sensing Device for Input to Computers (FOSDIC) optical scanning machine" (R4 File, Tab A, Scope Clause, p. 1). 2. Prior to the commencement of the production for items 1, 4, and 5 [Census Form, outgoing envelope and return envelope] only of the specifications, the Contractor shall submit samples of paper from each shipment of paper delivered to his plant. . . . Samples will be tested in accordance with the TAPPI T-400 standard. . . . Samples will be inspected and tested by the Government Printing Office and must comply with the specifications as to kind and quality of materials (R4 File, Tab A, Paper Samples Clause, p. 7). 3 3. After approval of the paper and construction samples and prior to the commencement of production of the contract quantity, the Contractor is to submit not less than 1,000,050 printed prior to production samples of the mailing packages . . . in accordance with the shipping schedule. Each sample shall be printed and constructed as specified and must be of the size, kind, and quality, including computerized imaging that the Contractor will furnish for the production run. 50 samples will be tested for conformance of the material(s). . . . 1,000,000 packages will be tested [by GPO] for usage on the specialized equipment and/or for construction and are to be shipped to the Bureau of the Census, . . .The Government will approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove paper and construction samples within 15 workdays (changed to 10 days), respectively, and the prior to production samples within 45 workdays of the receipt thereof. Approval or conditional approval shall not relieve the Contractor from complying with the specifications and all other terms and conditions of the contract. . . . "Manufacture of the final product prior to approval of the sample submitted is at the Contractor's risk (R4 File, Tab A, Prior to Production Samples Clause, pp. 8-9). 4. The specifications of all stock furnished must be in accordance with those listed herein for the corresponding JCP Code numbers in the "Government Paper Specification Standards No. 9" dated December 1, 1981, as amended through May 1, 1986. . . . Item 1 - White Opacified Book in accordance with the following specifications: Stock: 100 percent bleached chemical wood pulp. Reclaimed fiber, in any percentage, is permitted, provided that the requirements of this standard are met. ********** Opacity: Average, not less than...percent.... 91 Metric equivalent...(mN)............ 90 ********** Cleanliness (dirt count): Average, each side, not to exceed....(parts per million)......... 20 Color: Paper shall be white, be a uniform shade, and have a brightness of 78 to 83 percent. No fluorescent (optical) brighteners shall be added to the pulp of paper during manufacture which will result in more than 3 PMU (phosphor meter unit) per square inch on the red fluorescent setting. Fluorescence, due to residual white water, broke, or natural fibers, is permissible; provided the increase in reflectance, . . . does not exceed 1.0 percent. ********** Testing: Shall be conducted in accordance with standards in Part 2, Government Paper Specifications Standards, Vol. 9. Precision requirements of the Acceptance Criteria, Part 4 of the Government Paper Specifications Standards shall apply except for brightness. Any deviation from specification in brightness is critically defective. NOTE: Contractor must ensure that the paper used will be compatible with computerized imaging and equipment. Incompatibility causes ink bleed through and/or "out of specification" bar codes (R4 File, Tab A, Stock Clause, pp. 9-10). ********** Additional Printing/Imaging Quality Requirements for Item 1. ********** 5. Black spots on the form shall not be larger than .10 sq. mm in size, closer than .14 inch (3.6 mm) surrounding the indexes or in the marking circles, and shall not be larger than .20 square millimeters in size anywhere on the form (R4 File, Tab A, p. 13). The record shows that in accordance with the specifications above, in April 1989, the Appellant submitted samples of the paper stock to GPO for testing, and the paper was found to be within the contractual standards and acceptable for use for the Census Forms (R4 File, Tab C). On May 3, 1989, an inspection team composed of GPO and Census Bureau employees went to the Appellant's plant for a press inspection (R4 File, Tab D). Before their arrival, the Appellant's own quality control personnel had noticed a series of randomly located brown spots in the paper stock during the prior-to-production run of the Census Form job; some of the spots were of noticeable size (R4 File, Tab K). The