U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
   BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS
   WASHINGTON, DC  20401

In the Matter of             )
                             )
The Appeal of                )
                             )
WEB BUSINESS FORMS, INC.     )   Docket No. GPO BCA 16-89
Jacket Nos. 232-106 through  )
232-112                      )
Purchase Order 12930         )

   DECISION AND ORDER

   By letter dated June 5, 1989, Web Business Forms, Inc.
   (Appellant or Contractor), 6 Shirley Avenue, Franklin
   Township, New Jersey 08873, filed a timely appeal from the May
   4, 1989, final decision of Contracting Officer James L.
   Leonard, of the U.S. Government Printing Office's (Respondent
   or GPO or Government) Printing Procurement Department,
   Washington, DC 20401, rejecting the Appellant's request for an
   equitable adjustment in the amount of $1,800.00 for printing a
   series of forms under its contract identified as Jacket Nos.
   232-106 through 232-112, Purchase Order 12930.  The
   Appellant's claim was based on its contention that it had
   discovered a post-award mistake in bid when it noticed during
   contract performance that each of the forms were different,
   and contradicted the hand-printed notice at the top of the
   Purchase Order which stated: "Specifications Apply Equally To
   All 7 Jackets Unless Otherwise Noted!"  See, R4 File, Tabs A
   and G.  [Emphasis added.]1  For the reasons which follow, the
   decision of the Contracting Officer is hereby AFFIRMED, and
   the appeal is DENIED.2

   FINDINGS OF FACT3

   1.   On March 10, 1989, the Respondent solicited telephone
   bids for a single contract to print varying quantities of
   seven different two-part marginally-punched continuous forms
   for the (then) Veterans Administration (VA) (now Department of
   Veterans Affairs) (R4 File, Tab A, p. 1).  Although each form
   was covered by a separate GPO Jacket Number, the Invitation
   for Bids (IFB) stated that the "Specifications Apply Equally
   To All 7 Jackets Unless Otherwise Noted!" (R4 File, Tab A, p.
   1).  Potential bidders were also told that the Government-
   furnished material (GFM) would be available by March 20, 1989,
   and that the contract had to be completed by April 4, 1989 (R4
   File, Tab A, p. 1).4

   2.   The forms were part of a series entitled "National
   Service Life Insurance" (R4 File, Tab A, p. 3).  The second
   page of the solicitation, which consisted of four pages,
   informed potential bidders that the VA had ordered the
   following quantities of forms: (a) 3,000 copies of Form No.
   29-8172 (Rev. 2-81) (VA Requisition No. 9-00417, GPO Jacket
   No. 232-106); (b) 5,000 copies of Form No. 29-8291 (Rev. 2-81)
   (VA Requisition No. 9-00418, GPO Jacket No. 232-107); (c)
   50,000 copies of Form No. 29-8163 (Rev. 3-73) (VA Requisition
   No. 9-00419, GPO Jacket No. 232-108); (d) 50,000 copies of
   Form No. 29-8161 (Rev. 4-71) (VA Requisition No. 9-00420, GPO
   Jacket No. 232-109); (e) 5,000 copies of Form No. 29-8170
   (Rev. 4-65) (VA Requisition No. 9-00421, GPO Jacket No.
   232-110); (f) 10,000 copies of Form No. 29-8169 (Rev. 2-81)
   (VA Requisition No. 9-00422, GPO Jacket No. 232-111); and (g)
   10,000 copies of Form No. 29-8167 (Rev. 3-65) (VA Requisition
   No. 9-00423, GPO Jacket No. 232-112) (R4 File, Tab A, p. 2).

   3.   The third page was the front of GPO Form 1026b, which
   contained, inter alia, the following additional
   specifications:

      EQUIPMENT AND USAGE: Printer-IBM 1403/2;       Burster-
      Manual/Mechanical.

      SIZE (OVERALL): Width-10-5/8"; Depth 17".

      PAPER COLOR: Part 1-White; Part 2-White.

      PAPER KIND: Part 1-C.W. Bond; Part 2-C.W. Bond.

      SUB NO. (LATITUDE): Part 1-20; Part 2-20

      TYPE OF CHANGE: Part 2-Major (Face and Back).

      COLOR OF INK: Part 1-Black (Face and Back); Part 2-Black
      (Face and Back).

      PRINTS HEAD TO: Part 1-Head; Part 2-Head.

      MARGINS-FACE: Head-1/2"; Foot-5/16"; Left-1-3/16";
      Right-1-3/16"; -BACK: Head-1/2"; Foot-Various;
      Left-1-3/16"; Right-1-3/16".

      JOINING: Join sets in the Left margin(s) by [f]irm glue.*

      * Position glue line to the right of the left marginal
      perforation extending the full 17" depth of the form so
      that the form will remain intact when marginal strip is
      removed.

   * * * * * * * * * *

      PERFORATIONS-All perforations shall be cut clean and
      sufficiently deep to permit easy separation but not to tear
      in ordinary handling or in feeding through the machine.

      MARGINAL: 13/16" from left side, 13/16" from right side.

      TEARLINE: Horizontal perforations shall be provided every
      17".

See, R4 File, Tab A, p. 3.5

   4.   The Respondent received 10 bids, including offers from
   the Appellant and Valley Forms (R4 File, Tabs B and C).6
   However, because the Appellant's quote for Form No. 29-8170
   (Rev. 4-65) (GPO Jacket No. 232-110) was $2,087.50, Valley
   Forms was determined to be the low bidder and was awarded the
   contract.7  See, Draft Report, p. 2.

   5.   Thereafter, on March 22, 1989, the Appellant's President,
   Mr. Ed Vartughian, telephoned the Contracting Officer and
   informed him that the Contractor had made a mistake in its bid
   (R4 File, Tab D).  Specifically, Vartughian told Leonard that
   his quote of $2,087.75 for Form No. 29-8170 (Rev. 4-65) (GPO
   Jacket No. 232-110) was in error, and that the true price
   should have been $208.75, a contention which was verified by
   the "additional rate" price (R4 File, Tabs D and E).  Based on
   this information, Leonard determined that this change made the
   Appellant the low bidder and he terminated Valley Forms'
   contract for the convenience of the Government (R4 File, Tab
   F).8  See, GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses,  19
   (Termination for the Convenience of the Government).

   6.   On March 28, 1989, the Respondent issued Purchase Order
   12930, awarding the contract to the Appellant (R4 File, Tab
   G).  Since the original contract delivery date was only a week
   away when the contract was awarded, the Appellant wrote to the
   Contracting Officer on April 3, 1989, and asked for an
   extension of the delivery schedule to April 17, 1994, to
   accommodate for the delay (R4 File, Tab G).  See, GPO Contract
   Terms, Contract Clauses,  12(c) (Extension of schedules).
   The Contractor also stated, however, that the GFM differed
   from the contract specifications and it requested a contract
   modification to reflect the changes (R4 File, Tab G).  In that
   regard, the Appellant wrote, in pertinent part:

      Your specification sheet shows a quantity breakdown for
      seven different jacket numbers with form name and [number]
      changes only.  It also shows part 1 and part 2 have a major
      change between them.  The specification sheet then shows
      "specifications apply equally on all seven jackets unless
      otherwise noted".  No where [sic] does the order show or
      indicate that the copy other than shown on the
      specification sheet are to be different for all lots front
      and back.

      I would request at this time you send to me a contract
      modification which will show as follows:

      All seven jackets do not print equally but have major copy
      changes part 1 to part 2 both front and back.

      We will charge for this modification which includes per
      change one negative, one plate, table work to strip same,
      and plate changes on the press, $75.00 per change.

      Total amount of the contract modification is $1,800.00.9

See, R4 File, Tab G.

   7.   In a letter to the Contracting Officer on April 10, 1989,
   the Appellant amplified the above views (R4 File, Tab J).
   Specifically, the Contractor stated, in pertinent part:

      . . . [O]n the specification sheet, page [no.] 1 of the
      four pages provided it shows "SPECIFICATIONS APPLY EQUALLY
      TO ALL 7 JACKETS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED".

      No where [sic] in the four page specification sheet does it
      show that there are copy changes from jacket to jacket.  On
      page 2 of the specification sheet composition shows face of
      part 1 to face of part 2 a major change and on the backer
      of part 1 to the backer of [part] 2 a major change.

      Based on the specification sheet which states equal on all
      jackets and since no other changes are noted we bid this
      job at $5,552.75 less 5% for a net of $5,275.11.

      When we received the order on 3/38/89 the artwork called
      for other than was provided in the specification sheet that
      being every jacket had a change to both face and back and
      changes to part 2 face and back on all lots.

      We are seeking an additional $1,800.00 on this order to
      cover the added expenses incurred as a result of the
      changes needed but not shown on the original specification
      sheet requirements. . . .

See, R4 File, Tab J).

   8.   Also on April 10, 1989, Vartughian telephoned Leonard and
   told him that the job was ready to ship, but that the
   Contractor had made a mistake in pricing (R4 File, Tab H).  In
   response, Leonard informed Vartughian that he could make a
   claim for a post-award mistake in bid (R4 File, Tab H).10
   See, GPO Printing Procurement Regulation, GPO Publication
   305.3 (September 1, 1988), Chap. XI, Sec. 6,  4 (PPR).

   9.   By letter dated April 21, 1989, the Contracting Officer
   answered the Appellant's April 3, 1989, letter and denied the
   requested contract modification (R4 File, Tab I).  Addressing
   the Contractor's allegations, Leonard explained, in pertinent
   part:

      When jobs having certain similarities such as common
      construction, papers, dimensions, schedules, etc., are
      found feasible to be produced by a single contractor
      economically and expeditiously because of the similarities,
      those orders are combined into a series of "strapped"
      jackets and awarded to a single contractor under one
      purchase order.  In the specifications the following
      statement will appear: "Specifications apply equally to all
      jackets unless noted otherwise."

      This statement is intended to avoid having to repetitively
      list every detail in the specifications for each product.
      For example, if the dimensions, number of parts, paper
      weights, schedules, destinations, etc., are identical for
      all products, then such details are entered into the
      specifications once and incorporated by the referenced
      statement into all the product.  The statement neither
      specifies nor infers that all the strapped products are
      identical insofar as the images and printed matter
      contained therein is concerned.

