B-122316, JUL. 22, 1955

B-122316: Jul 22, 1955

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WALKER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 4 AND MAY 23. WHILE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MIGHT HAVE REQUESTED CLARIFICATION BEFORE REJECTING YOUR BID AS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS. WOULD MERELY HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT YOU HAD MADE AN ERROR IN YOUR BID WHICH WOULD HAVE REQUIRED ITS REJECTION. YOU CREATED A SITUATION IN WHICH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO CONSUMMATE A BINDING CONTRACT BY ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID WITHOUT CLARIFICATION. IMPROPER TO PERMIT CORRECTION OF THE BID TO CONFORM TO WHAT YOU NOW SAY WAS INTENDED.

B-122316, JUL. 22, 1955

TO MR. WHEELER S. WALKER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 4 AND MAY 23, 1955, PROTESTING THE ACTION OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, IN MAKING AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANOTHER BIDDER FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RETAINING WALL ON THE PENTAGON ROAD NETWORK, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

CAREFUL CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE CASE, INCLUDING THE EXPLANATIONS AND ARGUMENTS SUBMITTED BY YOU, AS WELL AS THE FACTS REPORTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. WHILE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MIGHT HAVE REQUESTED CLARIFICATION BEFORE REJECTING YOUR BID AS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS, YOUR EXPLANATION, AS FURNISHED IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, WOULD MERELY HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT YOU HAD MADE AN ERROR IN YOUR BID WHICH WOULD HAVE REQUIRED ITS REJECTION. BY CHANGING THE CUBIC YARD UNIT OF MEASURE TO CUBIC FEET--- AND NOT CLEARLY SHOWING THAT UNIT--- AND THEN MAKING AN ERROR IN EXTENDING THE UNIT PRICE OF $3.60 PER CUBIC FOOT, YOU CREATED A SITUATION IN WHICH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO CONSUMMATE A BINDING CONTRACT BY ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID WITHOUT CLARIFICATION, AND IMPROPER TO PERMIT CORRECTION OF THE BID TO CONFORM TO WHAT YOU NOW SAY WAS INTENDED.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE APPEARS NO SOUND BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE COULD PROPERLY QUESTION THE LEGALITY OF THE CONTRACT AS AWARDED.