U.S. Government Printing office Contract Appeals Board Appeal of Remco Business Systems, Inc. October 5, 1977 Vincent T. McCarthy, Chairman Samuel Soopper, Member Drew Spalding, Member Panel 77-8 Findings of Fact This appeal involves a contract, Jacket 237-286, to print and manufacture "expansion-type file folders." Invitations for Bids were mailed to 20 contractors on June 21, 1977. The bids were opened on June 30, 1977, with the appellant submitting a figure of $325.20, which was more than $200 below that of the other two responding bidders. As a result, prior to acceptance, the appellant was asked to confirm its bid. It did so by letter, explaining that such low prices were possible because "we have other sources, as a dealer, that we did not have when we were a part of Remington [its predecessor Company]." Letter from Val Kowalski, Remco Business Systems, Inc., to David P. Logan, Government Printing Office, July 7, 1977. Upon receipt of this information, the Government accepted appellant's bid the same day. The schedule for completion called for by the specifications was as follows: "Copy will be furnished by July 11, 1977. "Ship complete on or before July 29, 1977." Specification for Contract Printing, Jacket 237-286, June 17, 1977, page 3 of 4. 1 This shipping date is confirmed as well by the purchase order, on which it appears twice. The folders were not delivered by the required date. On August 2, 1977, a "show cause" mail-o-gram was issued to the appellant. In response, the appellant indicated that Jacket 237-286 had been accepted on the condition that delivery would occur 45 days after receipt of the award. See Letter from T. G. Povey, Remco Business Systems, Inc., to R. E. Goltz, Contracting Officer, Government Printing Office, August 4, 1977. The Government had first been apprised of this contention in a telephone conversation several days before. Subsequently, appellant was notified that the contract was terminated for default "by reason of your failure to deliver a product in accordance with the specified schedule." Letter from R. E. Goltz, Government Printing Office, to T. G. Povey, Remco Business Systems, Inc., August 8, 1977. This letter represented the final decision of the contracting officer. 2 Decision Remco Business Systems, Inc. appealed the default termination of Jacket 237-286 by letter to the Public Printer as authorized by the "Disputes" clause of the contract, Article 29, United States Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1 (1970) (incorporated by reference by the Specifications, page 1 of 4). As a result, this appeal is properly before the Board and a decision on the merits is possible. See D. G. Machinery and Gage Company, NASA BCA, 65-1 BCA ¶ 4771. While the appellant has filed a timely appeal, it has chosen not to submit any further evidence. In response to the Board's standard letter requesting material with which to support its appeal, appellant sent the following letter, the body of which we quote in full: "Thank you for your letter of August 31st on subject. "There is very little I can add to previous communications on this matter as we were simply guilty of an oversight. "This firm and it's [sic] predecessor company, Sperry Remington, has a long and satisfactory record of serving GPO and complying with it's [sic] regulations. It was my hope that we would be excused on this delay on the basis of that previous performance and our admission that we mistakenly did not indicate 'Bid submitted on the basis of delivery 45 days after receipt of order'." Letter from T. G. Povey, Remco Business Systems, Inc., to Member, Contract Appeals Board, September 8, 1977. (Emphasis added.) This response is in harmony with the contents of the appellant's notice of appeal, which states: "[O]ur bid should have stipulated 45 days after receipt of the order, but unfortunately this was overlooked in the submission." Letter from T. G. Povey, Remco Business Systems, Inc., to Public Printer, Government Printing Office, August 15, 1977. Thus, not only has the appellant provided no evidence to support an appeal, but also essentially concedes that it was unable to perform in the time required by the contract. In such a situation, the Board's function is limited. "It is well established that the findings and determinations of Contracting Officers are considered prima facie correct 3 . . . If the decision is appealed, the burden of proof rests on the contractor to show wherein the decision is in error . . . . ''The Board must accept the record as being correct, if on its face it is neither unbelievable nor erroneous. . . . Accordingly, since there is no indication in the record that the decision was clearly erroneous, and there was no evidence submitted by the contractor rebutting such decision, other than its statement of complaint, the appeal is required to be denied." Norm Evans Construction Company, AGBCA, 75-1 BCA ¶ 11229 at 53447 (citations omitted); D. G. Machinery and Gage Company, supra. We are unable to say that the contracting officer's decision to terminate this contract for default under the circumstances described is clearly erroneous. 2 We have no choice, therefore, but to deny this appeal. Footnotes 1 In the copy of the specifications submitted to the Board, the shipping date of July 29, 1977, has been marked through with red ink, with the handwritten notation ''Sept. 20" appearing next to it. Consequently, the Contracting Officer was requested to submit an explanation of this apparent discrepancy. He responded that the new date referred only to the reprocurement. Thus, the alteration is irrelevant to the contract which is the subject of this appeal. 2 At any rate, as the quoted letters indicate, appellant mainly bases its appeal on the quality of its past performance with the Government Printing Office. This does not provide a legal basis upon which to challenge the propriety of the Contracting Officer's decision to terminate for default. Neither does the appellant's unilateral mistake in failing to qualify its bid. This Board is, of course, unable to reach decisions on equitable grounds.