      Each of the seven strapped jackets awarded under Purchase
      Order 12930 are in fact unique-individual two-part form
      sets, each having a distinct title and form number.  For
      each jacket the specifications stated that GPO would
      furnish a negative for the masthead and reprint copy that
      must be used as camera copy for the forms.  The paper
      stocks, inks, changes, and printing requirements, as well
      as the construction, packing, ship date, etc., were listed
      once in the specifications.  As stated in the previous
      paragraph, these common details were incorporated into each
      of the individual jackets by the referenced statement:
      "Specifications apply equally to all jackets unless
      otherwise noted." . . .

      [GPO Contract Terms] . . . instructs the contractor how to
      proceed if there is a conflict with the [GFM]: "The
      contractor is required to examine the furnished property
      immediately upon receipt.  If at that time there is
      disagreement with the description or the requirements as
      presented in the specification, and prior to the
      performance of any work, the contractor shall contact the
      GPO . . . and contest the decision."  [Citing, GPO Contract
      Terms, Contract Clauses,  7 (Government Furnished
      Property).]   The succeeding paragraphs describe the
      resolutions to any disagreements.  The contract file does
      not show any record where you contacted the GPO and
      protested the furnished property prior to the commencement
      of production.

See, R4 File, Tab I, pp. 1-2.  [Emphasis added.]

   10.   A follow-up letter was sent by the Contracting Officer
   on April 26, 1989, specifically replying to the Appellant's
   letter of April 10, 1989 (R4 File, Tab K).  In this letter,
   Leonard stated, in pertinent part:

      . . . I have concluded that the specifications are not
      misleading.

      The language pertaining to the seven jackets is standard
      and has been used in our specifications for a number of
      years.  The discussion of the term "strapped jackets" is
      found in my April 21, 1989, letter to you.  Each of these
      jackets represents similar but not identical forms and were
      strapped to avoid using repetitive language.  Page 2 of the
      specifications lists the different form numbers, thus
      indicating their difference one from another.

      Article 7 of [GPO Contract Terms], . . . does provide
      protection for vendors in these circumstances by requiring
      the vendor to notify the Contracting Officer of the alleged
      discrepancy prior to beginning performance.  The contract
      file shows no record of your notification. . . .

See, R4 File, Tab K, p. 1.

   11.   On April 28, 1989, Vartughian wrote to the Contracting
   Officer again, disputing the Respondent's position as set
   forth in its letter of April 21, 1989, and asking Leonard to
   reconsider his denial of a contract modification for the extra
   costs incurred printing the job or, in the alternative, render
   a final decision on the matter (R4 File, Tabs I and L).  In
   that regard, the Appellant argued, in pertinent part:

      . . . The specifications for these seven jackets state,
      "SPECIFICATIONS APPLY EQUALLY TO ALL 7 JACKETS UNLESS
      OTHERWISE NOTED".

          A.) No where [sic] in the specification sheet does it
          show a notation for the 7 jackets to print different.

         B.) [The Webster definition] of the word equal is, "of
         the same value, evenly proportioned, to be the same with
         no variation".

      I think the problem we are faced with is our disagreement
      as to the meaning of the word equal.

      When this order was received it was noted that the seven
      jackets were not equal.  They were and are different.  The
      specification sheet said they were to be equal.

      I contacted you at the time we received this order and
      advised you of the problem.  You advised me that I could
      make an application for more money, but you doubted it
      would be given.

      Reference is made to page 2 of your letter to me.  I did
      contact GPO about the problem, but it is also my
      understanding a contractor is obligated, even if there is a
      dispute to continue on an order and perform and ship the
      order no matter what the dispute is about.11

See, R4 File, Tab L, p. 1.  [Original emphasis.]

   12.   On May 4, 1989, the Contracting Officer sent the
   Appellant his final decision denying the claim for an
   equitable adjustment in the contract price (R4 File, Tab M).
   Leonard's letter essentially reiterated the points he made in
   his letter of April 21, 1989, namely: (a) the statement
   concerning the specifications applying equally to all of the
   jackets unless otherwise noted was intended to avoid having to
   repeat every specification, in detail, for each product; (b)
   it was not meant to infer that all of the forms were identical
   as to images and printed matter; (c) the contract was for
   seven separate and distinct two-part forms each with a
   different title number; (d) the GFM for each form, consisting
   of a negative for the masthead and a reprint copy, was also
   different; and (e) only the common elements-i.e., the paper
   stocks, inks, changes, printing requirements, construction,
   packing, delivery date, etc.-were covered by the statement
   concerning the specifications applying equally to all jackets
   (R4 File, Tab M. pp. 1-2).12  Leonard went on to say, in
   pertinent part:

      You claim that you notified GPO of the "problem" when you
      received the purchase order.  However, our records indicate
      that GPO was notified on April 10, 1989, at 9:25 a.m. that
      the order had been completed and was ready to ship.  You
      were told at that time your company could claim a post
      award error in bid.

      The third part of your claim is that there was a dispute.
      Our records indicate that there was never a dispute but
      some questions  on what your rights are.  The facts in this
      matter have been reexamined and the original decision will
      remain as previously stated.

See, R4 File, Tab M, p. 2.

   13.   By letter dated June 5, 1989, the Contractor timely
   appealed the Contracting Officer's final decision to the
   Board.

   ISSUE PRESENTED

   As framed by the Board during the prehearing conference on
   April 19, 1989, the sole issue in this case is:

      Are the specifications in the Appellant's contract
      sufficiently ambiguous to support its claim for additional
      compensation based on a post-award mistake in bid, and if
      so, how much?



See, Draft Report, p. 12.

     POSITION OF THE PARTIES13


   This case is before the Board because the parties disagree
   over the meaning of the statement on the face of the IFB which
   says that the "Specifications Apply Equally To All 7 Jackets
   Unless Otherwise Noted!" (R4 File, Tab A, p. 1).  The essence
   of the Appellant's case is that these words are misleading
   because they imply that, except for changes in the form name
   and number, all seven jackets would print precisely the same
   (R4 File, Tabs G, J and L).  Consequently, having relied on
   this interpretation in formulating its bid price, the
   Contractor says that it was surprised to find that the GFM it
   received had copy changes for each jacket; i.e., the seven
   jackets were not "equal", as the Appellant understands that
   word, but rather they were different (R4 File, Tabs G, J and
   L).  See, Draft Report, p. 6.  As succinctly stated in its
   Complaint letter to the Board, the Contractor's position is,
   in pertinent part:

      The specification[s] . . . state that all 7 jackets are
      equal unless otherwise noted.  Our position is all the
      jackets have major differences in copy from one another and
      those major changes were not noted and therefore we
      accepted the order based on no major changes from jacket to
      jacket.


See, Letter from the Appellant to the Board, dated July 20, 1989,
p. 2.  See also, Draft Report, p. 4.  Since the Respondent failed
to apprise potential bidders of the scope of the changes in each
jacket in the specifications, the Appellant believes that it is
entitled to reimbursement in the amount of $1,800.00 for
performing the contract.14  Id.,  Draft Report, p. 6.

   The Respondent's argument, on the other hand, is rooted in two
   basic rules of construction which say first, that a contract
   should be interpreted as a whole, and second, it should be so
   construed that all of its parts have meaning, if at all
   possible.  R. Brf., p. 3 (citing, United Pacific Insurance
   Company v. United States, 204 Ct.Cl. 686, 691, 497 F.2d 1402
   (1974) (and cases cited therein); Blake Construction Company
   v. United States, 202 Ct.Cl. 794 (1973); Hunkin Conkey
   Construction Company v. United States, 198 Ct.Cl. 638, 461
   F.1270 (1972); Rice v. United States, 192 Ct.Cl. 903, 428 F.2d
   1311 (1970)).  In GPO's view, the Appellant's interpretation
   of the contract violates these fundamental precepts.  R. Brf.,
   p. 3.  The Respondent contends that the contract
   specifications were clear and unambiguous, and left no doubt
   as to how the seven strapped jackets were to be printed.  R.
   Brf., p. 4.  GPO principally relies on page 2 of the
   specifications, which indicated all of the differences in the
   seven jobs by jacket and form number, to support its argument
   that potential bidders were on notice that although the seven
   strapped jobs contained some common characteristics,
   nonetheless there were  differences which had to be considered
   in printing them.  Id.  Indeed, the Respondent believes that
   not only was it impossible for the Appellant to have
   overlooked the variations between the seven strapped jackets
   shown on page 2 of the specifications, but the Contractor, in
   fact, acknowledged these differences in its April 3, 1989,
   letter to the Contracting Officer.  R. Brf., pp. 4-5, 6.  See,
   R4 File, Tab G.  See also, Draft Report, pp. 12-13.  In
   addition, GPO claims that the statement "Specifications Apply
   Equally To All 7 Jackets Unless Otherwise Noted!", has been
   placed on GPO purchase orders covering multiple printing
   jackets for many years, and the words "unless otherwise noted"
   are intended to alert potential bidders to the fact that the
   strapped jobs vary in some respects, and are not to be printed
   alike.  R.Brf., pp. 4-5.  See, R4 File, Tab K.  See, Draft
   Report,  pp. 7, 12.  Finally, the Respondent contends that if
   the Appellant had doubts about the specifications, then under
   GPO Contract Terms it had a duty to contact the Contracting
   Officer and seek a clarification prior to printing the seven
   forms.  R. Brf., pp. 6-7.  See, GPO Contract Terms, Contract
   Clauses,  7 (Government Furnished Property).  See also, Draft
   Report, pp. 3, 5.  Accordingly, the Respondent submits that
   since the evidence shows that the contract specifications were
   clear and unambiguous, and moreover, that the Appellant failed
   to meet its obligation under GPO Contract Terms to ask the
   Contracting Officer for a clarification of the printing
   instructions prior to performance if it had any questions, the
   appeal should be denied.  R. Brf., p. 8.

   DECISION15

   Reduced to its basics, the Appellant's claim for equitable
   relief is predicated on two grounds, namely: (1) the statement
   on the front of the IFB which says that the "Specifications
   Apply Equally To All 7 Jackets Unless Otherwise Noted!" is
   misleading and ambiguous, and the Respondent should be held
   liable for its poor drafting; and (2) at the very least, the
   imprecision of the statement induced the Contractor to make a
   mistake in its bid which was discovered only after award.  In
   the Board's view, neither of these contentions has merit.

