U. S. Government Printing Office
Contract Appeals Board

Vincent T. McCarthy, Chairman
Jay E. Eisen, Member
Drew Spalding, Member
Panel 77-12

Appeal of National Graphics, Inc.
January 4, 1979

This is a timely appeal to a default termination filed by
National Graphics, Incorporated, 725 DeKalb Industrial Way,
Decatur, Georgia 30033, herein also referred to as the
contractor, on November 21, 1977, under the disputes clause of
the contract, Jacket 227-805, Purchase Order 82692, Article 29,
U.S. Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1.

I.  Findings of Fact

(A)  This case arose out of a contract entered into by the
appellant, National Graphics, Inc., and the U.S. Government
Printing Office (GPO) for the production of 14,933 copies of a 60
page, separate paper covered, saddle-wire stitched pamphlet,
printing cover in brown, titled "AH 500 Stored Grain Insects
(new)".

(B)  The contract, designated as GPO Jacket 227-805, Purchase
Order 82692 was a fixed price agreement for the procurement of
the pamphlets for the Department of Agriculture, awarded to the
contractor on March 9, 1977, at a cost of $14,180; however, the
quantity was increased by 4,000 pamphlets at an additional cost
of $3,080, (Purchase Order 53560).  The contract price,
therefore, was increased to $17,260.  The complete shipment was
scheduled for delivery on or before April 5, 1977.

(C)  The contract specifications set forth the type and quality
of printing required as follows:

"OFFSET PRINTING: Head to head.  Cover prints brown and text
print to 4 color process (exact register) throughout.  MUST BE
PRINTED ON A 4-UNIT-COLOR PRESS.  Contractor to select colors to
faithfully match the full color art / transparencies to be
furnished and Pantone 476-brown."

. . .

"All printing and binding must be of the highest quality, exact
register, a faithful match of the full color art / transparencies
to be furnished and Pantone 476, and full and uniform ink
coverage throughout the entire press run are required.  See also
Form GPO 2459D, 'Workmanship' ".

(D)  GPO 2459D, Special Terms and Conditions (Supplemental to the
Basic Specifications) incorporated by reference in the contract,
provides in pertinent part as to workmanship the following:

"Workmanship:  All workmanship in connection with the article or
product manufactured under these specifications must be first
class in every respect.

. . .

The Public Printer reserves the right to be the sole judge as to
the quality of workmanship in any article or product delivered
under these specifications."

(E)  The contract required as to submission of proofs to GPO by
the contractors, the following:

"PROOF:  Submit 4 full color proofs (top sheets) and 2
progressive proof books of the text pages showing all elements in
proper position and proofed on the paper in the inks to be used
for this printing (PROOFS / PROGS MUST SHOW TEXT PAGES IMPOSED AS
THEY WILL BE PRINTED), plus 2 sets of color key (3M or similar)
proofs of cover.  One set of color proofs (top sheets) must be
ruled to show trim out and margins. . . ."

. . .

"The progressive proofs must contain one color bar for each
color, either a gradient tint scale or half and half solid and
half 70% screen density placed parallel to the proofer's ink
rollers.  They must show each color separately. . . ."

(F)  GPO furnished black and white camera copy amongst other
material and illustration copy consisting of 49 (35mm) full color
film transparencies with accompanying cropping/sizing guides, one
full color art and cropped black and white photoprints.

(G)  1.  The contract required submission of the proofs as soon
as possible to allow for the possibility of necessary
corrections, and were scheduled to be sent back to contractor's
plant within 10 working days after receipt at the GPO.  In the
event that the contractor's errors are serious enough in the
opinion of the GPO to require revised proofs, the revised proofs
are to be provided by contractor at no expense to the Government.
Each revised proof will be back at the contractor's plant within
6 working days after its receipt at the GPO.  No extra time can
be allowed for the reproofing, but must be accomplished within
the original production schedule.

2.  The contractor was contacted on April 6, 1977 and April 27,
1977, and was requested to submit the proofs.  Proofs were
received at GPO on May 2, 1977, and returned on May 24, 1977,
marked revised proofs, because of contractor's errors.  Revised
proofs were received on July 21, 1977.  The ordering agency and
GPO rejected the proofs because they did not meet the required
standards of quality.  The GPO and ordering agency consented to
receive an additional set of revised proofs.  The second set of
revised proofs was delivered to GPO by the contractor in person
on October 11, 1977.  They were rejected by (Typography and
Design) GPO because of substandard printing quality and lack of
color match of the transparencies and art furnished by the
Department of Agriculture.  The cause for delays in delivery of
the proofs were attributed in part to the contractor and GPO;
however lack of timeliness was not in issue nor relevant as the
basis for terminating the Contract for default.

(H)  On October 26, 1977, the Contracting Officer submitted to
appellant a termination notice notifying the contractor that the
contract was terminated for default by reason of its inability to
furnish acceptable proofs.  On November 21, 1977, contractor
filed its appeal to the Public Printer and asserted that, in its
opinion, the third and final set of press proofs were acceptable.

(I)  The contractor on March 3, 1978, requested a meeting with
the Contract Appeals Board, and the following GPO personnel:  Mr.
Walter Burroughs, Mr. Roman Goltz and the GPO printing specialist
who had examined the progressive proofs of the subsequent
contractor which were sent to their plant.  It appears that the
reprocurement contract was awarded to Collier Graphics and its
progressive proofs, marked "OK to print" (as corrected by GPO)
were inadvertently forwarded to appellant, instead of Collier
Graphics.  The appellant requested that its press proofs and said
approved press proofs of Collier be available at the meeting for
comparison purposes.

