U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS Appeal of DEPENDABLE PRINTING COMPANY, INC. GPO BCA 5-84 September 12, 1985 Michael F. DiMario, Administrative Law Judge Opinion This appeal timely filed under the "Disputes" clause of "GPO Contract Terms No. 1" by Dependable Printing Company, Inc. (hereinafter "DPC" or "Appellant"), 1211 Heyward Street, P.O. Box 2385, Columbia, SC 28202, is from the final decision of Emery A. Dilda, Contracting Officer, Atlanta Regional Printing Procurement Office (hereinafter "ARPPO"), United States Government Printing Office (hereinafter "GPO" or "Respondent"), dated July 12, 1984, terminating the contract, Purchase Order F0458, Jacket 748-163, for default for "failure to print on the paper stock per specifications." The decision of the Contracting Officer is affirmed for the reasons herein set forth. FINDINGS OF FACTS The facts here and after recited are set forth in substantial detail because of the discrepancies between the factual claims of both parties in interest concerning the Respondent's rejection of nonconforming paper stock. The Nashville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (hereinafter "DOA") by requisition No. 4-00008 of December 6, 1983, to the ARPPO, GPO, ordered the printing of some 100,000 4-color process maps of the Tennessee Cumberland Rivers Navigation System to be produced on paper stock described as "JCP-040 Basis 140 per 500 sheets" with a requested delivery date of January 23, 1984 (R4, Tab 1). 1/ The ARPPO in turn issued a bid solicitation for the contractual production of 100,354 copies of the map, including 354 additional copies for the Federal Depository Library Program. The specifications included with the solicitation contained a requirement that the contractor furnish the paper stock described as "white latex saturated surface coated, equal to JCP Code-040, Basis-500 sheets, size 25 x 38, weight 140." (R4, Tab 3) The equal to JCP Code-040 was marked with an asterisk. The asterisk identified a subnote under the "paper" caption of the specification stating "[r]efer to Government Paper Specification Standard, No. 8 dated April 1977." Elsewhere in the specification was a notice that "[c]olor of paper furnished shall be of a uniform shade and good match by visual inspection of JCP color samples. Slight variations in shade are permitted. The Public Printer reserves the right to reject shipments of any orders printed on paper the color of which, in his opinion, materially differs from that of the JCP color sample(s)." In addition, the specifications contained provisions that: Press inspection may be required at time of going to press . . . . . . . Inspection samples are to be furnished (prepaid) at no additional cost to the government. Mail the first 2 copies completed and one set of these GPO specifications to: U.S. Government Printing Office, R.B. Russell FOB, Rm. 788, 75 Spring St. SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Attn: Inspection Samples. These copies will be considered as sample copies and cannot be deducted from the total quantity ordered. (Refer to the article entitled "Inspection and Tests," in GPO Pub. 310.2.) . . . . The contractor must comply with the delivery schedule regardless of this requirement for inspection samples. The contractor will be notified of the test results only if there are deficiencies. Under the caption "Quality Assurance Through Attributes," the specifications contained a provision that: The bidder agrees that any contract resulting from bidder's offer under these specifications shall be subject to the terms and conditions (as applicable to the products ordered) of GPO Pub. 310.1 "Quality Assurance Through Attributes - Contract Terms" and MIL-STD-105 "Sampling Procedures and Table for Inspection by Attributes" in effect on the date of the issuance of the invitation-for- bid. Under the following subcaptions of the "Quality Assurance Through Attributes" paragraph of the specifications it was further stated that: (1) STATISTICAL DETERMINATION OF PRODUCT QUALITY. (a) The Government reserves the right to verify product quality by using the applicable procedures contained in GPO Pub. 310.1 and MIL-STD-105. (b) Any quality characteristics of the products provided under these specifications which are not explicitly described by quality attributes will be evaluated in accordance with the article entitled "Quality" in U.S. Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1. . . . . REJECTION. - Items which fail to meet the quality requirements of these specifications shall be processed pursuant to paragraph 3, "Determining Acceptability of GPO," Pub. 310.1. The specifications identified the Printing Attributes and Finishing Attributes as Level II and had a specified standard for "[p]rocess color match" as "OK proofs, press inspection." Twenty potential bidders were sent solicitations. In addition, The Invitation for Bids was posted in the ARPPO (R4, Tab 4). Bids opened January 3, 1984, with "six responsive" and three "no bids" received (R4, Tab 4). The low bidder was Mercury Printing Co., Memphis, Tennessee at $26,900, net (R4, Tab 4 and 5). The bid was significantly lower than the next low bidder, DPC, whose bid was $32,824, 2% 20 days, and the other bids which ranged upward to $56,864, 1% 20 days (R4, Tab 4 and 9) causing the Contracting Officer to suspect a possible error in bid (R4, Tab 9). This prompted the Contracting Officer to request Mercury Printing Company to review and confirm its bid price (R4, Tab 9) in accordance with the suspected "Mistake in Bid" provision of Section 6, paragraph 3a(5) of Chapter IV, "Certification and Award," Printing Procurement Regulations (GPO Pub. P-305.3, as revised). On January 4, 1984, in response to this request, Mr. Raymond Kirkley, Mercury Printing Company, telephonically advised the ARPPO that he had made an error on paper pricing by using the wrong basis weight, and would like to have his bid withdrawn (R4, Tab 9). Following this, Mr. C. Kenneth Rhodes, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer, DPC, was advised that his company "may be in line for contract award on Jacket 748-163." Accordingly, he was requested to review and confirm DPC's bid (R4, Tab 7). On January 9, 1984, the ARPPO received the affidavit of Mr. Kirkley of Mercury Printing, supra, which in pertinent part stated: 1) Price figured with wrong paper stock price. 2) Error was committed due to lack of attention to area concerning paper weight. 3) I interpreted paper weight to be "140 M," or 70 lbs. per 500 sheets (a common paper weight). 4) My bid on Jacket 748-163 is in error and I respectfully request that same be withdrawn from consideration. (R4, Tab 8) That same day Howard A. Harrison, Manager, ARPPO, wrote a memorandum to the Chairman, GPO Contract Review Board, outlining the above information concerning the agency requisition, the bid solicitation and bid responses, the review and confirm notification to Mercury, Mercury's claim of error, and the receipt of Mr. Kirkley's affidavit. The memorandum stated that "[a]fter careful analysis of the contractor['s] affidavit and worksheet there is sufficient documentation to substantiate that an error actually occurred and that Mercury Printing Corp. [sic] be allowed to withdraw his [sic] bid." A handwritten entry on the memorandum states, "OK Jack Wolfe to HH 1/17/84" apparently reflecting the concurrence of the Chairman, Contract Review Board, in the bid withdrawal action (R4, Tab 9). On January 9, the ARPPO received a letter dated January 6, 1984, from C..Kenneth Rhodes, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer, DPC, advising that "I have reviewed my quotation and confirm it on Jacket No. 748-163." (R4, Tab 10) This letter was on DPC letterhead stationery. In addition, on January 13, the ARPPO received back from Mr. Rhodes the signed "review and confirm" form furnished DPC on January 4, 1984. On this form, in response to advice from the ARPPO that DPC might be in line for contract award on Jacket 748-163; and a request "that you carefully read the conditions listed below, signify your acceptance and return to" the ARPPO; Mr. Rhodes, for DPC, states that: 1. I have reviewed the specifications and confirm my bid. 2. My bid is effective for 60 days. 3. I understand the shipping schedule will be advanced in accordance with the terms and conditions of Contract Terms No. 1. (R4, Tab 7) Subsequently, on January 17, 1984, the contract was awarded to DPC by Purchase Order F0458 "[i]n strict accordance with your Quotation No. 15255, dated 12-17-83 and our specifications." (R4, Tab 11) The purchase and materials to be furnished by the Government were received by DPC on January 19, 1984 (R4, Tab 12). First proofs were sent by the ARPPO to the customer agency (DOA) on February 27, 1984 (R4, Tabs 14 and 15). Included with the proofs was a "proof-out" sheet received by the ARPPO from DPC. This proof-out sheet contains the following statements: Here is a proof-press proof of your printing order, furnished to show style and type set-up only. Quality of paper, color of ink, etc., will be as per your order. [_]OK Please read carefully [_]OK as corrected. and mark [_]Change as marked and send new proof. (Changes that are variations from your original copy necessitate resetting and are therefore subject to additional charge.) ALL ORIGINAL COPY AND PROOFS MUST BE RETURNED TO US BEFORE WORK CAN PROCEED. Remarks___________ _________________ By________________ (R4, Tab 15) The form was subsequently filled out and signed by Janis S. Clark with the "[c]hange as marked and send new proof" block checked and the remarks "[s]end new color key for map side and circled area on info side." (R4, Tab 15) The proofs and "proof-out" sheet were thereafter sent back to DPC by certified mail and received by DPC on February 29, 1984 (R4, Tab 17). By cover letter dated March 16, 1984, Mr. Rhodes furnished the ARPPO a new set of proofs stating in the letter that "[t]he enclosed proof on our Job #12880 is ready for approval. It is your Job Jacket #748-163, Order No. F-0458. There were additional charges of $380.00 incurred for customer alterations. Please accept this as our request for Contract Modification for the above amount." Apparently, the ARPPO sent this second set of proofs to the customer agency on March 21, 1984 (R4, Tab 19), with a new "proof-out" sheet received from DPC (R4, Tab 20) and a GPO proof letter with instructions to the customer agency to return within 5 days giving proof status (R4, Tab 21). The GPO proof letter form was marked "OK as is" signed by Janis S. Clark dated March 30, 1984, with the additional notation "[p]lease return color-key." This second set of proofs was sent by the ARPPO, certified mail, to DPC on April 4, 1984 (R4, Tab 22), and received by DPC on April 6, 1984 (R4, Tab 23). On May 4, 1984, the ARPPO contacted DPC to check on the status of the job since it had not been received and was advised by Mr. Rhodes that the job would ship May 11, 1984. On May 30, 1984, a "show cause" letter was sent to DPC notifying it: [T]hat since you have failed to perform Purchase Order F0458, Jacket 748-163, within the time required by the terms thereof, the Government Printing Office is considering terminating said contract pursuant to the articles entitled, "Default," United States Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1. Pending a final decision in this matter, it will be necessary to determine whether your failure to perform arose out of causes beyond your control and without fault or negligence on your part. Accordingly, you are hereby afforded the opportunity to present, in writing, any facts bearing on the question to the Contracting Officer within 5 days after receipt of this notice. Your failure to present any facts within this time may be considered as an admission that none exist. (R4, Tab 25) By letter dated June 6, 1984, Mr. Rhodes of DPC responded to the ARPPO "Show Cause" letter requesting its withdrawal "because we have not failed to perform . . . ." In addition the letter stated that "[b]ecause of delays and alterations by the Government which are documented in your files, the verbally agreed to delivery date on this job is June 11, 1984, and it will be met. This date was given to us the latter part of April 1984 by your office." By letter dated June 13, 1984, Cathy D. Kelley, Assistant Printing Control Officer, DOA, Nashville District, COE, advised the ARPPO of receipt of the product from the contractor on June 12, 1984. She further stated that upon examination, it was detected that the product was not printed on the JCP-040, Basis 140 paper stock, as requested, that the color on the map side is "flat and dead . . . . Black has been screened and does not stand out . . . . Ink coverage is not consistent . . . . Colors are bright and not screened. The Nashville District feels that this job should be reprinted at no expense to the Government." She also stated that she was sending several randomly selected samples to the ARPPO (R4, Tab 27). In turn on June 20, 1984, the ARPPO sent the paper samples to the GPO, Washington, DC for testing (R4, Tab 28). That same day, telephone discussion was had between the ARPPO and the agency concerning rejection and possible discounting of the rejected product by 25% (R4, Tab 28). A letter outlining the possible actions without reference to a specific percentage of possible reduction was sent to DPC on June 21, 1984 (R4, Tab 29). By letter dated June 26, 1984, Mr. Rhodes, DPC, furnished the ARPPO samples of the job which it claimed "were taken in an acceptable fashion to GPO." Mr. Rhodes stated that: I find no basis for complaint on quality. There is a consistent and acceptable coverage of ink. The ordering agency in requesting the type of paper used and the ARPPO with its vast experience with the printing of latex impregnated or surface coated stocks, should realize that "dot etch" quality is impossible to achieve because of the natural qualities manufactured into stock. I further demonstrate the ordering agency's acceptance and fore-knowledge of the type and weight of paper (Textoprint) to be used by the attached proof-out sheet. I do not recognize the basis of complaint since I have done everything legally and morally possible to provide the Government a quality product. (R4, Tab 30) The proof-out sheet