         1.  Contrary to the Appellant's belief, the contract
         specifications are not ambiguous.

   As the parties recognize, resolution of this dispute
   essentially involves an interpretation of the contract by the
   Board.  Since the parties have drawn different meanings from
   the disputed statement on the face of the IFB, the Board's
   task is simple-it must decide which of the two conflicting
   interpretations is correct, or whether both readings may be
   reasonably derived from the contract terms; in other words, is
   the contract ambiguous?16  See, e.g., McDonald & Eudy
   Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 25-92 (April 11, 1994), Sl. op. at 13;
   Shepard Printing, GPO BCA 37-92 (January 28, 1994), Sl. op. at
   15-16.

   The focus of inquiry in this case is confined to the contract
   itself.   See, Universal Printing Company, supra, Sl. op. at
   26, fn. 27, RD Printing Associates, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 9,
   13, fns. 9 and 15; B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, supra,
   Sl. op. at 15.  Therefore, certain legal principles should be
   kept in mind at the outset.  When the parties confront the
   Board with two different interpretations of the same contract
   language they raise the possibility that the specifications
   may be ambiguous.  McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl.
   op. at 13; R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, GPO
   BCA 31-90 (February 6, 1992), Sl. op. at 41, aff'd on other
   grounds, Richard C. Swanson, T/A R.C. Swanson Printing and
   Typesetting Company v. United States, Cl.Ct. No. 92-128C
   (October 2, 1992).  Contractual language is ambiguous if it
   will sustain more than one reasonable interpretation.17  Fry
   Communications, Inc./InfoConversion Joint Venture, GPO BCA
   9-85, Decision on Remand (August 5, 1991), Sl. op. at 9; R.C.
   Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at
   41, fn. 22; General Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at
   16.  See also, Fry Communications, Inc./InfoConversion Joint
   Venture v. United States, supra, 22 Cl.Ct. at 503 (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)).  In analyzing disputed
   contract language, the courts and contract appeals boards
   place themselves in the shoes of a reasonably prudent
   contractor; i.e., the language of the contract must be given
   that meaning which a reasonably intelligent contractor
   acquainted with the circumstances surrounding the contract
   would derive.  McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op.
   at 14; General Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 18
   (citing, Salem Engineering and Construction Corporation v.
   United States, 2 Cl.Ct. 803, 806 (1983)).  See also, Norcoast
   Constructors, Inc. v. United States, 448 F.2d 1400, 1404, 196
   Ct.Cl. 1, 9 (1971); Firestone Tire and Rubber Company v.
   United States, 444 F.2d 547, 551, 195 Ct.Cl. 21, 30 (1971).

   A dispute over contract language is not resolved simply by a
   decision that an ambiguity exists-it is also necessary to
   determine whether the ambiguity is latent or patent.  Courts
   will find a latent ambiguity where the disputed language,
   without more, admits of two different reasonable
   interpretations.18  Fry Communications, Inc./InfoConversion
   Joint Venture v. United States, supra, 22 Cl.Ct. at 503
   (citing, Edward R. Marden Corporation v. United States, supra,
   803 F.2d at 705); R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting
   Company, supra, Sl. op. at 41, fn. 22.  On the other hand, a
   patent ambiguity would exist if the contract language
   contained 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.19  Fry Communications,
   Inc./InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, 22
   Cl.Ct. at 504 (citing, Max Drill, Inc. v. United States, 192
   Ct. Cl. 608, 626 (1970); WPC Enterprises, Inc. v. United
   States, 163 Ct.Cl. 1, 6 (1963)); General Business Forms, Inc.,
   supra, Sl. op. at 17 (citing, Enrico Roman, Inc. v. United
   States, supra, 2 Cl.Ct. at 106).

   However, the rules concerning ambiguous contract language come
   into play only if the meaning of the disputed terms are not
   susceptible to interpretation through the usual rules of
   contract construction.  McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra,
   Sl. op. at 16; Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 19; R.C.
   Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at
   42.  The most basic principle of contract construction is that
   the document should be interpreted as a whole.20  Hol-Gar
   Manufacturing Corporation v. United States, supra, 169 Ct.Cl.
   at 388, 351 F.2d at 975; General Business Forms, Inc., supra,
   Sl. op. at 16; Restatement of the Law, Contracts 2d,  202(2)
   (1981).  Hence, all provisions of a contract should be given
   effect and no provision is to be rendered meaningless.
   Pacificorp Capital, Inc. v. United States, supra, 25 Cl.Ct. at
   716; Fortec Constructors v. United States,supra, 760 F.2d at
   1292; United States v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 713 F.2d 1541,
   1555 (Fed. Cir. 1983);  Jamsar, Inc. v. United States, 442
   F.2d 930 (Ct.Cl. 1971); Grace Industries, Inc., ASBCA No.
   33553, 87-3 BCA  20,171; General Business Forms, Inc., supra,
   Sl. op. at 16 (citing, Raytheon Company v. United States, 2
   Cl.Ct. 763 (1983)).  In other words, a contract should be
   interpreted in a manner which gives meaning to all of its
   parts and in such a fashion that the provisions do not
   conflict with each other, if this is reasonably possible.21
   B. D. Click Company v. United States, 614 F.2d 748 (Ct.Cl.
   1980).

   When these principles are applied in this case, it is clear
   that notwithstanding the painstaking efforts of the Appellant
   to construe the "catch-all" statement on the front of the
   contract, the Board does not see any ambiguity in its terms.
   McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 18; Shepard
   Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 20; R.C. Swanson Printing and
   Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at 43-44.  See also,
   Export Packing & Crating Company, ASBCA No. 16133, 73-2 BCA 
   10,066, at 47,215.  In that regard, the key phrase in the
   disputed statement are the words "unless otherwise noted".
   The clear import of those words in a statement which says
   "Specifications Apply Equally To All 7 Jackets Unless
   Otherwise Noted!" is to alert potential bidders that while the
   seven forms have specifications in common, some specifications
   are different.  Hence, a reasonably prudent contractor would
   have anticipated those differences in its bid, and would not
   have thought, as the Appellant did here, that all seven
   jackets would print exactly the same (R4 File, Tabs G, J and
   L).  Unless such differences were present, the three key words
   at the tail of the statement would have no meaning-they would
   be mere surplusage.  Indeed, if the Respondent wanted to
   convey the idea that all seven forms printed alike, as the
   Appellant believes, all the statement needed to say was
   "Specifications Apply Equally To All 7 Jackets!"  Thus, in the
   Board's view, the Appellant's interpretation totally ignores
   the last three words of the statement, as written, and is
   contrary to the settled rules of contract construction which
   favor a reading of a document as a whole, and in a manner
   which gives meaning and effect to all of its parts.  Fortec
   Constructors v. United States, supra, 760 F.2d at 1292; United
   States v. Johnson Controls, Inc., supra, 713 F.2d at 1555;
   Pacificorp Capital, Inc. v. United States, supra, 25 Cl.Ct. at
   716;  Hol-Gar Manufacturing Corporation v. United States,
   supra, 169 Ct.Cl. at 388, 351 F.2d at 975.  See also, General
   Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 16; Grace Industries,
   Inc., supra, 87-3 BCA  20,171.  Accordingly, since the
   "catch-all" statement on the front of the IFB is not
   misleading or ambiguous, there is no basis for holding the
   Respondent liable under the doctrine of contra proferentem in
   this case.  McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at
   16; Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 19; R.C. Swanson
   Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op. at 42.
   Accord, International Business Investments, Inc. v. United
   States, supra,  17 Cl.Ct. 122; G.M. Shupe, Inc. v. United
   States, 5 Cl.Ct. 662, 704 (1984); Rainbow Construction Co.,
   Inc., AGBCA No. 87-370-1, 92-3 BCA  25,130.

   Furthermore, as the Board stated during the prehearing
   conference on April 19, 1990, the Appellant's position is even
   more suspect when considered in light of the sequence of
   events which shows that notwithstanding the perceived conflict
   between the written specifications and the GFM, which it
   brought to the Respondent's attention on April 3, 1989, the
   Contractor nonetheless went ahead and printed the forms by
   April 10, 1989, before the Contracting Officer could resolve
   the matter, and in the absence of any direction from him to do
   so.  See, Draft Report,  pp. 9-11.  See also, R4 File, Tabs G
   and H.  In that regard, the present situation is analogous to
   a recent dispute between the same parties, in which the Board
   rejected the Appellant's equitable adjustment claim because it
   proceeded with performance of the contract in the face of
   questions it had about the GFM it had received, without
   seeking a proper clarification from the Contracting Officer.
   Web Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 14-15.  Accord,
   Avedon Corp. v. United States, 15 Cl.Ct. 771 (1988);
   Engineering Technology Consultants, S.A., ASBCA No. 43600,
   92-3 BCA  25,133; Rainbow Construction Co., Inc., supra, 92-3
   BCA  25,130.  Consequently, when the forms in question had to
   be reprinted after the initial shipment was rejected for
   defects, the  Government was not liable for the additional
   cost because the Contractor had clearly acted contrary to the
   "Government Furnished Property" clause of the contract.22  Web
   Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 15.  See also,
   Printing Unlimited, GPO BCA 21-90 (November 30, 1993), Sl. op.
   14; Custom Printing Company, supra, Sl. op. at 13.  Since the
   contractor bears the risk of performance costs in a firm
   fixed-price contract, absent facts or a clause allowing
   otherwise, see, D.K.'s Precision and Manufacturing, ASBCA No.
   39616, 90-2 BCA  22,830; Chevron U.S.A., Inc., ASBCA No.
   32323, 90-1 BCA  22,602; Nedlog Company, ASBCA No. 26034,
   82-1 BCA  15,519, the Appellant alone was responsible for the
   costs of its premature printing of the form in that case,23
   see, Web Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 15.  See
   also, McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 16;
   1993), Sl. op. at 19-21 (citing, Serigraphic Arts, Inc.,
   GPOCAB 22-79 (May 8, 1980), Sl. op. at 7-8).24  The Board
   believes that the same result is indicated in this appeal,
   because the record clearly shows that despite the existence of
   a major doubt in its mind concerning the specifications and
   the GFM it received from the Respondent, the Contractor, of
   its own volition, performed the work before the Contracting
   Officer could clarify the matter.  Web Business Forms, Inc.,
   supra, Sl. op. at 14-15.  See also, McDonald & Eudy Printers,
   Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 16; 1993), Sl. op. at 21-22.  Cf.,
   Editor's Press Incorporated, GPO BCA 03-90 (September 4, 1991)
   (contractor not entitled to an equitable payment for lost
   press time when it unilaterally shut down its presses while it
   sought reapproval of its paper stock from GPO).  Accordingly,
   for all of these reasons the Board concludes that the first
   claim made by the Appellant concerning the specifications
   themselves is without merit and is rejected.

