A-66186, OCTOBER 29, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 354

A-66186: Oct 29, 1935

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NOTWITHSTANDING THERE IS FURNISHED BUT ONE BID GUARANTEE. RECEIPT OF WHICH WAS ACKNOWLEDGED OCTOBER 10. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF A BID OPENED OCTOBER 1. YOUR PROTEST APPEARS TO BE BASED UPON THE GROUND THAT THERE WAS AN IRREGULARITY IN THE MATTER DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO. THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED. THAT AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND READ. WAS REQUESTED TO. WAS IN SOME DOUBT AS TO THE PROPER FILTER WHICH SHOULD BE OFFERED UNDER ITEM 1 OF UNIT 6. THAT THE COMPANY BELIEVED THAT ONE CERTIFIED CHECK IN LIEU OF BID BOND WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR BOTH BIDS AND SUBMITTED A CERTIFIED CHECK COVERING THE HIGHER OF THE TWO BIDS WHICH WERE INCLOSED IN ONE SEALED ENVELOP.

A-66186, OCTOBER 29, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 354

ADVERTISING - ALTERNATE BIDS - ONE BID GUARANTEE - PROTESTS ALTERNATE BIDS SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS MAY BE CONSIDERED ALONG WITH OTHER BIDS RECEIVED, NOTWITHSTANDING THERE IS FURNISHED BUT ONE BID GUARANTEE, THE MISUNDERSTANDING ARISING AT THE TIME OF THE OPENING OF THE BIDS NOT BEING OF SUCH A NATURE AS TO PREJUDICE THE INTERESTS OF THE PARTIES CONCERNED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SUBURBAN ENGINEERING COMPANY, OCTOBER 29, 1935:

REFERRING TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, 1935, RECEIPT OF WHICH WAS ACKNOWLEDGED OCTOBER 10, AND TO YOUR FURTHER LETTER OF OCTOBER 19, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF A BID OPENED OCTOBER 1, 1935, SUBMITTED BY THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO. IN AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $370,350 AND AN ALTERNATE IN AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $385,170 FOR UNITS 6 AND 7 FOR DELIVERING AND INSTALLING POWER-PLANT EQUIPMENT IN POWER PLANT BUILDING AND SUBSTATION AND SLUDGE-DEWATERING-PLANT EQUIPMENT WHEN YOU HAD SUBMITTED A BID IN AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $422,588 FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK, YOUR BID BEING LOWER THAN THE BIDS RECEIVED FROM TWO OTHER BIDDERS FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK. YOUR PROTEST APPEARS TO BE BASED UPON THE GROUND THAT THERE WAS AN IRREGULARITY IN THE MATTER DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO. SUBMITTED TWO BIDS, BUT WITH ONLY ONE BID GUARANTEE; THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMPLOYEE IN CHARGE THEREOF RETURNED ONE OF THE BIDS TO THE COMPANY'S REPRESENTATIVE; AND THAT AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND READ, THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DRAVO DOYLE CO. WAS REQUESTED TO, AND DID RETURN SUCH BID.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO., IN THE COMPUTATION OF ITS BID, WAS IN SOME DOUBT AS TO THE PROPER FILTER WHICH SHOULD BE OFFERED UNDER ITEM 1 OF UNIT 6; THAT THE COMPANY RECEIVED SEVERAL QUOTATIONS FOR DELIVERY OF SUCH ITEM; AND THAT THE COMPANY FINALLY CONCLUDED TO SUBMIT A BID OFFERING A CERTAIN FILTER AND ANOTHER BID OFFERING A DIFFERENT TYPE OF FILTER. ALSO, THAT THE COMPANY BELIEVED THAT ONE CERTIFIED CHECK IN LIEU OF BID BOND WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR BOTH BIDS AND SUBMITTED A CERTIFIED CHECK COVERING THE HIGHER OF THE TWO BIDS WHICH WERE INCLOSED IN ONE SEALED ENVELOP. AT THE OPENING, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE TWO BIDS IN THE ENVELOP WITH ONE CERTIFIED CHECK, AND THE EMPLOYEE IN CHARGE OF THE OPENING NOTIFIED A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO. THAT SINCE BUT ONE CERTIFIED CHECK HAD BEEN RECEIVED AS BID GUARANTEE, ONLY ONE OF THE BIDS COULD BE CONSIDERED. THE COMPANY'S REPRESENTATIVE WAS PERMITTED AN ELECTION AS TO WHICH BID SHOULD BE HANDED BACK TO HIM AND HE RETURNED TO HIS SEAT IN THE ROOM WHERE THE BIDS WERE BEING OPENED WITH SUCH BID. AFTER ALL THE BIDS HAD BEEN OPENED AND READ, AND BEFORE ANYONE WAS PERMITTED TO LEAVE THE ROOM, A SUPERIOR OFFICER INFORMED THE EMPLOYEE THAT BOTH BIDS SHOULD BE RECEIVED AND OPENED FOR CONSIDERATION. AFFIDAVITS HAVE BEEN PRESENTED BY PERSONS ATTENDING THE OPENING THAT THE EMPLOYEE OF THE DRAVO-DOYLE CO. DID NOT LEAVE THE ROOM DURING THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE TIME THE BID WAS HANDED TO HIM AND THE TIME HE WAS REQUIRED TO REDELIVER IT TO THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE; AND THAT SAID COMPANY'S REPRESENTATIVE HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO, AND DID NOT, CHANGE IN ANY MANNER THE FIGURES IN SAID BID DURING SUCH INTERVENING PERIOD.

OF COURSE, ALL NECESSARY AND PROPER ACTION MUST BE TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH ADVERTISING FOR OPENING OF BIDS AND CONTRACTING SO AS NOT TO PREJUDICE THE INTERESTS OF ANY BIDDER OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HOWEVER, MISUNDERSTANDINGS MAY AT TIMES ARISE, AND THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD SHOWS THAT THE MISTAKE ON THE PART OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REPRESENTATIVE DID NOT IN ANY MANNER PREJUDICE ANY OF THE BIDDERS. BUT ONE BID COULD BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK IN QUESTION, AND ONE BID GUARANTEED WAS SUFFICIENT FOR THE TWO BIDS WHICH DIFFERED ONLY AS TO THE TYPE OF FILTER OFFERED BY THE BIDDER.

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ALTERNATE BID SUBMITTED BY THE DRAVO -DOYLE CO., WHICH DIFFERED ONLY AS TO THE FILTER, ALONG WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION WORK IN QUESTION, AND YOU ARE ADVISED ACCORDINGLY.