Appellant showed the press sheets to the members of the government inspection team, and John Sagner, GPO's representative, apparently expressed some concern that if the specks ever fell too close to a FOSDIC circle the form could be unacceptable (R4 File, Tab D). The Appellant shared this same concern and advised Sagner that they had contacted the paper mill by telephone, and that the mill's representative would come to the plant the next day to check out the matter (R4 File, Tabs K and O). In that regard, it seems that Sagner believed the specks to be "dirt spots" in the paper (R4 File, Tabs I and O). However, after Sagner telephoned his supervisor, Larry McHugh, to inform him of the problem, he (Sagner) advised the Contractor that: We were not there to evaluate the paper but to OK the color and the QC [quality control] operations. That it was up to Editors to decide what to do about the paper (R4 File, Tabs L and O). The record shows that the Appellant's representatives Edwina Littleford and Don Frederickson, then left the room, but Frederickson returned shortly thereafter and asked Sagner to interpret the contractual specification regarding dirt count; i.e., 20 parts per million (ppm). Sagner responded that he " . . . had no idea since that was not my field of expertise" (R4 File, Tab O). On receiving Sagner's reply, Frederickson conferred with Littleford and the Appellant's Vice President of Manufacturing, Terry Heyer. At the conclusion of this discussion, around 9:30 a.m., the Appellant told the members of the government inspection team that rather than waste the paper, it was going to shutdown the press until the paper problem was resolved (R4 File, Tabs D, E, F, I, K, and M). 5 The record is not clear whether the Appellant requested GPO to retest the paper to be used on the production run. 6 Nonetheless, the record shows that on May 4, 1989, GPO's Quality Control and Technical Department tested additional samples of paper stock, and the results showed that the paper was well within the specification standard for cleanliness (dirt count) (Test Report No. 245301, dated May 5, 1989, R4 File, Tab G). 7 Accordingly, GPO Printing Specialist, Ron Cully, telephoned the Appellant's office at approximately 1 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 1989, and informed the Contractor that the paper retest proved the paper was acceptable and to proceed on the basis (R4 File, Tabs I, K, and M). The following Monday, May 8, 1989, the Contractor made new plates and continued press production of the Census Form packages. On May 8, 1989, the Appellant wrote to Mr. Cully requesting a Contract Modification in the amount of $23,508.60 to cover the time the press was idle while GPO retested the paper stock, as well as the cost of a new set of plates and makeready time to restart the production process. 8 On July 26, 1989, and October 13, 1989, respectively, the Contractor renewed its request for a Contract Modification (R4 File, Tabs K and M). However, by letter, dated October 25, 1989, the Contracting Officer denied the Appellant's claim to additional compensation (R4 File, Tab N). The Contracting Officer gave two reasons for his decision: (1) the Appellant failed to present any evidence that the Government caused the delay, without which there is no basis for Government liability; and (2) the decision to shut down the press was a unilateral one made solely by the Appellant. This appeal to the Board followed. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES It is undisputed that the decision to shut down the press was a unilateral one made by the Appellant (R4 File, Tab K). The only questions are whether the Appellant's action was justified under the circumstances, and whether it is entitled to be reimbursed by GPO for the time its press was idle, the makeready time required when the Census Form job was restarted, and the cost of new plates. The Appellant's claim before the Board is predicated on the fact that the contract specifications did not mention the type of brown bark spots which led to the decision to shut down the press. Appeal, p. 2. As the Appellant explains, under Contract Terms, which is incorporated by reference in the Invitation for Bid (IFB), "[b]idders are expected to the examine specifications." . . . See, Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Art. 1(a), p. 1. The Appellant states that when it followed this instruction, it discovered that there was no specification covering the size of spots in the paper. Appeal, p. 2. The Appellant argues that such specks are not uncommon in the type of paper specified; therefore, because "spots" were