         2.  The Appellant has not sustained its claim that it is
         entitled to relief because it made a mistake in its bid
         which was only discovered after award.


   The second contention advanced by the Appellant also relies on
   its reading of the statement "Specifications Apply Equally To
   All 7 Jackets Unless Otherwise Noted!" to mean that, except
   for changes in the form name and number, all seven forms would
   print exactly the same.  Thus, the Contractor says that it
   formulated its bid with that understanding in mind, only to
   find when it received the GFM that, in fact, the copy for each
   form was different.  Therefore, the Appellant believes that
   the impreciseness of the disputed statement induced it to make
   a mistake in its bid which was discovered only after award,
   and it asks the Board, as a matter of equity, to reform the
   contract so that it can be paid for the work it actually
   performed.25

   As the Board indicated during the prehearing conference on
   April 19, 1990, post-award mistake in bid claims are generally
   not favored in the law because they tend to disadvantage the
   unsuccessful bidders by creating a situation where a
   contractor can "buy into" a contract at a low offer and then
   rely on its mistake to increase its contract price to a level
   where it might not have been awarded the contract in the first
   instance.  Draft Report, p. 10.  In that regard, the Board has
   remarked that:

      It is the duty of the Government to treat all bidders
      fairly.  Indeed, the very nature of advertised competitive
      procurements mandates such action in order that commercial
      providers of goods and services will be encouraged to
      compete for the public's business.  This requirement places
      a heavy burden upon contracting officials to strictly
      adhere to the exact letter of contract language once award
      has been made.  To do otherwise would be patently unfair to
      the unsuccessful bidders and would discourage future
      participation in Government solicitations.  The downside of
      this is that an innocent bidder, as here, who might not
      fully comprehend the provisions of the solicitation will
      receive the award as low bidder and be economically injured
      as a result.  Absent Government fault contributing to the
      commission of such error, there is no means of negating
      such an unfortunate consequence.

Graphicdata, Inc., GPO BCA 28-88 (February 9, 1990), Sl. op. at
9.  See also, Chavis and Chavis Printing, supra, Sl. op. at
18-19.  Accord, Ideal Restaurant Supply Company, VACAB No. 570,
67-1 BCA  6,237).  Consequently, although such claims are
recognized by the law, the contractor alleging a post-award
mistake in bid bears a heavy burden of proof.26  Draft Report, p.
10.  See, W.B. & A., Inc., ASBCA No. 32524, 89-2 BCA  21,736, at
109,310 (citing, United States v. Hamilton Enterprises, Inc., 711
F.2d 1038 (Fed. Cir. 1983)).

   Executive Branch boards of contract appeals draw their
   authority to reform contracts from the Contract Disputes Act
   of 1978 (CDA), Pub. L. 95-563 (November 1, 1978), 92 Stat.
   2383, 41 U.S.C.  607(d), and the provisions of the Federal
   Acquisition Regulation (FAR),  14.406-4 (Mistakes after
   award), which is essentially a statement of the general law
   pertaining to contract reformation..27  See, Construction
   Administrative Services, Inc., ENG BCA No. 6033, 93-3 BCA 
   26,091; Diamond Shamrock Refining and Marketing Company, ASBCA
   No. 43729, 92-3 BCA  25,132; Para/Medical Supplies, Inc.,
   VABCA No. 1464, 82-1  15,660.  As a Legislative Branch
   agency, GPO is not covered by the CDA, and thus contractors
   who do business with the Respondent have no access to that
   statute for resolution of their disputes.  See, Tatelbaum v.
   United States, 749 F.2d 729, 730 (Fed. Cir. 1984); Wessel
   Company, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 17, fn. 18.  However, the
   phrase "related to the contract" in the GPO "Disputes" clause,
   as well as the agency's printing procurement regulations,
   gives the Board the authority to remedy a post-award discovery
   of a mistake in bid.  Peake Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 12-85
   (November 12, 1986), Sl. op. at 6; Great Lakes Lithograph
   Company, GPO BCA 18-84 (May 22, 1985), Sl. op. at 18.  See,
   GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses,  5(a); PPR, Chap. XI,
   Sec. 6,  4.

   In that regard, the PPR states, in pertinent part:

      a. When a mistake in a contractor's bid is not discovered
      until after the award, the mistake may be corrected by
      contract modification if correcting the mistake would make
      the contract more favorable to the Government without
      changing the essential requirements of the contract.

      b. In addition to the case in subparagraph 6.4a above,
      Contracting Officers, after review by the Chairperson,
      Contract Review Board, are authorized under the
      circumstances set forth in subparagraph 6.4c to make
      administrative determinations described as follows in
      connection with mistakes in bid alleged or disclosed after
      award.  A determination may be made (1) to rescind a
      contract or (2) reform a contract:

         (i) by deleting the item or items involved in the
         mistake; or

         (ii) by increasing the price if the contract price, as
         corrected, does not exceed that of the next lowest
         acceptable bid under the original invitation for bids.

      c. Determinations under subparagraph 6.4b may be made only
      on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that a
      mistake in bid was made, and either that the mistake was
      mutual or that the unilateral mistake made by the
      contractor was so apparent as to have charged the
      Contracting Officer with notice of probability of mistake.
      If the evidence does not warrant a determination under
      subparagraph 6.4(b)(i) or (ii), a determination may be made
      that no change shall be made in the contract as awarded.


See, PPR, Chap. XI, Sec. 6,  4 (PPR).  [Emphasis added.]  Except
for some minor variations in language and structure, the above
quoted paragraphs of the PPR are identical to the provisions of
FAR  14.406-4 (Mistakes after award).28  Thus, like FAR 
14.406-4 (Mistakes after award), the above provisions of the PPR
basically repeat the general rule of Government contracts law
which holds that a contractor who is awarded a contract on the
basis of mistaken bid will be bound by its erroneous offer if the
mistake was neither induced nor shared by the Government, unless
the contracting officer knew or should have known of the
existence of the mistake at the time the bid was accepted.  See,
Great Lakes Lithograph Company, supra, Sl. op. at 20-21 (citing,
Doke, Mistakes in Government Contracts-Error Detection Duty of
Contracting Officers, 18 S.W.L.J. 1 (1964)).  Furthermore, as the
Board has indicated several times in the past, where GPO adopts
the regulatory language of other agencies as its own, in this
case the rules regarding post-award discovery of mistakes in bid,
then under settled rules of construction the Board must presume
that the uniform interpretation given to those words has also
been accepted.  See, Sterling Printing, Inc., GPO BCA 20-89,
Decision Denying Second Motion for Reconsideration and Order
(August 12, 1994), Sl. op. at 3; Banta Company, GPO BCA 03-91
(November 15, 1993), Sl. op. at 34.  See also, McDonald & Eudy
Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 40-92 (January 31, 1994), Sl. op. at
11-12; Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 21-22.

   The leading decision of this Board on the question of post-
   award discovery of a mistake in bid is Great Lakes Lithograph
   Company, supra.  In that case the Board, relying on the
   decision of the Federal Circuit in United States v. Hamilton
   Enterprises, Inc., supra, 711 F.2d at 1038, found for the
   contractor on its post-award mistake claim because the record
   showed: (1) the existence of a mistake; (2) that the mistake
   was not one of judgment but of misreading the specifications;
   (3) that the Government shared in the mistake; and (4) that
   the appellant presented clear and convincing evidence what its
   price would have been but for the mistake.  See, Great Lakes
   Lithograph Company, supra, Sl. op. at 29.  In a lengthy
   opinion, the Board set forth, in detail, the standards which
   are applied in such cases by this adjudicatory body,
   explaining, in pertinent part:

       " . . . it is well established that an erroneous bid based
       upon a mistake in judgment does not entitle the contractor
       to reformation of its contract.  [Footnote and citations
       omitted.]  While on the other hand a "clear cut clerical
       or arithmetical error, or misreading of specifications"
       may be compensated in certain circumstances.  [Citation
       omitted.]  "The question depends not alone on whether the
       bidder made a mistake but on the application of certain
       legal principles to the established facts in the
       particular case . . . .".  [Citation omitted.]

   * * * * * * * * * *

      The principles of law to be applied in "mistake in bid"
      cases have been judicially fashioned (Aydin Corp. v. United
      States, 669 F.2d 681, 685 (Ct.Cl. 1982)), based on the view
      that:

         Although an award normally results in a binding contract
         fixing the parties' rights and obligations [citation
         omitted], so that ordinarily no relief will be granted
         to a party to an executory contract in the case of a
         unilateral mistake [citation omitted], nevertheless an
         acceptance of a bid containing a palpable, inadvertent,
         error cannot result in an enforceable contract.

      Moffett, Hodgkins & Clarke Co. v. City of Rochester, 178
      U.S. 373, 20 S.Ct. 957, 44 L.Ed. 1108 (1940); United States
      v. Metro Novelty Manufacturing Co., 125 F.Supp. 713
      (S.D.N.Y. 1954); Kemp v. United States, 38 F.Supp. 568
      (D.Md. 1941).

   * * * * * * * * * *

         . . . The task of ascertaining what an official in
         charge of accepting bids "should" have known or
         suspected is, of course not always an easy one. . . .
         the test here, as in so many areas, must be that of
         reasonableness, i.e., whether under the facts and
         circumstances of `the particular case there were any
         factors which reasonably should have raised a
         presumption of error in the mind of the contracting
         officer', Welch, Mistakes in Bids, 18 Fed.B.J. 75, 83
         (1958), [Wender Presses, Inc. v. United States, 170
         Ct.Cl. 483, 343 F.2d 961, 963 (1965)]. . . where it is
         obvious from the range of bids itself that a mistake
         must have been made, or that there is a real possibility
         of such error, and the Government has done nothing by
         way of making appropriate inquiry, relief will be
         afforded.  [Citations omitted.]