addressed to the USGPO, 75 Spring St. SW., Room 788, Atlanta, Georgia 30303 was blank as to any entry of "OK," "OK as corrected," or "[c]hange as marked and send new proof." Moreover, it contained no "Remarks" or signature on the "By" line. It did however contain a typed entry immediately under the typed address as follows: "*Please note sample of paper to be used on this job, noting specifically texture (Textoprint) and weight (sub 70). Your 'OK' will be accepted as your authorization." This typed entry is followed by preprinted double lines which in turn is followed by the following unmarked preprinted wording: "Here is a proof-press proof of your printing order, furnished to show style and type set-up only. Quality of paper, color of ink, etc., will be as per your order." (R4, Tab 31) The proof-out form was apparently photocopied over another piece of paper which appears to be identical with the bottom of the GPO proof letter R4, Tab 21) which was sent to the contractor by GPO on April 4, 1984, supra, since the partially reproduced scribble on the bottom of the exhibit matches precisely the scribble on the bottom of the exhibit marked R4-21. There is no indication on the proof-out sheet that it was in fact sent or received. On June 27, 1984, CK (apparently Cathy D. Kelley, COE-Nashville) advised JE (apparently John Edridge, ARPPO), that her agency would not accept the product at a discount but was rejecting the order because of poor printing and wrong paper. Additionally, she indicated that they had only received "25 boxes of maps (approximately 16,000)" and wanted to know where the balance was (R4, Tab 28). Mr. Rhodes was telephonically contacted the same day and indicated he shipped the first 25 boxes by Spartan Express and the balance by Frederickson Freight Lines (R4, Tab 28). The following day Mr. Pearson of GPO, Washington, DC, advised the ARPPO that the samples tested were being assessed 120 demerits under the "Quality Assurance Through Attributes Program" and that the product was thereby rejectable (R4, Tab 28). By letter of June 27, 1984, a second "Show Cause" notice was sent to DPC. The letter was worded identically to the "Show Cause" letter quoted, supra. On June 28, 1984, Cathy Kelley was apparently recontacted by the ARPPO. Once again she advised that the product would not be accepted regardless of the percentage of discount (R4, Tab 28). On June 28, Mr. Rhodes was telephonically advised by the ARPPO that the order was being rejected and that the agency would like it to be corrected by reprinting. Mr. Rhodes disagreed with the rejection and claimed that GPO was not clear about the paper stock, that the paper was as good as could be expected from the copy, and that the agency "OK'd" the proofs. He inquired about a negotiated reduction in price (R4, Tab 28). The ARPPO again checked with Kelley. She again stated that the agency would not accept the job and that she did not want to negotiate a price reduction. She stated that she had requested 140 lb stock and Level II printing but did not get either of .these in the completed product (R4, Tab 28). On June 29, Mr. Rhodes was telephonically contacted and told the product was being rejected and that the agency would accept only a complete reprint in conformance with the specifications. He advised that he would check with his partners and have their answer by July 3, 1984 (R4, Tabs 28 and 36). On July 2, 1984, the ARPPO received the written test results from the Quality Control and Technical Department, GPO, Washington, DC, confirming that the paper was not equal to the specifications and that it had been assessed 120 demerits (R4, Tab 33). That same date the ARPPO also received the written rejection of the Corps of Engineers (R4, Tab 34). On July 3, 1984, Mr. Rhodes was notified by telephone and in writing of the rejection. The writing being a third "Show Cause" letter. This letter advised that "you have failed to perform Purchase Order F0458, Jacket 748-163, in strict accordance with the specifications thereof" and that GPO was "considering terminating said contract pursuant" to the "Default" article of GPO Contract Terms No. 1, and that DPC had "3 days" to in effect show cause why the Default should not be taken (R4, Tab 35). That same day the facts of the case were presented in memorandum format by the Acting Manager, ARPPO, to the Chairman, GPO Contract Review Board, outlining the above information requesting concurrence to a "Termination to Default." The Board unanimously concurred in the termination although one member, Mr. D. R. MacBride, penned in a note saying "I would ordinarily recommend that the Government accept this product at a significant reduction. Although it is not Level II and is printed on wrong stock. The nature of the job seems to dictate acceptance. However, the customer agency is standing firm regarding rejection." (R4, Tab 36) On July 5, 1984, a letter was received from Mr. Rhodes regarding the "Show Cause" letter of June 27, 1984, which he claims receipt of on July 2, 1984. He advised that remaining Product was shipped "in accordance with verbal instructions from ARPPO on June 11, 1984." He requested that his firm not be found in "Default" for the failure to ship and attached Bills of Lading from Spartan Express, Inc., and Frederickson Motor Express Corp. both dated June 11, 1984 to support his contention (R4, Tab 37). On July 6, 1984, a letter from Mr. Rhodes dated July 5, 1984, was received by the ARPPO in response to the "Show Cause" letter of July 3, 1984, wherein he asserts that DPC's performance "was done in strict adherence to all verbal and written instructions and authorizations of ARPPO" and that DPC "did everything possible to insure that the job order was filled to specifications." (R4, Tab 39) By letter of July 12, 1984, Mr. Rhodes was given "Notice of the Termination" of the contract "for default because of your failure to print on the paper stock per specifications." (R4, Tab 40) The product was reprocured from another vendor by the ARPPO after the default. However, no excess reprocurement costs were incurred (R4, Tab 44). By letter of October 12, 1984, DPC appealed the "Default" to the Public Printer (R4, Tab 46). In that letter DPC claims that it: [W]as contacted by ARPPO concerning this job before it was awarded to him because he was the second-low bidder and the low-bidder withdrew because of an error concerning the stock to be used on this job. The Contractor explained verbally the type of paper and the weight of the paper he had quoted using and was instructed by ARPPO to send a sample of what he was going to use along with the color key proofs required in the specification and the agency could accept or reject it. This, the Contractor did, and the "OK" he received is attached here to [sic]. Further, the Contractor believes the press-proof inspection, which was waived by ARPPO, would have given the Government a second opportunity to recognize any discrepancy in the paper stock quoted and intended to be used. The Contractor in the final analysis acted in good faith and sound judgement in providing every opportunity possible for the Government to inspect the paper stock before any printing had been done and therefore requests that this Notice of Termination be revised and the agency be required to accept the job as a usable product. The attached "OK" which the DPC letter referred to and transmitted is a photocopy of the GPO proof letter (R4, Tab 21) identified on page 8 hereinabove. The "OK as is" notation on such form refers back to the antecedent clause "give proof status" and as pointed out on page 8, supra, was transmitted to the DOA by the Contractor prepared "proof-out" form with the preprinted notation, "[h]ere is a proof-press of your printing order, furnished to show style and type set-up only. Quality of paper, color of ink, etc., will be as per your order." (R4, Tab 20) The "proof-out" sheet which the letter also transmitted bears the identical wording of the "proof-out" sheet quoted in the second paragraph of page 10, supra. It does not, however, bear the obscure scribbling at the bottom as does the R4. Tab 31 copy. Again, there is no indication on the "proof-out" sheet that it was in fact sent or received. Exhibit R4, Tab 47, is a GPO, ARPPO log of a telephone conversation of 11/27/84 between Ken Rhodes and E. Dilda wherein, in handwriting which is extraordinarily difficult to read, it is indicated that: Contr return call of 11-26-84 Contr claim that bid was requested to review & confirm by Jim Wainscott prior to award. Jim alleged [sic] told that was going to use 70 lb stock because was confused by 500 vs 1000 sheet basis & that could get 70 lb. Also alleged [sic] that was told to send samples & GPO would review. Further stated that samples sent with 3rd proof. K.R. We have no record discussing or seeing a sample of the stock you proposed. E.A.L. Contractor stated that has too much money at stake to continue appeal. (Original /s/ E. Dilda) The exhibit is backed up by a clarifying memorandum (R4, Tab 48). The above quotation is from the copy of the original document but omits obvious deletions made by the note taken at the time of transcription. Exhibit R4, Tab 49 is again a photocopy of a handwritten log of a conference between E. Dilda and Jim Wainscott, identified as a GPO Printing Specialist in the ARPPO, on 11/27 (presumably 84). The log recites: -Informed Jim that was told by Ken Rhodes that he (Jim) discussed alternate stock was requesting review and confirm; admittedly back in January but try to recall. Jim