clearly an undesirable element in terms of FOSDIC readability, the failure to include a specification covering the size of such spots was clearly a "critical omission." Id. Furthermore, Contract Terms provides that "[b]idders shall include anticipated items of cost for production . . . in their bids." Contract Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Art. 1(c), p. 1. The Appellant claims that because the IFB did not contain any specifications concerning paper spots, it could not reasonably anticipate the costs associated with determining their significance. Appeal, p. 2. Finally, the Appellant relies on the "Risk of Loss" provisions in Contract Terms for the proposition that since it knew "spot size" was important to the use of the FOSDIC system, and because spots of a certain size were clearly prohibited by the quality control plan, it would have been negligent in continuing to print the job on spotted paper, unless or until it had obtained approval to do so. Id. (See, Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, 9, p. 14 ("The contractor shall be liable for loss, damage or destruction of Government property caused by his/her negligence.")). Accordingly, the Appellant believes that the actual costs it incurred with respect to stopping the press and restarting it once such approval was given, should be reimbursed by the Respondent. The Respondent, on the other hand, takes a simpler view of the matter. As the Respondent notes, samples of the paper stock which the Appellant proposed to use on the Census Form job were tested by GPO, and the Appellant was told that the paper was equal to the specifications. When the Appellant's inspectors discovered the presence of brown spots, some of noticeable size, on the paper during the pre-production run on May 3, 1989, it was the Appellant who was uncertain whether they would render the printed product unreadable by the FOSDIC system. Further, it was the Appellant, not GPO's on-site press representative, who made the decision to shut down the press until it could be assured that the paper spots would not interfere with the product's usability. Since the decision to shut down the presses was unilaterally made by the Appellant and not authorized by GPO, the Appellant must bear the cost associated with its action; i.e., in the absence of evidence that the Respondent caused the Appellant to shut down its press, there is no basis for holding it responsible for these costs. See, Respondent's Informal Brief, dated June 3, 1991. DECISION As indicated above, the crux of the Appellant's position is that the Respondent's failure to include a provision on the type and size of paper spots involved in this appeal in the contract specifications constituted a "critical omission" in the IFB; i.e., the FOSDIC system required quality control over "spot size" on the paper stock used, thus it would have been negligence for the Appellant not to shut down its press under these circumstances until it had obtained approval to proceed with the job. It is unclear from the Appellant's position, however, whether it is arguing that the specifications were defective or were merely ambiguous. In the Board's view, either proposition is without merit. As a general rule, it is well settled Government contract law that the burden of proving defects in the Government's specifications falls on the contractor, who must also show that such defects were the cause of the problems in question. Fry Communications, Inc., GPO BCA 1-87 (June 1, 1989), Sl. op. at 5 (citing, Bailfield Industries, Division A-T-O, Inc., ASBCA No. 18057, 77-1 BCA ¶ 12,348). 9 Applying this principle here, the Appellant must show that the Respondent's failure to include a specification regarding the size of the brown bark spots in the paper stock rendered the IFB defective, and that the defect was the cause of the problem in question. In the Board's view, the Appellant here has failed to carry its burden. The contract in this case was governed by detailed specifications covering, inter alia, the quality of paper stock and materials, and testing procedures both for the paper and for the printed product. Nonetheless, the Appellant believes that the IFB specifications were wanting because, unlike the provisions concerning the size of "black spots" (R4 File, Tab A, at p. 13), the IFB did not provide guidance with respect to the size of other (brown) "spots" which could be read by the FOSDIC system; i.e., the Appellant argues, in effect, that the IFB should have included specifications regarding the size of the brown spots which were as specific as those for "black spots." To the Board, however, this