      Where, as in the case at hand, the Government surmises that
      there may be a mistake in bid, "[t]here is authority that a
      mere general request for verification would not suffice; it
      should invite attention to the reason for surmising error."
      [Citations omitted.]

    * * * * * * * * * *

      In Ruggiero v. United States, 190 Ct.Cl. 327, 420 F.2d 709
      (1970), the Court at 715 and 716 said:

      . . . As we pointed out in [Charnick] v. United States, 372
      F.2d 492, 178 Ct.Cl. 498 (1967), what we are really
      concerned with is the overreaching of a contractor by a
      contracting officer when the latter has the knowledge,
      actual or imputed as something he ought to know, that the
      bid is based on or embodies a disastrous mistake and
      accepts the bid in face of that knowledge.  The corrections
      of the mistake, perhaps in the teeth of general conditions
      or specifications, by rescission or reformation, represents
      an application of equitable principles in a legal action.
      The mistake, to invoke such principles, must be, as in the
      cases cited, a clear cut clerical or arithmetical error, or
      misreading of specifications, and the authorities cited do
      not extend to mistakes of judgment. . . .  [A]n agreement
      cannot be revised to reflect a plaintiff's subjective
      understanding the defendant does not and should not know
      of.  Benjamin v. United States, 348 F.2d 502, 172 Ct.Cl.
      118 (1965).


See, Great Lakes Lithograph Company, supra, Sl. op. at 17-18,
22-23, 25-26.  See also, Atlantic Research Corporation, GPO BCA
22-87 (July 10, 1989), Sl. op. at 5-6; Federated Lithographers-
Printers, Inc., GPO BCA 1-86 (May 29, 1987); Sl. op. at 5; Peake
Printing, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 7; Valley Forms, GPO BCA 1-84
(January 15, 1986), Sl. op. at 10-11, 13-14.
   Subsequently, in Taggart Printing Corporation, the Board
   amplified its views when it stated, in pertinent part:

      Recently in Valley Forms, Inc., . . .and again in Peake
      Printers, Inc., . . . , we cited Manistique Tool and
      Manufacturing Company, ASBCA No. 29164, Aug. 13, 1984, 84-2
      BCA [ 17,599], wherein at page 87,677 it said:

         As a general rule, neither a Board of Contract Appeals
         or the Claims Court is authorized to relieve a bidder
         from its obligations under a contract unless it is
         subject to invalidation on recognized legal grounds,
         such as mutual mistake, or a mistake of which the
         contracting officer was on notice or should have been on
         notice.  [Citations omitted.]  Moreover, before relief
         by reformation or rescission is available to relieve a
         contractor of the effect of its mistake, the mistake
         must be a "clear cut clerical or arithmetical error, or
         misreading of the specifications" and such relief does
         not extend to mistakes of judgment.  [Citations
         omitted.]

   * * * * * * * * * *

         [A]ppellant is entitled to relief in contract
         reformation or rescission for a unilateral mistake in
         bid claimed after contract award only where the
         contracting officer knew or should have known of the
         mistake at the time the bid was accepted.  [Citations
         omitted.]

Taggart Printing Corporation, GPO BCA 11-85 (January 20, 1987),
Sl. op. at 7.  See also, Valley Forms, supra, Sl. op. at 11;
Peake Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 7-8.  Furthermore, the
Board has adopted the Armed Service Board Contract Appeal's
(ASBCA) analysis in Aerospace Components, Inc., when considering
post-award mistake in bid claims, where the ASBCA said:

      . . . [F]or a unilateral mistake in bid (discovered or
      alleged after award), to be remediable, the contracting
      officer must have had actual knkowledge or been on
      contructive notice of a possible clerical or careless error
      in bid.  [Citations omitted.]  Here, the only potential
      indication would have been a substantial price disparity
      between the Texas Aerospace bid and the next lowest offers.
      Given that this disparity with the next lowest offer was on
      3 percent and the next two offers were 13.4 and 18.8
      percent, respectively, higher than Texas Aerospace's bid,
      we are unable to conclude that the contracting officer
      should have been deemed to have been on constructive notice
      of an error.


See, Valley Forms, supra, Sl. op. at 12 (citing, Aerospace
Components, Inc., ASBCA No. 28606, 84-3  17,536, at 87,339);
Peake Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 8.

   As can be seen, the rules applied by the Board to post-award
   mistake in bid claims are precisely the same principles
   followed by its Executive Branch counterparts.  See, Packard
   Construction Company, ASBCA No. 45996, 94-1 BCA  26,512, at
   131,971 (citing, Singleton Contracting Co., ASBCA No. 26862,
   82-2 BCA  15,994, aff'd 2 FPD 20, 723 F.2d 68 (Fed. Cir. 1983
   (Table)); Universal Construction Company, supra, 93-3 BCA 
   26,173, at 130,226 (citing, Bromley Contracting Co., Inc. v.
   United States, 794 F.2d 669, 672 (Fed. Cir. 1986); Outside
   Plant Engineering & Construction Company, Inc., NASA BCA No.
   58-1191, 93-1 BCA  25,489); Construction Administrative
   Services, Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA  26,091, at 129,682-83
   (citing, Chemtronics, Inc., ASBCA No. 30883, 88-2 BCA 
   20,534; Worldwide Parts, Inc., ASBCA No. 38896, 91-2 BCA 
   23,717; United States v. Hamilton Enterprises, Inc., supra,
   711 F.2d at 1038; Aydin Corp. v. United States, supra, 669
   F.2d at 681; Bromley Contracting Co., Inc. v. United States,
   supra, 227 Ct.Cl. at 573; Wender Presses, Inc. v. United
   States, supra, 343 F.2d 961 (1965); CESICA S.p.a., ASBCA No.
   42021, 92-2 BCA  24,964; Penn-Field Industries, Inc., ASBCA
   No. 31105, 86-3 BCA  19,228; Elias Brothers, Inc., ENG BCA
   No. 5321, 88-3 BCA  21,091); Rainbow Construction Co., Inc.,
   supra, 92-3 BCA  25,130, at 125,288 (citing, Lake Shore,
   Inc., ASBCA No. 42577, 92-1 BCA  24,685); Baltazar Torres,
   GSBCA No. 11472, 92-3 BCA  25,178, at 125,469 (citing,
   Liebherr Crane Corp. v. United States, 810 F.2d 1153 (Fed.
   Cir. 1987); United States v. Hamilton Enterprises, Inc.,
   supra, 711 F.2d at 1038; Aydin Corp. v. United States, supra,
   230 Ct.Cl. at 886, 669 F.2d at 681; Ruggiero v. United States,
   supra, 190 Ct.Cl. at 327, 420 F.2d at 709; Wender Presses,
   Inc. v. United States, supra, 170 Ct.Cl. at 483, 343 F.2d at
   961; Fan Inc., GSBCA Nos. 7836, 8715, 91-1 BCA  23,364
   (1990); George A. Harris Enterprises, Inc., GSBCA No. 9888,
   90-1 BCA  22,405); W.B. & A., Inc., supra, 89-2 BCA  21,736,
   at 109,310 (citing, United States v. Hamilton Enterprises,
   Inc., supra, 711 F.2d at 1046; Bromley Contracting Co. v.
   United States, supra, 596 F.2d at 448; Charnick v. United
   States, supra, 178 Ct.Cl. at 498, 372 F.2d at 492).

   The type of claim presented by the Appellant has been
   considered by the Board in numerous other cases.  See, e.g.,
   Taggart Printing Corporation, supra, Sl. op. at 6-7; Peake
   Printing, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 8; Federated Lithographers-
   Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 5; Graphicdata, Inc., supra,
   Sl. op. at 6.  In that regard, the ultimate issue in this
   appeal is whether or not the Contractor has a right to
   reformation of the contract so that it can be paid more for
   the contract work than it originally bid, because the
   information in the contract specifications detrimentally
   misled the Appellant into submitting an erroneous bid which
   was only discovered after award.  In the Board's view, the
   settled law in this area requires that the question be
   resolved against the Appellant.

   Under the law, reformation of the Appellant's contract is
   indicated if one of three circumstances is present: (a) there
   is proof of a mistake by clear and convincing evidence;29 (b)
   there is evidence of a unilateral mistake of such a nature as
   to put the Contracting Officer on notice of the error; or (c)
   the parties have made a mutual mistake.30  See, Construction
   Administrative Services, Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA  26,091, at
   129,682; Diamond Shamrock Refining and Marketing Company,
   supra, 92-3 BCA  25,132, at 125,293.  At the outset, it is
   clear that we are not dealing here with a mutual mistake.
   That is, there is no evidence in the record establishing the
   criterion for a mutual mistake, which is that both parties
   entered the contract unaware of a fact material to its
   successful performance or that both parties entertained an
   erroneous belief as to the existence of a matter material to
   the contract.  See, Construction Administrative Services,
   Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA  26,091, at 129,683 (citing, Elias
   Brothers, Inc., supra, 88-3 BCA  21,091).  Instead, the issue
   before the Board clearly concerns a claim of a unilateral
   mistake by the Appellant in interpreting the contract
   specifications which resulted in an erroneous initial offer
   for the contract work.

