United States Government Printing Office
Contract Appeals Board

Appeal of Citiplate, Inc.
Contractor's Appeal dated June 2, 1983
Decision dated December 20, 1983

Panel 4-83
Thomas O. Magnetti, Chairman
Paul D. Brundage, Philip Markett, Jr., Members

Preliminary Statement

Citiplate, Inc. (hereafter the contractor) has appealed the
decision of the Contracting Officer to reject 2,750 aluminum
anodized offset printing plates which the contractor had supplied
to the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).  The appeal was
filed in accordance with the "Disputes" clause of the contract.
See Paragraph 12 of the General Provisions, Exhibit 2 of the
Appeal File.  In its appeal, the contractor contends that the
defect in the plates was attributable not to the manufacture of
the plates but to the climatic conditions of the area of the GPO
where the plates were stored.

The GPO Contract Appeals Board has jurisdiction over this appeal
pursuant to GPO Instruction 110.10B, entitled "Board of Contract
Appeals Rules of Practice and Procedure" and the contract's
"Disputes" clause.  As the contractor was given the opportunity
to have its appeal heard at an informal hearing, but did not so
request, this decision is based solely on the record; the Appeal
File which contains 15 exhibits.

Statement of Facts

1. The specifications for the contract, as set out in the
solicitation, called for the production of 30,000 aluminum
anodized offset printing plates.  Exhibit 2.  Section B of the
solicitation schedule required that these lithographic plates
have a minimum shelf life of one year when stored in a normal dry
area in their original and unopened package.  Section F required
that the plates be equal in all respects to the sample previously
approved by the GPO.  Exhibit 2.

2. As the contractor submitted the lowest, responsive bid, the
contract was awarded to the contractor by issuance of Purchase
Order 3293,

dated May 11, 1982.  Exhibit 2.  The plates were delivered in
four shipments during June and July 1982.  Exhibit 3.

3. In January 1983, the GPO rejected 420 of the plates because
some of the plates would not retain an image and others retained
lacquer in non-printing areas during the development process.
Exhibit 4.  These plates were returned to the contractor.
Exhibit 5.  In March, representatives of the contractor came to
the GPO to investigate the complaints regarding the defective
plates.  The contractor believed that the problem developed
because of oxidation caused by the presence of moisture in the
storage area.  The GPO personnel claimed that the problem was not
due to moisture but rather due to the failure of the contractor
to coat the plates properly in order to ensure their shelf life.
Exhibit 6.  The area in which the anodized plates were stored was
dry and temperature controlled.  Exhibit 10.  The GPO stored
anodized plates from many manufacturers in that location for
longer than one year without such problems occuring.  Exhibit 13.

4. On March 31, 1983, the GPO rejected 2,750 anodized plates.
Exhibit 8.  This action was taken after an inspection of a random
sample indicated to GPO personnel that printing images appeared
in non-printing areas.  Exhibit 7.  According to the GPO, this
defect rendered the plates unuseable.

5. The contractor responded to this notice of rejection by
claiming that that any defect was caused by improper storage not
by defective manufacture.  Exhibit 9.  On May 12, 1983, the
Contracting Officer issued a final decision rejecting the 2,750
plates and ordering their replacement.  Exhibit 12.

6. This decision was appealed by the contractor on June 2, 1983.
Exhibit 1.

7. On June 28, 1983, representatives of both the contractor and
the GPO inspected another random sample of the anodized plates.
Exhibit 14.  The samples were tested by manual and automatic
processing.  The results of the test indicated that developer was
retained on the edges of an unacceptable number of anodized
plates.  Based upon these test results, the Contracting Officer
confirmed his rejection of the plates.


The Government has the right to receive a product which conforms
to its specifications.  According to the contract, if the product
does not conform, the Government has the right to reject the
defective goods.  Paragraph 5, General Provisions, Exhibit 2.  In
the instant case, the contract required the production of an
anodized plate which complied with the specifications of the
contract, was equal in all respects to the sample provided by the
contractor, and had a shelf life of one year.

Exhibit 2.  When GPO personnel inspected the contractor's plates,
they discovered that the plates retained developer on their non-
printing edges.  The retention of the developer in these areas
made the plates unsuited for the purposes for which they were
intended.  Exhibits 7, 8, and 10.  Moreover, these defective
plates were not equal to the sample plates that had been
previously approved by the GPO.  Exhibit 12.  Even after the
contractor filed its appeal, it agreed to further testing.
Exhibit 14.  The test results indicated that the plates did
retain developer on the non-printing edges of the plates.  The
evidence of record clearly demonstrates that the plates were
defective and could not be utilized as intended.  Therefore, the
plates did not conform with the contract specifications.

   This conclusion, based as it was on the inspection of random
   samples, has not been challenged by the contractor.  Rather,
   the contractor attributes the defect to the possibility that
   there may have been too much humidity in the area in which the
   plates were stored.  The contractor did submit with its letter
   of appeal a copy of the label that was shipped to the GPO with
   the plates.  The label states that the plates should be stored
   in a cool, dry place.  There were no further instructions or
   warning provided to the GPO concerning humidity or moisture.
   The contractor does not provide any evidence that would
   demonstrate that the storage area was too humid or that the
   humidity did, in fact, cause the defect.  Without such
   evidence the contractor's mere allegations regarding humidity
   can not be given any probative weight.

   The only reference to temperature or humidity in the
   specifications was on page 7 of the solicitation.  Exhibit 2.
   The specifications required that the plates have a minimum
   shelf life of one year when stored in a normal dry area in
   their original and unopened package.  There is nothing in the
   record which would indicate that these plates were stored in
   other than a "normal dry area." In a letter to the contractor
   dated April 26, 1983, the Contracting Officer states that the
   plates were stored in an area that was dry and heated.
   Exhibit 10.  Similar plates from other contractors were stored
   in the same location without encountering any problem.
   Exhibit 13.  This evidence is uncontroverted by the

   The Board finds that the GPO complied with its responsibility
   under the contract to store the plates in a normal, dry area.
   Since the specifications called for anodized plates that could
   be used for at least one year when stored in a dry place and
   the record indicates that the plates were stored in such an
   area, there is no evidence that would indicate that the GPO
   was responsible for the defect in the plates.

   Having found that the plates were defective, and that the GPO
   stored the plates in accordance with the contract, the Board
   finds that the GPO had the right under the contract to reject
   the 2,750 plates for failing to meet the specifications and
   order their replacement.


Based upon the foregoing analysis, the decision of the
Contracting Officer to reject the plates and order replacement is
affirmed.  Accordingly, the contractor's appeal is denied in its