(J)  Pursuant to the contractor's request an informal conference
convened at the GPO on July 13, 1978.  In addition to the three
members of the Contract Appeals Board, the following individuals
attended the meeting:

1)    John Stanley   Pres. National Graphics
2)    Bruce Crouch   Sales Rep. National Graphics
3)    Paul Barlow   COPPD, GPO
4)    Roman E. Goltz   Contracting Officer, GPO
5)    Emanuel J. Fontana   Pr. Spec. Typo and Design, GPO
6)    Ray Johnson   Pr. Spec. Typo and Design, GPO
7)    Walter B. Burroughs   Pr. Spec. Typo and Design, GPO
8)    James C. Lane, Jr.   Counsel for Contracting Officer, GPO

The procedure for the meeting, in lieu of a formal hearing, was
announced by the Chairman, who stated that the conference is not
to provide a forum for the introduction of new matter, but to
permit explanations and/or argument regarding matter already in
the record.  No sworn testimony was taken and no verbatim
transcript prepared.  The parties also were permitted, in
addition to the verbal statements and argument, to submit written
comments, affidavits, or documentary materials to the Board
within fifteen days of the date on which the conference was held.

The first set of proofs (Exhibit 9), the first set of revised
proofs (Exhibit 11) and the second set of revised proofs (Exhibit
15) all submitted by the contractor as indicated in the appeal
file were available for inspection by the conferees, including
the Contract Appeals Board.  In addition, the progressive proofs
submitted by Collier Graphics (the successive contractor), which
were accepted and approved by GPO, were available for scrutiny
and identified as Exhibit 20.  The original art work, of 49
(35mm) full color film transparencies were also available at the
meeting.  All of the physical evidence described herein was
retained by the Board.

II.  Opinion

The issue in this case is whether the contractor is required to
perform in accordance with the specifications made a part of the
contract.  Two types of compliance are recognized: complete
compliance and substantial compliance.  Under the specifications
set forth in the contract all printing is to be of the ''highest
quality, exact register, a faithful matter of the full color art
/ transparencies to be furnished and Pantone 476, and full and
uniform ink coverage throughout the entire press run are
required.''  It is apparent, under the cited specifications the
Government had the right to insist upon strict compliance with
the specification.  Ideal Restaurant Supply Co., Inc. , VACAB
(1967), 67-1 BCA  6237; Steel Erectors Inc. et al., ASBCA No.
8068 1963 BCA  3973.  (Emphasis supplied.)

The next question to be decided is whether appellant met the
requirements of the specifications as related to submitting
proofs, for if it did, the appeal must be allowed.  We believe
that the language of the contract specifications and the
referenced GPO 2459D (Rev. 11-1-73), Special Terms and
Conditions, makes it clear that what appellant was to furnish is
high quality, exact register product, containing a faithful match
of the full color art transparencies with full and uniform ink
coverage.

The contract provides that the Public Printer reserves the right
to be the sole judge as to the quality of workmanship produced by
the contractor.  The initial proofs were received at GPO on May
2, 1977, and returned to appellant for revision because of
errors.  A set of revised proofs was submitted by appellant to
GPO on July 21, 1977.  The revised proofs were rejected by GPO
because of inferior reproduction of the color pictures and the
heavy and inconsistent inking on the text pages.  Likewise GPO
agreed to view one additional set of revised proofs on October
11, 1977.  These were examined by Mr. Walter Burroughs of the
Typography and Design Division, and were rejected because of
substandard printing quality and lack of color match to the
furnished transparencies.

The appellant failed to present any independent evidence to
support his conclusion that the "third press proof was a good and
reasonable match of the art furnished" and that, therefore, it
was acceptable.  In addition, the appellant, who had an
opportunity to examine the GPO approved progressive proofs
submitted by Collier Graphics, contended that it's third set of
proofs "are made better than the other printer's set sent to us
to review."

The Superintendent of Typography and Design, GPO, commented in a
prepared statement for the file that he compared the sets of
proofs of both appellant and Collier Graphics, Inc. for register,
color bar ink densities, for the number of illustrations which
reasonably matched the original transparencies or could be
approved with minor ink adjustment on press, and for those which
required film correcting and provided his opinion as follows:

"Collier Graphics maintains reasonably uniform ink densities and
close registration on all sheets. The color reproductions should
closely represent the negative screen percentages.  Approximately
10 (depending on the individual checking the sheets)
illustrations require film correcting.  There are 50
illustrations in all.

"National Graphics ink densities and registration were much more
inconsistent.  The color bars range to +/-35 from an acceptable
trade density standard.  The yellow readings were in the 50 to 60
range instead of 90 to 100 as is more acceptable. The press
sheets, I feel, do not represent the screen percentages in the
negatives based on these density readings.  It would be
impossible to satisfactorily reprint this pamphlet with these
existing variations.  Approximately 25 of the illustrations
require film correcting with the present ink readings on the
sheets.  With the correct ink settings this number would be much
larger.

There is no basis to National Graphics' claim that their proofs
are of equal quality.  In order to judge the equality of the
sheets National Graphics must first provide sheets with correct
ink density readings."  (Exhibit 19)

We conclude, that a fair inference to be drawn from the foregoing
evidence is that the appellant did not meet the requirements of
the specifications as to submitting acceptable proofs.  The
specifications in part require a faithful match of the full color
art transparencies.  Interpreting "a faithful match" as a
likeness to the original, yellow readings in the 50 to 60 range
were far off the 90 to 100 acceptable range.  We do not believe
that the Contracting Officer's decision to terminate the contract
for default by reason of the contractor's inability to furnish
acceptable proofs was arbitrary or capricious.  It [contractor]
failed to meet the high standards set forth in the
specifications. In addition, we note the appellant was afforded
three opportunities to do so and over a considerable period of
time which extended long past the original delivery date.

Accordingly, the appeal is denied.