   The cases tell us that for reformation of a contract where a
   unilateral mistake has been made by a bidder, the mistake must
   be "a clear cut clerical or arithmetic error, or a misreading
   of specifications," and not a mistake in judgment.  See,
   Bromley Contracting Co., Inc. v. United States, supra, 794
   F.2d at 672; United States v. Hamilton Enterprises, Inc.,
   supra, 711 F.2d at 1038; Aydin Corp. v. United States, supra,
   230 Ct.Cl. at 886, 669 F.2d at 681; Ruggiero v. United States,
   supra, 190 Ct.Cl. at 327, 420 F.2d at 709.  See also,
   Universal Construction Company, supra, 93-3 BCA  26,173;
   Outside Plant Engineering & Construction Company, Inc., supra,
   93-1 BCA  25,489; Baltazar Torres, supra, 92-3 BCA  25,178.
   In addition, the bidder must establish that the Government
   either knew or should have known of the mistake at the time
   the offer was accepted.  See, Bromley Contracting Co., Inc. v.
   United States, supra, 794 F.2d at 672; Wender Presses, Inc. v.
   United States, supra, 170 Ct.Cl. at 483, 343 F.2d at 961.  See
   also, Packard Construction Company, supra, 94-1 BCA  26,512;
   Universal Construction Company, supra, 93-3 BCA  26,173;
   Construction Administrative Services, Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA 
   26,091; Baltazar Torres, supra, 92-3 BCA  25,178; George A.
   Harris Enterprises, Inc., supra, 90-1 BCA  22,405.  Stated
   otherwise, the controlling legal principle with respect to
   unilateral mistakes, is that a mistake of one party at the
   time of contract formation may permit rescission or
   reformation only if the mistaken party "does not bear the risk
   of the mistake" and either "(a) the effect of the mistake
   [would make] enforcement of the contract unconscionable, or
   (b) the other party had reason to know of the mistake or his
   fault caused the mistake."  See, Diamond Shamrock Refining and
   Marketing Company, supra, 92-3 BCA  25,132, at 125,293
   (citing, CESICA S.p.a., supra, 92-2 BCA  24,964; Uniflite,
   Inc., ASBCA No. 27818, 85-1 BCA  17,813; Robert S. Davies,
   ASBCA No. 27334, 83-2 BCA  16,556; Restatement of the Law,
   Contracts 2d,  153 (1981).

   In the Board's view, the Appellant has not sustained its
   burden of proof on this issue.  To begin with, the Board does
   not find clear and convincing evidence of a the sort of
   mistake which would allow reformation of the contract.
   Instead, the Board believes that the Appellant's argument that
   the specifications gave it inadequate notice that there would
   be differences in all seven jackets, is a mistake in judgment
   and not a mere misreading of the specification itself.  See,
   e.g., Federated Lithographers-Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op.
   at 5; Taggart Printing Corporation, supra, Sl. op. at 8; Peake
   Printing, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 8; Great Lakes Lithograph
   Company, supra, Sl. op. at 26.  Accord, Universal Construction
   Company, supra, 93-3 BCA  26,173, at 130,226; Construction
   Administrative Services, Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA  26,091, at
   129,682.  In that regard, the disputed statement on the front
   of the specifications is express and unambiguous, and clearly
   provides that anything mentioned in the specifications is of
   like effect on all of the forms, unless otherwise noted.  Cf.,
   Carothers Construction Company , Incorporated, ASBCA No.
   41268, 93-2 BCA  25,628.  Thus, the Contractor's mistake is
   the product of its failure to read the specifications
   carefully and making assumptions that were not justified.
   Such a mistake is not a misreading of the specifications, but
   a mistake in judgment that does not provide a basis for
   relief.  See, Universal Construction Company, supra, 93-3 BCA
    26,173; Electrical Systems Engineering Company, ASBCA No.
   37147, 90-2 BCA  22,715; Hanna Contracting Company, ASBCA No.
   38597, 90-1 BCA  22,306.

   Furthermore, the Appellant has not established by clear and
   convincing evidence that the Respondent either knew or should
   have known of the mistake at the time the offer was accepted.
   See, e.g., Federated Lithographers-Printers, Inc., supra, Sl.
   op. at 5; Graphicdata, Inc., supra, at Sl. op. 6.  Certainly,
   there was nothing in the Contractor's bid to give the
   Contracting Officer notice of the error.  As a rule, a
   difference in price alone is not necessarily enough to put a
   contracting officer on notice that a mistake has been made,
   even if the price differential is great.  See, Packard
   Construction Company, supra, 94-1 BCA  26,512, at 131,972
   (citing, Wender Presses, Inc. v. United States, supra, 170 Ct.
   Cl. at 483, 343 F.2d at 961).  However, in this case the
   Appellant's corrected bid price was in line with the other
   bids, and any price disparity was so negligible that it could
   not possibly be a basis for charging the Contracting Officer
   with constructive notice of the probability of a mistake.
   See, Packard Construction Company, supra, 94-1 BCA  26,512,
   at 131,971-72; Universal Construction Company, supra, 93-3 BCA
    26,173, at 130,227.  See also, P.J. Valves, Inc., ASBCA No.
   39398, 91-3 BCA  24,251.  Indeed, the $6.65 difference
   between the Appellant's corrected initial bid price, which
   resulted in the award of the contract to it, and the next
   lowest offer from Valley Forms (as well as the $385.73
   difference with the third lowest bid from Mid-America Business
   Forms), is so tiny (.1 percent and 6 percent, respectively)
   that it is ludicrous to think that this disparity should have
   alerted the Contracting Officer to the existence of an error
   in the Contractor's offer.  See, e.g., Construction
   Administrative Services, Inc., supra, 93-3 BCA  26,091, at
   129,683 (a mistake on a bid which was only 8 percent lower
   than the next lowest bid and 12 percent lower than the
   Government estimate, was not of the significance to place the
   Contracting Officer on notice of a possible mistake prior to
   award of the contract); Diamond Shamrock Refining and
   Marketing Company, supra, 92-3 BCA  25,132, at 125,294 (price
   differences of 2.19 percent and 3.99 percent, respectively,
   were not so large as to have alerted the contracting officer
   to a mistake).

   In the final analysis, what this case boils down to is a
   situation where the Appellant made an erroneous assumption
   about how the specifications applied to each of the seven
   strapped jackets.  While the Board is sympathetic to the
   Contractor's predicament, its mistake cannot serve as the
   basis for reformation of this contract.31  See, Baltazar
   Torres, supra, 92-3 BCA  25,178, at 125,469.  See also,
   Liebherr Crane Corp. v. United States, supra, 810 F.2d at
   1153; Fan Inc., supra, 91-1 BCA  23,364.  For the Board to
   reform the contract under these circumstances, would destroy
   the integrity of the competitive procurement process.
   Federated Lithographers-Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 5.

                 ORDER

     Because the Board finds and concludes that the contract
     specifications were clear and unambiguous, and that the
     Appellant has not sustained its post-award mistake in bid
     claim,  the decision of the Contracting officer is AFFIRMED,
     and the appeal is DENIED.

It is so Ordered.

September 30, 1994                  STUART M. FOSS
                        Administrative Judge
_______________