responded that he had absolutely no recollection of ever at any point being involved in job. (NOTE: This conversation after discussion w/ Ken Rhodes.) (Original /s/ E. Dilda) Again this memorandum was backed up by a clarifying memo (R4, Tab 50) but is quoted above as it appears in the original notes. R4, Tab 51 is an undated "Memo for the record" by Emery A. Dilda wherein he claims that: Following receipt of the appeal . . . I found nothing in the job jacket suggesting use of a stock other than that specified. [and that he had] [H]ad conversations with Mr. Howard Harrison (Manager of Atlanta RPPO at the time of placent [sic] of the order), Mr. Doug Faour (Compliance Specialist in Atlanta RPPO at the time of placement of the order), Mr. John Edridge (Printing Specialist at the time who certified the bid), Mr. Ron Ergle (current Compliance Specialist since April, 1984), Mr. Jim Wainscott (Printing Specialist), and Ms. Cathy Kelley of the Corps of Engineers, Nashville, regarding knowledge of use of a stock other than specified. He then goes on to claim that "[n]one of the above has any recollection of discussion of an alternate stock or requesting or seeing the proposed stock." (R4, Tab 51) Exhibit R4, Tab 52 is again a log of a telephone conversation between Emery Dilda and Kenneth Rhodes, DPC. This log is dated "P.M. 12/19/84" and is quoted verbatim as follows: Info to fill in gaps in response to appeal EAD 1) Department only rec'd 25 cartons/approx 18,000 cys, where is balance KR after receiving complaint and telephone after receipt of 1st shipment of 25 cartons sent be [sic] means for quick delivery the balance was recalled rather than taking chance of having shipment refused as received & then picked up for return shipment was in transit (think in Charlotte) when requested to be returned. Sealed boxes are in storage in warehouse. EAD 2) During our last conversation you mentioned a 3rd proof with which paper samples were allegedly sent. GPO only has record of 2 sets of proofs. KR I still think that their [sic] was a 3rd proof but may be confused w/another job. Will check our job file and call or write letter with information. Under the caption "Conclusion, Action Taken, or Required," the log shows "[c]ontractor still contends that has to pursue appeal because too important not to due to amount of money involved." Exhibit R4, Tab 53 is a log by Emery Dilda of a telephone conversation of 12/21/84 between himself and Cathy Kelley, COE, Nashville. The log shows "- rec'd copies sent of Dependable's (alleged) proof sheet w/note & GPO proof memo of 3-21-84" apparently reporting Kelley's receipt of the form from the ARPPO which the ARPPO had itself received from Mr. Rhodes as "proof" of the agency's "OK" of the paper stock, supra. The log goes on to show "- acknowledge that Janice [sic] Clark signed GPO proof memo but xxx never before had seen this proof sheet w/note; Janice [sic] Clark xxx xxxx had not seen either." (Xs denote deletions in original.) Under caption "CONCLUSION, ACTION TAKEN, OR REQUIRED:," the log continues, "[w]e will both make sworn statements if necessary." (Original /s/ E. Dilda) Exhibit R4. Tab 54 is a signed statement of John M. Edridge, Assistant Manager, ARPPO, date 12/21/84, wherein "[t]o the best of my recollection" he describes what happened after bid opening on 1/3/84 with respect to both Mercury Printing and DPC. With respect to DPC the memorandum states, "1-4-84 called Dependable Printing Mr. Rhodes asking him to confirm his bid price. He replied it was correct and would send a letter of confirmation. In turn said I would send him a letter to sign for price confirmation & also price would be good for 60 days." The final Exhibit R4, Tab 55 is a log dated 12/28/84 signed by Mr. Dilda of a telephone conversation with Mr. Rhodes as follows: -What do your records show about 3rd proof you were going to check on? EAD/KR -We only show 2 proofs after checking with our separators. I don't know what happened about that proof-out sheet with the note except we may have inadvertently made up 2 sheets here and it never got sent or got stuck in a package. I agree our case doesn't look too good. KR/EAD (NOTE: [I]nformed Mr. Rhodes that we had in our file originals of 2 proof-out sheets and both were distinctly different from the one with the note.) CONCLUSION, ACTION TAKEN, OR REQUIRED: In answer to my question "Do you want to continue appeal?", Ken Rhodes stated he would have to check with his legal counsel to see if its worth continuing. Will get back Wed. or Thurs.. (Original /s/ E. Dilda) A formal Complaint as required by BCA Rule 6(a) was not filed by the appellant as requested in the Board's letter of November 30, 1984. Accordingly, the Respondent was advised to proceed in accordance with GPO Instruction 