A-91035, DECEMBER 13, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 492

A-91035: Dec 13, 1937

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CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - DISREGARDING OF BID IN MAKING AWARD WHERE BIDDER'S CLAIM OF ERROR IN ITS BID ON ONE ITEM OF SEVERAL COVERED BY AN INVITATION WAS ASSERTED BY LETTER RECEIVED THE DAY FOLLOWING BUT DATED THE SAME DATE AS THAT SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS. THE BID WAS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED. NO BID GUARANTEE WAS REQUIRED. AWARD WAS TO BE MADE BY ITEMS. AS FOLLOWS: INCLOSED ARE PAPERS IN CONNECTION WITH AN ALLEGED ERROR IN THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE COLMA VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION. THAT FIRM STATES THAT THE BID OF .0324 PER POUND SUBMITTED SHOULD HAVE READ ".0624 PER POUND" AND WAS DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR ON THE PART OF THE BIDDER. THIS INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 13.

A-91035, DECEMBER 13, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 492

CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - DISREGARDING OF BID IN MAKING AWARD WHERE BIDDER'S CLAIM OF ERROR IN ITS BID ON ONE ITEM OF SEVERAL COVERED BY AN INVITATION WAS ASSERTED BY LETTER RECEIVED THE DAY FOLLOWING BUT DATED THE SAME DATE AS THAT SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS, AND THE BID WAS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED, NO BID GUARANTEE WAS REQUIRED, AND AWARD WAS TO BE MADE BY ITEMS, THE BID MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD ON THE ITEM INVOLVED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, DECEMBER 13, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

INCLOSED ARE PAPERS IN CONNECTION WITH AN ALLEGED ERROR IN THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE COLMA VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION, SAN FRANCISCO, TO THE QUARTER-MASTER SUPPLY OFFICER, SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL DEPOT, FOR 3,500 POUNDS OF FRESH TOMATOES FOR DELIVERY TO ARMY TRANSPORTS DURING DECEMBER 1937.

THAT FIRM STATES THAT THE BID OF .0324 PER POUND SUBMITTED SHOULD HAVE READ ".0624 PER POUND" AND WAS DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR ON THE PART OF THE BIDDER. THIS INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 13, 1937, BY THE PURCHASING OFFICER, ONE DAY AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED.

WHILE IT IS A FACT THAT THE BID OF .0324 PER POUND WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS SUBMITTED, IT IS NEVERTHELESS CONSIDERED THAT NO PALPABLE ERROR EXISTS. THE NECESSITY OF IMPRESSING UPON ALL BIDDERS THE DEGREE OF CARE REQUIRED IN THE PREPARATION OF BIDS RENDERS IT ADVISABLE, IN THE OPINION OF THIS OFFICE, THAT AWARD TO THE COLMA VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION BE MADE UPON ITS BID AS SUBMITTED. IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT ACTION BE EXPEDITED, AS THE TOMATOES ARE REQUIRED FOR TRANSPORTS SAILING FROM SAN FRANCISCO DURING DECEMBER 1937.

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER THAT BY INVITATION ISSUED OCTOBER 27, 1937, THE QUARTERMASTER SUPPLY OFFICER, SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL DEPOT, FORT MASON, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., SOLICITED BIDS FOR OPENING NOVEMBER 12, 1937, FOR THE FURNISHING OF CERTAIN MEATS AND VEGETABLES, INCLUDING 3,500 POUNDS OF FRESH TOMATOES; THAT IN ADDITION TO THE BID OF COLMA VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION QUOTING A PRICE OF $0.0324 PER POUND FOR THE TOMATOES, SIX OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED QUOTING PRICES OF $0.0589, $0.064, $0.0741, $0.0768, $0.085, AND $0.12 PER POUND, RESPECTIVELY; THAT BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 12 (THE DATE OF THE OPENING), RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOVEMBER 13, 1937, THE COMPANY ABOVE NAMED ALLEGED IN SUBSTANCE THAT THROUGH A CLERICAL ERROR THE ERRONEOUS PRICE OF $0.0324 PER POUND HAD BEEN BID INSTEAD OF THE PRICE OF $0.0624 WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN BID; THAT NO BID GUARANTY WAS REQUIRED; AND THAT NO AWARD HAS YET BEEN MADE.

THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THIS BIDDER DID NOT INTEND TO BID $0.0324 FOR THESE TOMATOES. THEREFORE, SINCE THE MISTAKE WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE PURCHASING OFFICER BEFORE AWARD WAS MADE, NO BID GUARANTY WAS REQUIRED, AND THE AWARD WAS TO BE MADE BY ITEMS, THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE COLMA VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD ON THE ITEM INVOLVED. SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 325; 9 ID. 160; 10 ID. 108; 10 ID. 182; 11 ID. 5; 16 ID. 999; 17 ID. 339; ALSO, DECISION OF NOVEMBER 20, 1937, A 90411.