    1 The Contracting Officer's appeal file, assembled pursuant
    to Rule 4 of the Board's Rules of Practice and Procedure, was
    delivered to the Board on July 25, 1989.  GPO Instruction
    110.12, Subject: Board of Contract Appeals Rules of Practice
    and Procedure, dated September 17, 1984, Rule 4(a) (Board
    Rules).  It is referred to hereinafter as the R4 File, with
    an appropriate Tab letter also indicated.  The R4 File
    consists of 13 documents identified as Tabs A through M.
    2 By letter dated January 17, 1989, the Appellant advised the
    Board that it had elected to have its appeal decided on the
    record without a hearing.  Board Rules, Rules 8 and 11.
    3 The factual description of this case is based on: (a) the
    Appellant's Notice of Appeal, dated June 5, 1989; (b) the R4
    File; (c) the Appellant's Letter, dated January 17, 1989,
    requesting that the Board decide the case on the basis of the
    written record pursuant to Rule 11 of the Board Rules; (d)
    the Appellant's Letter, dated July 20, 1989, constituting its
    Complaint pursuant to Rule 6(a) of the Board Rules and
    submitting additional information in accordance with Rule
    4(b); and (e) the Report of Telephone Status Conference,
    dated August 13, 1992 (RTSC).  In addition, at the status
    conference, which was held on July 28, 1992, the Board
    informed the parties that the former Administrative Judge had
    prepared a draft Prehearing Telephone Conference Report,
    dated April 23, 1990 (Draft Report), of the meeting he held
    on April 19, 1990, but had not issued it to them because an
    agency reorganization soon afterward resulted in his
    reassignment to another senior position within GPO.  Since
    the Board believed that the Draft Report should be included
    as part of the appeal record, it told the parties that they
    would be provided a copy for their comments and/or
    corrections.  RTSC, pp. 1, 3.  Although the Board sent each
    party a copy of the Draft Report on August 14, 1992, neither
    of them submitted comments and/or corrections for the Board's
    consideration.  Consequently, the Board included the Draft
    Report in the record as originally written.  See, Order
    Establishing A Briefing Schedule and Setting a Date for
    Settling the Record, dated September 16, 1992, p. 2.  See
    also, Web Business Forms, Inc., GPO BCA 31-89 (July 22,
    1994), Sl. op. at 2, fn. 3.  The facts, which are essentially
    undisputed, are recited here only to the extent necessary for
    this decision.
    4 The GFM consisted of a negative for the masthead and a
    reprint copy of a two-part marginally punched continuous
    form, containing type and rule matter with a masthead on the
    face of Part One, to be used as camera copy (R4 File, Tab A,
    p. 3).
    5 The invitation for bids also indicated that the contract
    would be covered by the relevant provisions of GPO Contract
    Terms, Solicitation Provisions, Supplemental Specifications
    and Contract Clauses, GPO Publication 310.2, Effective
    December 1, 1987 (Rev. 9-88) (GPO Contract Terms) (R4 File,
    Tab A, p. 3).
    6 In addition to the offers of the Appellant and Valley
    Forms, bids were also submitted by Mid-America Business
    Forms, Phillips Business Forms, Forms Express, Recording and
    Statistical Corporation, De Marco Forms, Inc., Forms
    Corporation of America, Digimatics, and Hoosier Data Forms
    (R4 File, Tabs B and C).
    7 The Valley Forms contract is identified in the record as
    Jacket Nos. 232-106 through 232-112, Purchase Order 12789 (R4
    File, Tab F).
    8 As corrected, the Appellant's total bid for the work was
    $5,552.75, or a difference of $6.65 from Valley Forms' offer
    of $5,559.40 (not counting the differences in discount terms
    for payment within 20 days; i.e., 5 percent and 1/4 percent,
    respectively) (R4 File, Tab C).  The next lowest
    bid-$5,938.48-was received from Mid-America Business Forms
    (R4 File, Tab C).  The remaining offers ranged in price from
    $7,847.00 (Phillips Business Forms) to $10,231.00 (Hoosier
    Data Forms) (R4 File, Tabs B and C).
    9 The requested modification amounted to a 32 percent
    increase in the contract price (from $5,552.75 to $7,352.75).
    10 However, the record also indicates the Contracting Officer
    thought that the disputed price agreed with the remaining
    quotations (R4 File, Tab H).
    11 The Appellant is apparently referring to the paragraph in
    the contract's "Disputes" clause, which states, in pertinent
    part: "Pending final decision of a dispute hereunder, the
    contractor shall proceed diligently with performance and in
    accordance with the Contracting Officer's decision."  See,
    GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses,  5(d) (Disputes).
    During the prehearing conference held on April 19, 1989, the
    Board observed that this provision, by its terms, only
    applies when a contracting officer, notwithstanding a
    dispute, specifically directs the contractor to continue
    performance.  Draft Report, p. 8.  However, in response to a
    question from the Board, the Contracting Officer denied ever
    directing the Appellant to continue the job.  Id.  Indeed,
    from the evidence in the record, the Board thought it most
    likely that the Contractor took it upon himself to continue
    the work.  Draft Report, p. 9.
    12 The Contracting Officer also observed that: "Webster also
    defines the word equal as having the same capability,
    quantity, "or effect as another:" equal strength, equal
    weight and equal damage."  See, R4 File, Tab M, p. 2.
    13 The Respondent did not file an Answer in this case.
    Therefore, pursuant to the Board's rules of practice, on
    February 22, 1990, the Board entered a "general denial" on
    behalf of GPO.  See, Board Rules, Rule 6(b).  However, the
    Respondent did submit a written brief in this appeal.  See,
    Respondent's Brief, dated October 16, 1992 (hereinafter R.
    Brf.).  No brief was received from the Appellant.
    14 In support of its position, the Appellant submitted a copy
    of the specifications for Jacket No. 614-130, which was
    issued by GPO's New York Regional Printing & Procurement
    Office (NYRPPO), with its Complaint letter to the Board.
    See, Letter from the Appellant to the Board, dated July 20,
    1989 (Exhibit B).  The specifications for Jacket No. 614-130,
    which covered four separate forms, was introduced to show
    that the NYRPO's contracting officer placed the statement "4
    lots-same specs[,] different copy" on the face of the
    invitation for bids in order to emphasize that the forms had
    the same construction specifications but different copy.
    See, Letter from the Appellant to the Board, dated July 20,
    1989, p. 2.  Early in the prehearing telephone conference
    held on April 19, 1990, the Board stated the NYRPPO
    specifications were of little weight because, inter alia, the
    issuing office was not same one involved in this dispute, and
    indicated its intention to disregard that evidence.  See,
    Draft Report, p. 4.  Although the Board later said that it
    would look at those specifications and give them whatever
    evidentiary weight they were worth, see, Draft Report, p. 12,
    it has concluded that its initial decision not to consider
    the specifications for Jacket No. 614-130 in the context of
    this case, was correct.  In that regard, the Board has stated
    on numerous occasions that except for default termination
    cases where a reprocurement contract is under review because
    the contractor is contesting the assessment of excess
    reprocurement costs, see, e.g., Sterling Printing, Inc., GPO
    BCA 20-89 (March 28, 1994), Sl. op. at 55-63, its narrow
    jurisdictional mandate prevents it from considering other
    contracts unrelated to the one involved in the appeal and it
    has consistently refused to consider matters outside the
    scope of the disputed contract, see, e.g., Universal Printing
    Company, GPO BCA 09-90 (June 22, 1994), Sl. op. at 26, fn.
    27; Shepard Printing, GPO BCA 23-92 (April 29, 1993), Sl. op.
    at 7, fn. 11; B. P. Printing and Office Supplies, GPO BCA
    14-91 (August 10, 1992), Sl. op. at 14-15.
    15 The record on which the Board's decision is based consists
    of: (a) the Appellant's Notice of Appeal, dated June 5, 1989;
    (b) R4 File; (c) the Appellant's Letter, dated January 17,
    1990, requesting that the Board decide the case on the basis
    of the written record pursuant to Rule 11 of the Board Rules;
    (d) the Appellant's Letter, dated July 20, 1989, constituting
    its Complaint, and submitting additional information in
    accordance with Rule 4(b); (e) the draft Prehearing Telephone
    Conference Report, dated April 23, 1990; and (i) the Report
    of Telephone Status Conference, dated August 13, 1992.
    Furthermore, although the record was mostly compiled before
    the undersigned was appointed GPO's Administrative Judge, see
    note 3 supra, that fact is not an impediment to his
    authorship of this decision.  See, Web Business Forms, Inc.,
    supra, Sl. op. at 12, fn. 18.  Accord, C&L Construction
    Company, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 22993, 23040, 81-2 BCA  15,373, at
    76,168 (citing, Sternberger v. United States [13 CCF 
    82,085], 185 Ct.Cl. 528, 401 F.2d 1012 (1968); Sundstrand
    Turbo v. United States [12 CCF  81,589], 182 Ct.Cl. 31, 389
    F.2d 406 (1968)).
    16 Contract interpretation is clearly a question of law, see,
    e.g., Pacificorp Capital, Inc. v. United States, 25 Cl.Ct.
    707, 715 (1992), aff'd 988 F.2d 130 (Fed. Cir. 1993); Fortec
    Contractors v. United States, 760 F.2d 1288, 1291 (Fed.Cir.
    1985); P.J. Maffei Building Wrecking Company v. United
    States, 732 F.2d 913, 916 (Fed. Cir. 1984); Fry
    Communications, Inc.-InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United
    States, 22 Cl.Ct. 497, 503 (Cl.Ct. 1991); Hol-Gar
    Manufacturing Corp. v. United States, 169 Ct.Cl. 384, 386,
    351 F.2d 972, 973 (1965); General Business Forms, Inc., GPO
    BCA 2-84 (December 3, 1985), Sl. op. at 16 (citing, John C.
    Grimberg Company v. United States, 7 Ct.Cl. 452 (1985)); RD
    Printing Associates, Inc., GPO BCA 02-92 (December 16, 1992),
    Sl. op. at 13, as is definition of the contract.  See, Ralph
    Construction, Inc. v. United States, 4 Cl.Ct. 727, 731 (1984)
    (citing, Torncello v. United States, 681 F.2d 756, 760
    (Ct.Cl. 1982).  Any decision by this Board concerning such a
    matter is reviewable by the Courts under the Wunderlich Act,
    41 U.S.C.  321, 322.  Fry Communications, Inc./
    InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United States, supra, 22
    Cl.Ct. at 501, fn. 6; General Business Forms, Inc., supra,
    Sl. op. at 16.
    17 The United States Claims Court has observed that: "[a]
    mere dispute over the terms does not constitute an ambiguity,
    and an interpretation which is merely possible is not
    necessarily reasonable."  Ceccanti, Inc. v. United States, 6
    Cl.Ct. 526, 528 (1984).  An ambiguity must have two or more
    reasonable interpretations and the intent of the parties must
    not be determinable by the normal rules of interpretation.
    McDonald & Eudy Printers, Inc., supra, Sl. op. at 14, fn. 12;
    R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting Company, supra, Sl. op.
    at 42.  See also, International Business Investments, Inc. v.
    United States, 17 Cl.Ct. 122 (1989), aff'd, 895 F.2d 1421
    (Fed. Cir. 1990) (contract terms are not rendered ambiguous
    by the mere fact that the parties disagree as to their
    meaning; there must be reasonable uncertainty of meaning).
    18 In such cases, the doctrine of contra proferentem applies
    and the dispute language will be construed against the
    drafter, Fry Communications, Inc./InfoConversion Joint
    Venture v. United States, supra, 22 Cl.Ct. at 503 (citing,
    William F. Klingensmith, Inc. v. United States, 205 Ct.Cl.
    651, 657 (1974)); R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting
    Company, supra, Sl. op. at 41, fn. 22, if the non-drafter can
    show that he/she relied on the alternative reasonable
    interpretation in submitting his/her bid.  Fry
    Communications, Inc./ InfoConversion Joint Venture v. United
    States, supra, 22 Cl.Ct. at 510 (citing, Fruin-Colon
    Corporation v. United States, 912 F.2d 1426, 1430 (Fed. Cir.