contention seems to be "mixing apples and oranges" because the standards for "black spots" in the IFB relates to the printing and computer imaging aspects of the contract, and not the quality of the paper stock. Instead, the Board believes that the Appellant had more than enough guidance with respect to the matter of acceptable size for spots in the paper stock from: (1) the paper stock specification for cleanliness (dirt count) (R4 File, Tab A, p. 9); (2) the requirement that prior to production, the Contractor had to submit samples from each shipment of paper delivered to his plant to GPO for testing and approval with regard to compliance with the specifications as to kind and quality of materials (R4 File, Tab A, p. 7); (3) the fact that the paper test standards were specifically spelled out in the IFB (R4 File, Tab A, p. 10); and (4) the Contractor's overall responsibility to ensure that the paper used was compatible with computerized imaging and equipment (R4 File, Tab A, p. 10). In the Board's judgment, these provisions were sufficiently precise so that once the paper stock had been tested and approved by GPO, it was not necessary for the Appellant to require any further clarification in the paper specifications about the acceptable size of spots in the paper. Thus, the Appellant has not shown, to the satisfaction of the Board, that the lack of a specification regarding the size of the brown bark spots in the paper stock rendered the IFB defective. Indeed, when the Board considers that the Appellant subsequently completed production of acceptable Census Form packages using the same paper stock about which it was in doubt, after GPO had conducted another test which confirmed that the paper met the contractual standards, it must concluded that the Appellant has also failed to prove that the "missing specification" -- i.e., the alleged "defect" -- was the cause of the problem in question; in fact, the Board fails to see any problem at all. The Appellant's second premise -- that the specifications were ambiguous -- is equally unavailing. Generally, contractual language is ambiguous if it will sustain different reasonable interpretations. Fry Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, No. 174-89C (Cl. Ct. Feb. 5, 1991), Sl. op. at 11 (citing, Edward R. Marden Corporation v. United States, 803 F.2d 701, 705 (Fed. Cir. 1986); Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. v. United States, 183 Ct. Cl. 358, 372 (1968)); Castillo Printing Company, GPO BCA 10-90 (May 8, 1991), Sl. op. at 26-28; General Business Forms, Inc., GPO BCA 2-84 (December 3, 1985), Sl. op. at 16-21. Consequently, the crucial issue in such cases is whether a contractor's interpretation of the specifications is within the zone of reasonableness, not whether the Government's interpretation is somehow "better." Fry Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, Sl. op. at 15 (citing, WPC Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, 163 Ct. Cl. 1, 6 (1963)). In other words, a contractor does not bear the burden of interpreting a contract correctly, only of interpreting it reasonably. General Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 19 (citing, Max Drill, Inc. v. United States, 192 Ct. Cl. 608, 627 (1970)). However, to say that an ambiguity exists does not end the inquiry, because a trier of fact must also determine, inter alia, whether the ambiguity is latent or patent. If the ambiguity is latent, the doctrine of contra proferentem allows the adoption of the contractor's reasonable interpretation of an IFB drafted by the Government. Fry Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, Sl. op. at 11. On the other hand, a patent ambiguity operates as an exception to the contra proferentem doctrine by creating a duty in the contractor to seek a clarification of the contractual language from the contracting officer before it submits its bid. Id., Sl. op. at 11-12 (citing, George E. Newsom v. United States, 230 Ct. Cl. 301, 303 (1982)); WPC Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, supra, 163 Ct. Cl. at 7; General Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 17 (citing, Enrico Roman, Inc. v. United States, 2 Cl. Ct. 104, 106 (1983)). 