U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS The Appeal of PENNSYLVANIA PRINTED PRODUCTS, INC. Docket No. GPO BCA 29-87 June 7, 1990 MICHAEL F. DiMARIO Administrative Law Judge ORDER DENYING RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION In the Board's opinion, detailed design specifications of the type furnished by the Government, require extraordinary precision and clarity in draftsmanship in order to convey to the contractor the exact design intended so that the contractor need make no substantive decision respecting the design. Ambiguity exists when specifications are "capable of being understood in two or more possible senses or ways." 1 In the case at bar, Respondent asserts that its intention in using the words "top half of collection box" and "bottom half of collection box" in the specifications was to limit the placement of silver and blue inks to the top and bottom halves, respectively, of the illustration of the collection box, itself. On the other hand, Appellant, seeing nothing but the illustration of the collection box on the camera copy, understood such words to mean top half and bottom half of the face card. The directional arrows obviously did nothing to dispel such interpretation. Thus, the facts of the case, in and of themselves, tend to show that the terms of the specifications were capable of being understood in two or more possible ways. Moreover, in the Board's opinion, more than a few persons, including other experienced printers, would draw the same conclusion reached by Appellant, unless directed to concentrate their intellect solely upon the illustration. Couple this with the variance in clear direction respecting the application of black ink, identified by Appellant in its opposition to the said motion, and we find a confusion which design specifications ought not have. Accordingly, we retain our conclusion that the specifications were ambiguous. Further, the Board finds the Government's argument that the contractor is under an obligation to examine materials it receives and to raise questions concerning ambiguities before proceeding with the work, while contractually correct, to be without merit since such provision presupposes that the ambiguities will be noticed, which obviously was not the case here. Turning to the Government's argument that an enforceable extension of time had been agreed to based upon the theory that the consideration for such agreement was Appellant's promise "to complete the job 'on a rush basis' and provide proofs to the Postal Service" in exchange for Respondent's promise "to relax the terms of the contract by allowing Appellant to complete performance by shipping the product on the due date, instead of the original contract term which required Appellant to have completed delivery by the due date," suffice it to say that this Board can find nothing in the facts to support a conclusion that such consideration was in the contemplation of the parties. Accordingly, the Board denies the said Motion for Reconsideration of its Order dated January 22, 1990. It is so Ordered. _______________ 1 Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1985, Merriam- Webster, Inc., Springfield, MA.