B-106580, NOVEMBER 20, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 183

B-106580: Nov 20, 1951

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WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN SHOWN IN THE BID WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE. 1951: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON OCTOBER 30. 688 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO SOMERVILLE. 480 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO WILMINGTON. 144 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO HINES. WHICH IS REPRESENTATIVE. ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $8.92. IN YOUR LETTER IT IS STATED. TWO COPIES OF INVITATION T-20 WERE SENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT THEIR BID BE FORWARDED. IN CASE THEIR FIRM WAS GIVEN CONSIDERATION FOR AN AWARD ADDITIONAL COPIES OF INVITATION T-20 WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR THEIR COMPLETION WOULD BE FURNISHED.

B-106580, NOVEMBER 20, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 183

BIDS - MISTAKES - ACTUAL NOTICE PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE - CORRECTION OF BID PRICE THE EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING, WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN SHOWN IN THE BID WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE RECALCULATION OR CHANGING OF A BID WITHOUT CONCLUSIVE PROOF AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, NOVEMBER 20, 1951:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15, 1951, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY, 4511 EAST OLYMPIC BOULEVARD, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON OCTOBER 30, 1951.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, SUPPLY SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., BY INVITATION NO. T-20, DATED OCTOBER 12, 1951, REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE SUBMITTED IN TRIPLICATE--- FOR FURNISHING 3,312 CUBICLE CURTAINS OF WHICH 2,688 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY (ITEM 1), 480 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO WILMINGTON, CALIFORNIA (ITEM 2), AND 144 ARE TO BE DELIVERED TO HINES, ILLINOIS (ITEM RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING CO A BID DATED OCTOBER 26, 1951, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE CURTAINS UNDER EACH OF ITEMS 1 AND 3 FOR $8.44 AND UNDER ITEM 2 FOR $8.42 EACH. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE FIVE NEXT LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 3, WHICH IS REPRESENTATIVE, ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $8.92, $9.30, $9.59, $10.00 AND $10.06.

IN YOUR LETTER IT IS STATED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 15, 1951, REQUESTED A SET OF FORMS ON BID INVITATION T 20 BE FORWARDED TO THEM FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING A BID. TWO COPIES OF INVITATION T-20 WERE SENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT THEIR BID BE FORWARDED, PROPERLY EXECUTED, ON ONE COPY, SENT WITH THE REQUEST THAT THEIR BID BE FORWARDED, PROPERLY EXECUTED, ON ONE COPY, THE SECOND COPY TO BE RETAINED FOR THEIR FILES, AND IN CASE THEIR FIRM WAS GIVEN CONSIDERATION FOR AN AWARD ADDITIONAL COPIES OF INVITATION T-20 WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR THEIR COMPLETION WOULD BE FURNISHED.

UPON OPENING OF THE BIDS AND AFTER REVIEW OF SAME IT WAS OBSERVED THAT THE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID AND ON OCTOBER 31, 1951, TWO ADDITIONAL COPIES OF INVITATION T-20 PREPARED BY THIS OFFICE WERE FORWARDED TO THEM FOR SIGNATURE, ADVISING AT THE SAME TIME THAT NO CHANGE IN THEIR ORIGINAL QUOTATION WOULD BE PERMITTED.

IT APPEARS THAT UPON THE RECEIPT OF THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1951, REQUESTING THAT THE TWO EXTRA COPIES OF THE INVITATION FORM BE EXECUTED, THE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY ADVISED BY TELEGRAMS OF NOVEMBER 2 AND 6, 1951, THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT THE FOR ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $9.44, $9.42, AND $9.44, EACH, RESPECTIVELY. RESPONSE TO TELEGRAM OF NOVEMBER 9 REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED HOW THE ERROR IN THE BID OCCURRED, THE COMPANY ADVISED BY TELEGRAM OF NOVEMBER 12, 1951, THAT THE MISTAKE IN ITS BID WAS THE RESULT OF A STENOGRAPHIC ERROR IN TRANSPOSING PENCILED FIGURES.

THE BASIC RULE IS THAT BIDS MAY NOT CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. THE EXCEPTION TO SUCH RULE, WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID, UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN THAT SET FORTH IN THE BID, WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE RECALCULATION OR CHANGING OF THE BID WITHOUT CONCLUSIVE PROOF AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577. IN THE PRESENT CASE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY HAS NOT SUBMITTED SUCH PROOF. FURTHERMORE, THE COMPANY HAS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT AN ERROR ACTUALLY WAS MADE IN THE BID. THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE COMPANY ARE NOT OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR PERMITTING THE TESARSKI MANUFACTURING COMPANY TO MODIFY ITS BID AND, THE AMOUNT INVOLVED NOT BEING SUCH AS TO RENDER UNCONSCIONABLE A CONTRACT BASED ON THE BID AS SUBMITTED, THE SAID BID MAY NOT BE CORRECTED OR DISREGARDED.