A-86056, MAY 11, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 999

A-86056: May 11, 1937

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IT WAS IMMEDIATELY NOTICED THAT DELIVERY AT DESTINATION PRICE WAS LESS THAN DELIVERY AT FACTORY. IT IS DESIROUS THAT AS MANY WELLS BE DRILLED AS POSSIBLE DURING THE COMING SUMMER MONTHS. BIDS WERE OPENED ON APRIL 9 AND THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. IT WAS IMMEDIATELY NOTICED THAT THE PRICES ON THE BID OF THE UNITED STATES MOTORS CORPORATION OF OSHKOSH. WERE TRANSPOSED. ACCORDINGLY A WIRE WAS SENT TO THE BIDDER CALLING ATTENTION TO THE APPARENT TRANSPOSITION AND IN REPLY A WIRE WAS RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES MOTORS CORPORATION STATING THAT ITS BID SHOULD READ: $179 F.O.B.OSHKOSH. THE CASE WAS SUBMITTED TO THE PURCHASING OFFICE FOR PROCUREMENT INSTRUCTIONS THROUGH THE INDIAN OFFICE UNDER DATE OF APRIL 14.

A-86056, MAY 11, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 999

CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - TRANSPOSITION OF DELIVERY PRICES - CORRECTION WITHOUT SUBMISSION TO GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WHERE, UPON THE OPENING OF BIDS, IT WAS IMMEDIATELY NOTICED THAT DELIVERY AT DESTINATION PRICE WAS LESS THAN DELIVERY AT FACTORY, AND THE BIDDER, AFTER HAVING THE MATTER BROUGHT TO HIS ATTENTION, STATES THE BID PRICES SHOULD BE REVERSED, THE BID MAY BE CORRECTED AND AWARD MADE ACCORDINGLY. WHERE THE MISTAKE IN BID INVOLVES ONLY A MATTER OF TRANSPOSITION OF DELIVERY PRICE QUOTATIONS--- F.O.B. DESTINATION AND F.O.B. FACTORY--- CORRECTION MAY BE MADE, AFTER CONFIRMATION BY THE BIDDER, WITHOUT SUBMITTING THE MATTER TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 11, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE NAVAJO INDIAN AGENCY, WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA, ISSUED AN ADVERTISEMENT ON MARCH 30, CALLING FOR COMPETITIVE BIDS ON A GASOLINE ELECTRIC GENERATING LIGHTING PLANT, FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK WELL DRILLING ON THAT RESERVATION.

ON ACCOUNT OF THE CONTINUED SHORTAGE OF WATER ON THIS RESERVATION, IT IS DESIROUS THAT AS MANY WELLS BE DRILLED AS POSSIBLE DURING THE COMING SUMMER MONTHS. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE BY USING NIGHT SHIFTS OF INDIAN EMPLOYEES. IN ORDER TO PUT THIS PLAN IN OPERATION THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF A GENERATING LIGHTING PLANT SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE.

BIDS WERE OPENED ON APRIL 9 AND THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. IT WAS IMMEDIATELY NOTICED THAT THE PRICES ON THE BID OF THE UNITED STATES MOTORS CORPORATION OF OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN, WERE TRANSPOSED, AS IT QUOTED $179 FOR A UNIT DELIVERED AT DESTINATION, OR GALLUP, NEW MEXICO; AND $193.44 DELIVERED F.O.B. FACTORY, OR OSHKOSH, WIS.

ACCORDINGLY A WIRE WAS SENT TO THE BIDDER CALLING ATTENTION TO THE APPARENT TRANSPOSITION AND IN REPLY A WIRE WAS RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES MOTORS CORPORATION STATING THAT ITS BID SHOULD READ: $179 F.O.B.OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN; AND $193.44 F.O.B. GALLUP, NEW MEXICO.

THE CASE WAS SUBMITTED TO THE PURCHASING OFFICE FOR PROCUREMENT INSTRUCTIONS THROUGH THE INDIAN OFFICE UNDER DATE OF APRIL 14. AFTER CORRECTION OF THE TRANSPOSITION IN THE BID OF THE UNITED STATES MOTORS CORPORATION, THIS IS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. THE BID IN QUESTION IS SUBMITTED HEREWITH. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS BID MAY BE CONSIDERED AS CORRECTED AND AWARD MADE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH.

IN CASES SIMILAR TO THE ONE STATED ABOVE, WHERE THE ERROR IS OBVIOUS BEYOND ALL MEASURE OF DOUBT AND CONFIRMATION OF THE CORRECTED PRICES HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM THE BIDDER, IS IT NECESSARY THAT SUCH CASES BE TRANSMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR APPROVAL PRIOR TO MAKING THE AWARD AND PERMITTING THE PURCHASE TO BE CONSUMMATED? YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED.

PLEASE RETURN THE ENCLOSURE WITH YOUR LETTER OF REPLY TO THIS DEPARTMENT.

THE QUESTION STATED IN THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE OF THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH OF THE ABOVE QUOTED LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE SIXTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT WHERE THE ONLY QUESTION INVOLVED IS THE ERRONEOUS QUOTATION OF A LOWER PRICE F.O.B. DESTINATION THAN F.O.B. FACTORY--- A MERE TRANSPOSITION OF THE BID PRICES--- THE CORRECTION MAY BE MADE, AFTER CONFIRMATION BY THE BIDDER, WITHOUT SUBMITTING THE MATTER TO THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION.