A-96919, FEBRUARY 28, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 679

A-96919: Feb 28, 1939

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CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - GOVERNMENT AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS' MISTAKE OBSERVANCE AND BID VERIFICATION OBLIGATION THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF A BID IS UPON THE BIDDER AND THERE IS NO DUTY ON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO REQUEST A BIDDER TO VERIFY HIS BID. NOR ON THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE SAID OFFICERS ACT AS GUARDIANS FOR CARELESS BIDDERS. THE BASIS OF YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION IS THAT THERE WAS SUCH A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE INQUIRED OF YOU WHETHER YOUR BID WAS CORRECT PRIOR TO AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO YOU. THERE IS NO DUTY ON THE PART OF A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO REQUEST A BIDDER TO VERIFY HIS BID SINCE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF A BID IS UPON THE BIDDER.

A-96919, FEBRUARY 28, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 679

CONTRACTS - MISTAKES - BIDS - GOVERNMENT AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS' MISTAKE OBSERVANCE AND BID VERIFICATION OBLIGATION THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF A BID IS UPON THE BIDDER AND THERE IS NO DUTY ON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO REQUEST A BIDDER TO VERIFY HIS BID, NOR ON THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE SAID OFFICERS ACT AS GUARDIANS FOR CARELESS BIDDERS, AND THE FAILURE OF A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO NOTICE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND ASK FOR VERIFICATION THEREOF BEFORE MAKING AWARD IMPOSES NO DUTY ON THE UNITED STATES AFTER ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID AND PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT TO PAY ANY AMOUNT IN ADDITION TO THE CONTRACT PRICE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO GERTLER ELECTRIC SUPPLY CORPORATION, FEBRUARY 28, 1939:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1939, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF DECISIONS OF AUGUST 19, 1938, AND SEPTEMBER 7, 1938, A-96919, SUSTAINING SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 11, 1938, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $100, THE BALANCE STATED TO BE DUE BY REASON OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN BID DATED OCTOBER 29, 1936, ACCEPTED OCTOBER 30, 1936, FOR FURNISHING GALVANIZED SWITCH BOXES AND FIXTURE STUDS TO THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.

THE BASIS OF YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION IS THAT THERE WAS SUCH A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE INQUIRED OF YOU WHETHER YOUR BID WAS CORRECT PRIOR TO AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO YOU.

THERE IS NO DUTY ON THE PART OF A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO REQUEST A BIDDER TO VERIFY HIS BID SINCE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF A BID IS UPON THE BIDDER. THERE IS NO OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE ITS CONTRACTING OFFICERS ACT AS GUARDIANS FOR CARELESS BIDDERS (8 COMP. GEN. 397), AND THE FAILURE OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO NOTICE THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND TO ASK FOR VERIFICATION THEREOF BEFORE MAKING AWARD, IMPOSES NO DUTY ON THE UNITED STATES AFTER ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID AND PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT, TO PAY ANY AMOUNT IN ADDITION TO THE CONTRACT PRICE. 17 COMP. GEN. 452. FURTHERMORE, YOU WERE EXPRESSLY INFORMED IN PARAGRAPHS 14 AND 19 OF THE STANDARD GOVERNMENT INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS THAT RELIEF COULD NOT BE SECURED ON A PLEA OF ERROR IN BID.

THERE IS NOTHING IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1939, WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY ANY MODIFICATION OF THE CONCLUSION HERETOFORE REACHED IN THE MATTER.