    1990)); Lear Siegler Management Services v. United States,
    867 F.2d 600, 603 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).
    19 Where there are such discrepancies, errors, or gaps, the
    contractor has an affirmative obligation to ask the
    contracting officer to clarify the true meaning of the
    contract language before submitting its bid.  See, Interstate
    General Government Contractors, Inc. v. Stone, 980 F.2d 1433
    (Fed. Cir. 1992); Fry Communications, Inc./InfoConversion
    Joint Venture v. United States, supra, 22 Cl.Ct. at 504
    (citing, Newsom v. United States, 230 Ct.Cl. 301, 303
    (1982)); Enrico Roman, Inc. v. United States, 2 Cl.Ct. 104,
    106 (1983); S.O.G. of Arkansas v. United States, 546 F.2d
    367, 212 Ct.Cl. 125 (1976); Beacon Construction v. United
    States, 314 F.2d 501 (Ct.Cl. 1963)).  See also, Universal
    Construction Company, NASA BCA No. 83-1092, 93-3 BCA 
    26,173, at 130,227; Harwood Construction Company, NASA BCA
    No. 1165-45, 68-1 BCA  6768.
    20 The purpose of any rule of contract interpretation is to
    carry out the intent of the parties.  Hegeman-Harris and
    Company, 440 F.2d 1009 (Ct.Cl. 1979).  The test for
    ascertaining intent is an objective one; i.e., the question
    is what would a reasonable contractor have understood, not
    what did the drafter subjectively intend.  Corbetta
    Construction Company v. United States, 461 F.2d 1330, 198
    Ct.Cl. 712 (1972).  See also, Salem Engineering and
    Construction Corporation v. United States, 2 Cl.Ct. at 806.
    The provisions of the contract itself should provide the
    evidence of the objective intent of the parties.
    21 It is unnecessary to set forth in detail the rules of
    contract construction which apply when interpreting an
    agreement.  Suffice it to say that, within the contract
    itself, ordinary terms are to be given their plain and
    ordinary meaning in defining the rights and obligations of
    the parties.  Elden v. United States, 617 F.2d 254, 223
    Ct.Cl. 239 (1980).  Similarly, technical terms are given
    their technical meaning.  Coastal Drydock and Repair
    Corporation, ASBCA No. 31894, 87-1 BCA  19,618; Industrial
    Finishers, Inc., ASBCA No. 6537, 61-1 BCA  3,091.  Likewise,
    terms special to Government contracts will be given their
    technical meanings.  General Builders Supply Company v.
    United States, 409 F.2d 246, 187 Ct. Cl. 477 (1969) (meaning
    of "equitable adjustment").  As for extrinsic evidence of the
    intent of the parties, the rules of construction allow, among
    other things, custom and trade usage to explain or define
    terms.  W. G. Cornell Company v. United States, 376 F.2d 199,
    179 Ct. Cl. 651 (1967);  Harold Bailey Painting Company,
    ASBCA No. 27064, 87-1 BCA  19,601 (used to define "spot
    painting").  However, custom and trade usage may not
    contradict clear or unambiguous terms.  WRB Corporation v.
    United States, 183 Ct.Cl. 409, 436 (1968).  On the other
    hand, the Board is not bound by what the parties call a
    contract,  Ralph Construction, Inc. v. United States, supra,
    4 Cl.Ct. at 731 (citing, Torncello v. United States, supra,
    681 F.2d at 760; Mason v. United States, 222 Ct.Cl. 436, 444,
    615 F.2d 1343, 1346-47 (1980)), and the understanding and
    actions of officials administering an agreement are not
    dispositive, Salem Engineering & Construction Corporation v.
    United States, supra, 2 Cl.Ct. at 808.
    22 See, GPO Contract Terms, Contract Clauses,  7, which
    provides, in pertinent part: "The contractor is required to
    examine the furnished property immediately upon receipt.  If
    at that time there is disagreement with the description or
    the requirements as presented in the specification (or print
    order/GPO Form 2511), and prior to the performance of any
    work, the contractor shall contact the U.S. Government
    Printing Office, Central Office Printing Procurement
    Division, Washington, DC 20401, or the originating Regional
    Printing Procurement Office, and contest the description.
    (Failure to examine the GFP/specification and bring any
    discrepancies to the attention of the Contracting Officer
    will not relieve the contractor of  responsibility to
    perform.)  The Contracting Officer will then investigate and
    make a determination which will be final.  If the decision is
    reached that the original description is proper, the
    contractor will be required to proceed with the work.
    Failure to agree to the description shall be a dispute within
    the meaning of article 5 "Disputes." . . . "  A contractor's
    duty to notify GPO under the circumstances described in this
    clause is an affirmative one.  Custom Printing Company, GPO
    BCA 10-87 (May 10, 1988), Sl. op. 12.  Accord, Southern
    Athletic Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 9258, 65-1 BCA  4,649;
    Sidran Sportswear Company, Inc., ASBCA No. 9557, 65-1 BCA 
    4,632; Kilgore, Inc., ASBCA No. 1387 (1953).
    23 Essentially, the Board held that without any positive
    proof in the record to show that the Contractor fully met its
    notification responsibilities under GPO Contract Terms, it
    was left with mere unsubstantiated assertions by the
    Appellant that the GFM and the Respondent's instructions,
    were "bad" and "incomplete", which standing alone do not
    constitute proof.  See, Web Business Forms, Inc., supra, Sl.
    op. at 15.  See also, R.C. Swanson Printing and Typesetting
    Company, supra, Sl. op. at 45-46; Fry Communications,
    Inc./InfoConversion Joint Venture, supra, Sl. op. at 33, fn.
    31, 40.  Accord, Singleton Contracting Corporation, GSBCA No.
    8548, 90-2 BCA  22,748; Tri-State Services of Texas, Inc.,
    ASBCA No. 38010, 89-3 BCA  22,064; Gemini Services, Inc.,
    ASBCA No. 30247, 86-1 BCA  18,736.
    24 The Board was created by the Public Printer in 1984.  GPO
    Instruction 110.10C, Subject: Establishment of the Board of
    Contract Appeals, dated September 17, 1984.  Prior to that
    time, appeals from decisions of GPO Contracting Officers were
    considered by ad hoc panels of its predecessor, the GPO
    Contract Appeals Board (GPOCAB). The Board has consistently
    taken the position that it is a different entity from the
    GPOCAB.  See, The Wessel Company, Inc.,  GPO BCA 8-90
    (February 28, 1992), Sl. op. at 25, fn. 25.  Nonetheless, it
    has also been the Board's policy to follow the holdings of
    the ad hoc panels where applicable and appropriate, but the
    Board differentiates between its decisions and the opinions
    of those panels by citing the latter as GPOCAB.  See, e.g.,
    Shepard Printing, supra, Sl. op. at 11, fn. 10; Stephenson,
    Inc., GPO BCA 02-88 (December 20, 1991), Sl. op. at 18, fn.
    20; Chavis and Chavis Printing, GPO BCA 20-90 (February 6,
    1991), Sl. op. at 9, fn. 9.
    25 The Board observes that this is the second "mistake" claim
    made by the Appellant with respect to this contract.  The
    first one concerned a clerical error in its initial bid, and
    was instrumental in the Contracting Officer's decision to
    terminate the Valley Forms contract for convenience of the
    Government and award the work to the Appellant.  See, Factual
    Finding No. 5.  Here, the Contractor's post-award mistake
    claim is advanced as justification for its request for an
    increase in the contract price.  While there is certainly no
    fixed ceiling on the number of mistake claims in any one
    contract, it is also true that a contractor's too frequent
    reliance on its own errors will leave the Board wondering
    about the integrity of the bid preparation practices used,
    and will tend to cast doubt upon the accuracy and bona fides
    of the entire bid.
    26 It is generally accepted that a mistake of fact supporting
    reformation does not arise merely from an inability to
    predict the future, but rather must be a bona fide mistake
    regarding the existing facts on which a bargain is based.
    See, Southern Dredging Company, Inc., ENG BCA No. 5843, 92-2
    BCA  24,886, at 124,117 (citing, Martin-Copeland Co., ASBCA
    No. 26551, 83-2 BCA  16,752; Hilton Construction Co., Ltd.,
    DOT CAB No. 1035, 80-1 BCA  14,318.  See also, Restatement
    of the Law, Contracts 2d,  151, Comment a. (1981).
    27 Reformation of a contract requires that a contract appeals
    board find the existence of a qualifying "mistake."  See,
    Atlas Corporation et al. v. United States, 15 Cl.Ct. 681
    (1988); Johns-Manville Corporation v. United States, 12
    Cl.Ct. 1 (1987); Olson Plumbing and Heating Company v. United
    States, 221 Ct.Cl. 197, 591 F.2d 1308 (1979); ITT Artic
    Services, Inc. v. United States, 207 Ct.Cl. 533, 513 F.2d 588
    (1975); Foster Wheeler Corp. v. United States, 206 Ct.Cl.
    533, 513 F.2d 588 (1975).  See also, EDC/MTI Joint Venture,
    ENG BCA No. 5631, 90-2 BCA  22,669.  In that regard, FAR 
    14.406-4 (Mistakes after award) defines what would be
    considered a qualifying mistake.
    28 FAR  14.406-4 (Mistakes after award) states, in pertinent
    part: ". . . (a) When a mistake in a contractor's bid is not
    discovered until after the award, the mistake may be
    corrected by contract modification if correcting the mistake
    would make the contract more favorable to the Government
    without changing the essential requirements of the contract.
    (b) In addition to the cases contemplated in paragraph (a)
    above or as otherwise authorized by law, agencies are
    authorized to make a determination-(1) To rescind a contract;
    (2) To reform a contract (i) to delete the items involved in
    the mistake or (ii) to increase the price if the contract
    price, as corrected, does not exceed that of the next lowest
    acceptable bid under the original invitation for bids; or (3)
    That no change shall be made in the contract as awarded, if
    the evidence does not warrant a determination under
    subparagraphs (1 or (2) above.  (c) Determinations under
    subparagraphs (b)(1) and (2) above may be made only on the
    basis of clear and convincing evidence that a mistake in bid
    was made.  In addition, it must be clear that the mistake was
    (1) mutual, or (2) if unilaterally made by the contractor, so
    apparent as to have charged the contracting officer with
    notice of the probability of mistake."
    29 There must not only be evidence of the mistake, but the
    contractor must also establish by clear and convincing proof
    what his bid price would have been but for the error.  United
    States v. Hamilton Enterprises, Inc., supra, 711 F.2d at
    1046; W.B. & A., Inc., supra, 89-2 BCA  21,736, at 109,310.
    30 In at least one case, the Board, apparently interpreting
    PPR, Chap. XI, Sec. 6,  4(b), has indicated that the
    contracting officer has the exclusive discretion to remedy
    unilateral mistakes, after properly verifying both the
    erroneous offer and the intended bid price, finding the
    latter bid lower than the next lowest offer, and ascertaining
    that correction of the mistake would make the contract more
    favorable to the Government.  See, Atlantic Research
    Corporation, supra, Sl. op. 5-6.  Consequently, under this
    principle the Board's review would be limited to a
    consideration of whether or not the contracting officer
    abused his/her discretion.  However, the standard of review
    enunciated in Atlantic Research Corporation appears in no
    other Board post-award mistake in bid case, and thus that
    decision is probably sui generis.
    31 In so ruling the Board notes that, in any event, the PPR
    would preclude reformation of the Appellant's contract by a
    32 percent increase in the contract price, as it requested.
    See, note 9 supra.  The PPR states quite clearly that in
    correcting a post-award mistake in bid, the increase in the
    contract price may not ". . . exceed that of the next lowest
    acceptable bid under the original invitation for bids." See,
    PPR, Chap. XI, Sec. 6.b(ii).  See also, Atlantic Research
    Corporation, supra, Sl. op. at 6.  The same rule applies in
    reforming contracts under the FAR.  See, FAR  14.406-4(b)(2)
    (ii), note 28 supra.  In this case, the ceiling on any
    increase in the Appellant's contract price was established by
    Valley Forms' original bid of $5,559.40.  Stated otherwise,
    even a favorable ruling for the Appellant would only have
    resulted in a contract price increase of $6.65.