10 A patent ambiguity exists where the IFB contains a gross discrepancy, an obvious error in drafting, or a glaring gap, as seen through the eyes of a "reasonable man" on an ad hoc basis. Fry Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, Sl. op. at 12 (citing, Max Drill, Inc. v. United States, supra, 192 Ct. Cl. at 626; WPC Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, supra, 163 Ct. Cl. at 6). As the Board understands the Appellant's claim, while is not alleging that the existing paper specifications are unclear or capable of different interpretations, it does contend that the IFB has a "critical omission" because a provision on the type and size of paper spots involved in this appeal is lacking. The Appellant admits that it knew brown bark spots were not "uncommon" in the type of paper specified in the IFB. Appeal, p. 2. It also acknowledges that the presence of spots were important because the Census Forms were to be read on the FOSDIC system, and that the quality control plan clearly prohibited the existence of certain size spots. Id. Therefore, assuming that the missing specification was, indeed, a "critical omission," the IFB would have contained, by definition, the sort of a "gross discrepancy, an obvious error in drafting, or a glaring gap" which would have required the Appellant to seek a clarification from the Contracting Officer before it submitted its bid. Fry Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, Sl. op. at 11-12. In short, the Appellant's argument, on its face, alleges that a patent ambiguity existed in the IFB, and the law is clear that the risk in such cases falls on the contractor not the Government. Id.; Enrico Roman, Inc. v. United States, supra, 2 Cl. Ct. at 106; George E. Newsom v. United States, supra, 230 Ct. Cl. at 303; WPC Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, supra, 163 Ct. Cl. at 7; General Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 17. Finally, relying on the provision in Contract Terms which holds the contractor liable for loss, damage or destruction of Government property caused by his/her negligence, Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, ¶ 9, p. 14, the Appellant argues that it was only prudent to stop printing the Census Form job on spotted paper, until it had obtained approval to continue. Appeal, p. 2. However, the Appellant cannot escape the fact that the paper stock had already been tested and approved by GPO. As a general rule, such inspections and tests are for the benefit of the Government. Custom Printing, GPO BCA 10-87 (May 10, 1988), Sl. op. at 14 (citing, Red Circle Corporation v. United States, 185 Ct. Cl. 1 (1968)). Absent a provision in the contract itself, the Government has no duty to conduct tests or inspections for the benefit of a contractor. Id., Sl. op. at 13. See also, Contract Terms, Contract Clauses, 14.(c), p. 16 ("The Government . . . assumes no contractual obligation to perform any inspection and test for the benefit of the contractor unless specifically set forth elsewhere."). In this particular case, the Census Form paper stock had been tested by the Respondent, found to be within the IFB specifications, and approved for use by the Appellant. In the Board's opinion, when the Appellant thereafter unilaterally aborted the production process until the paper was retested and reapproved by the Respondent, it was acting solely for its benefit in order to avoid the risk of rejection of the final product. 11 The law is clear that if the Appellant had retested the paper stock itself, the rechecking process would have been considered unreimbursable "voluntary" work outside the contract. See, e.g., Calculus, Inc., ASBCA No. 37155, 89-1 BCA ¶ 21,520; Norflor Construction Corporation, ASBCA No. 31579, 88-2 BCA ¶ 20,649; Shedd B. Smith, DOT CAB No. 1381, 83-2 BCA ¶ 16,780; Control Temp, Inc., ASBCA No. 23380, 80-1 BCA ¶ 14,433. See also, Celia Translations, Inc., GPO CAB 10-79 (February 6, 1981), Sl. op. at 7 (citing, Louise Hardwick, Administratrix, 95 Ct. Cl. 336 (1942)). The Board believes that the fact the paper stock was retested by the Respondent (in order to reconfirm its suitability for use), should not lead to a different result; i.e., since GPO was not obligated under the IFB to retest or reapprove the paper stock, the Appellant cannot require the Respondent to reimburse it for the additional costs resulting from the Appellant's unilateral shutting down of the press. Id. Accordingly, the Board must conclude that the financial responsibility for the Appellant's surfeit of caution in this case rests with the Appellant itself, and not with the Respondent. CONCLUSION The Appellant's contract for the production and supply of Census Forms has been fully and satisfactorily performed based on the original specifications in the IFB. In that regard, the specifications concerning the paper stock, which had been tested once and found to be acceptable, were sufficiently precise so as to preclude the need for the Appellant to shut down its press pending reapproval of