110.12, Rule 6(b). Thereafter, the Respondent filed its Answer responding to the averments set forth in Appellant's "Notice of Appeal" dated October 12, 1984, denying point by point the claims of fact with respect to purported oral authority to use no conforming paper stock. The appeal comes to the Board in this form. ISSUE The issue presented by this appeal is whether or not given all the facts and circumstances, the Appellant was required as a matter of contract law to use the paper stock described in the specifications. DECISION It is the opinion of the Board that the Appellant was required to use the paper specified in the bid solicitation and that its failure to do so was of such a nature as to justify the Contracting Officer, acting in his discretion, to terminate the contract for default. This opinion is based upon the finding of facts that: 1. The requesting agency had specified expressly the paper stock it desired for the product; 2. The Government bid solicitation to potential bidders specified such stock; 3. Six of 20 contractors solicited made responsive bids upon such specifications; 4. The Government permitted the lowest bidder to withdraw its bid after suspecting a possible mistake in bid only after a "review and confirm" resulted in the bidder's discovery that it had based its bid upon use of the wrong paper stock; 5. That same day the Appellant was notified it was in line for possible award because the low bidder had made a mistake; 6. The Appellant reviewed and confirmed its bid in writing without mention of the use of any other paper stock; 7. Award was made to Appellant "in strict accordance with your Quotation No. 15255 dated 12-27-83 and our specifications." It is the opinion of the Board that at this point in the sequence of events, a valid binding contract between the parties came into being upon all the terms and conditions of: (1) The bid solicitation, including the specifications; (2) the bid made by the Appellant; (3) the review and confirmation solicitation by the Respondent; (4) the certification of review and confirmation by Appellant; (5) the purchase order itself; and (6) upon all other written documents, such as the Government Paper Specifications; Mil-Specs; Quality Assurance Through Attributes Program ("QATAP"), and Government Printing Office Contract Terms No. 1, which were incorporated in the other documentation by reference therein. The totality of these documents constitutes the "integrated contract" between the parties. Corbin on Contracts, Secs. 31, 588; Restatement (Second) of Contracts, Sec. 213 (1981). See also, U.C.C. Sec. 2-202 (1977). Once a contract is so formed, parol or oral evidence of contemporaneous or prior oral agreements is not admissible for the purpose of varying or contradicting the terms of the written contract. Corbin on Contracts, supra, Sec. 573. See also, Restatement (Second) of Contracts, Sec. 235, illustration 2 (1981). Once the contract was duly entered into it is clear that the Government, as a matter of law, was entitled to enforce strict compliance with the specifications. Jefferson Construction Co. v. United States, 151 Ct. Cl. 75 (1960); Red Circle Corp. v. United States, 185 Ct. Cl. 1, 8 (1968); American Electric Contracting Corp. v. United States, 579 F.2d 602, 608 (1978); Renaissance Exchange, Inc., ASBCA No. 26,514, 82-2 BCA ¶ 16,108; Unicom Systems, Inc., ASBCA No. 29,468, 84-3 BCA ¶ 17,675. The determination of whether a product conforms with the contract specifications must rest with the Contracting Officer, as this determination is within his/her discretion in administering a contract. Where the specifications contain an imprecise statement of the contract requirements, the standard for rejection of the contractor's work becomes more subjective. However, this appeal has raised no claim that the specifications were ambiguous or imprecise so as not to indicate what the Appellant had to do in order to produce conforming maps. Rather, the contract specifications set out what the Appellant had to do to be in compliance with the contract. In the instant case, the evidence clearly demonstrated that the paper used by the Appellant did not conform with the contract specifications. The specifications required that the Appellant produce maps on "white latex saturated surface coated [paper] equal to JCP Code-040, size 25 x 38, weight 140." (R4, Tab 3) The paper was tested and the test determined that the paper supplied by the Appellant was not equal to specifications thereby receiving 120 demerits (R4, Tab 33). The Appellant, in its appeal letter, did not dispute this evidence. The Appellant instead alleged that its representative orally had advised Mr. Wainscott, the ARPPO Contract Specialist, of the type and weight paper it intended to use. Mr. Wainscott, however, had