the paper. The Appellant has not alleged or proved any legitimate ground in this appeal to support its claim for reimbursement for the additional costs associated with the reapproval process. Therefore, considering the record as a whole, the Board Affirms the decision of the Contracting Officer, dated October 25, 1989, and Denies the Appellant's claim of $23,508.00. It is so Ordered. _______________ 1. The Appellant claims $15,847.00 for idle press time, $7,165.00 for makeready, and $496.00 for plates and platemaking. See, Appeal of Editors Press, Incorporated, dated February 21, 1990, as corrected by, letter to the Board from Terrence (Terry) Heyer, Vice-President, Manufacturing, dated March 20, 1990 (hereinafter Appeal). 2. The record on which the Board's decision is based now consists of: (a) the appeal File (Rule 4 File) (hereinafter R4 File) received from the Respondent with its letter, dated February 16, 1990 (Exhibits A-O); (b) the documents filed by the Appellant under Rules 4 and 12 with its letters, dated March 20, 1990, and April 9, 1990; (c) the Appeal, dated February 21, 1990; and (d) the informal brief filed by the Respondent on June 3, 1991. 3. Although not involved in this dispute, the specifications also provided that the contractor was to submit construction samples to GPO for testing (printing was not required, but the samples had to be marked to show where images would be). While the Appellant could choose the stock to be tested, GPO would inspect and evaluate the samples for conformance to the specifications as to construction and binding (R4 File, Tab A, p.8) 4. The brown spots were bark chips (R4 File, Tabs E and O). Such chips are not uncommon in the paper specified for the contract (R4 File, Tab I). The Appellant admits that the contract specifications contemplated some paper spotting, and prohibited more than a certain number, but focuses on the silence of the specifications with respect to their size (R4 File, Tabs K and M). 5. The record discloses that sometime during these discussions with the government inspection team, the Appellant contacted another printing establishment, Webcraft, and was informed that they were not having any problems (R4 File, Tab F). 6. The members of the government inspection team reported that the Appellant asked Sagner to have GPO retest the paper stock (R4 File, Tabs D and E). The Appellant, however, has informed the Board that it did not request any type of paper test; that was an interpretation placed on the Appellant's concerns by the government. The Appellant states that it was only interested in whether or not the brown bark spots in the paper could be read by the FOSDIC system, and the specifications were silent about this sort of imperfection in the paper. Further, the Appellant notes that GPO's subsequent retesting of the paper was for the dirt count, which was not the Appellant's concern at all. See Letter from Terrence Heyer, Vice-President, Manufacturing to the GPO Board of Contract Appeals, dated April 9, 1990. 7. The samples showed a dirt count of 7.2 and 3.6 ppm; the specification yardstick was 20 ppm. 8. See, n. 1 supra, for the specific breakdown of costs. 9. For the most part, the specifications in printing contracts are, by their nature, "design" specifications as distinguished from "performance" specifications. Colorgraphics Corporation, GPO BCA 16-87 (March 31, 1989), sl. op. at 23. That is, the specifications set forth precise measurements, tolerances, materials, in process and finished product tests, quality control, inspection requirements, and other specification information, rather than predict the operational characteristics desired for the item. Id. (citing, Monitor Plastics Company, ASBCA No. 14447, 72-2 BCA ¶ 9626). 10. As the Claims Court observed in Enrico Roman, "[p]olicy considerations for this exception to the contra proferentem rule consist of the need to protect bidders so that they are all bidding on the same material; to discourage contractors from taking advantage of the Government; and most of all, to prevent post-award litigation." Enrico Roman, Inc. v. United States, supra, 2 Cl. Ct. at 107. See also, George E. Newsom v. United States, supra, 230 Ct. Cl. 125 (1976). 11. Although the Appellant states that it did not request a retest of the paper samples, note 6 supra, it seems reasonable to the Board that it clearly expected GPO to perform one. Otherwise, in light of the Appellant's expression of concern, what basis would there be for GPO to give its approval to restart production of the Census Forms, if not on its reassurance that the paper stock met contractual specifications?