no recollection of any such contact. Assuming arguendo for the moment that there was such a verbal communication on the part of the Appellant, such fact in and of itself would not have negated Appellant's duty under the integrated written contract to use the paper specified. First of all, Mr. Wainscott was not the Contracting Officer for this contract, nor is there any evidence that he had been delegated any authority by the Contracting Officer. At best, it could be claimed, but has not been, that he had apparent authority. Even in such case, he would have lacked legal capacity to bind the Government. Federal Crop Insurance Corp v. Merrill, 332 U.S. 380 (1947). Moreover, even if Wainscott had the power of the Contracting Officer on this contract, there is no evidence that Wainscott "accepted" the change in paper stock. Rather, appellant alleges that Wainscott informed DPC that if it sent samples of the stock it intended to use, he would ascertain if such stock were acceptable to the customer agency. Both the customer agency and the ARPPO deny receiving such stock, but Appellant relies on its own written record of an "OK" of proofs by the customer to allege acceptance of the paper stock. Again, assuming arguendo that such stock was sent and that such "OK" was given both as to the proof and as to the paper stock, it would have been made by Janis S. Clark, the representative of the customer agency, and not by Emery Dilda, the Contracting Officer, and thus also would be without legal force and effect to bind the Government. Federal Crop Insurance Corp. v. Merrill, supra. Moreover, even if such "OK" to use nonconforming paper had been given by the Contracting Officer, it would not have legally bound the Government once the integration of the contract had occurred, since he too would have been bound by the specifications and such "OK" would have been an ultra vires act. This is the case even though subsequent to performance, assuming no prior knowledge of defect on his part, he in his discretion as Contracting Officer, could have accepted the nonconforming product under the QATAP's discount provisions. It is well established in Federal contract law that a Contracting Officer may not accept the production of a product different than that which was already legally bargained for without there being some additional exchange of adequate legal consideration by the parties. Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. v. United States, 78 Ct. Cl. 584 (1934). See also, Joseph H. Jaeger, Jr., ASBCA No. 11,413, 66-2 BCA ¶ 5757 (1966). No such exchange in consideration has been shown by the evidence in this case. On the other hand, where the use of nonconforming materials is presented to the Contracting Officer after performance without allegation of an "OK" for its use, the exchange in consideration becomes affected by acceptance of the "discounted price" for the nonconforming product. Such acceptance, however, lies solely in the sound discretion of the Contracting Officer who in this case, upon advice from the customer agency, declined such discounted acceptance. With respect to the allegation that the Government had waived its right under the contract to a press inspection which "would have given the Government a second opportunity to recognize any discrepancy in the paper stock quoted and intended to be used" (R4, Tab 46) suffice it to say such waiver was within the rights of the Government under provisions of the contract and did not in any way alter the obligation of the appellant to use paper which met the specification. This is so, since it has been held that inspections by Government inspectors at contractors' plants are not acceptance and do not preclude rejection after the supplies are shipped. Mack Equipment & Machine Co., ASBCA No. 12,532, 68-2 BCA, ¶ 7140; Washington Technological Associates, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 10,048 & 10,349, 65-2 BCA ¶ 4892. Although contractors on occasion have been allowed to rely on the instructions and guidance of inspectors who have been dispatched by Contracting Officers to inspect prior to or during a contractor's production (Centre Manufacturing Co., Inc., v. United States, 392 F.2d 229 (Ct. CI. 1968); Max Drill, Inc., v. United States, 427 F.2d 1233 (Ct. Cl.1970)), the risk of noncompliance does not shift to the Government when it inspects a contractor's plant. W. L. Spruill & Co., Inc., ASBCA No. 14,390, 71-2 BCA ¶ 8930. See also, Felton Construction Co., AGBCA No. 406-9, 81-1 BCA ¶ 14,932. The decision of the Contracting Officer is affirmed. _______________ 1/ R4 designates the file required to be submitted to the Board and Appellant by Respondent pursuant to Rule 4, BCA Rules and Procedures, GPO Publication 810.12 dated September 17, 1984.