B-123061, MARCH 11, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 439

B-123061: Mar 11, 1955

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IS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE HAD BEEN ADOPTED OR AUTHORIZED. IS A SUBSTANTIVE DEFECT WHICH MAY NOT BE WAIVED AFTER OPENING OF THE BIDS. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE HIGH BID IS COMPLETE AS TO BID PRICE AND NAME OF THE FIRM. IT IS NOT SIGNED BY THE BIDDER. THE LOW BID IS COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS AND IS SIGNED. IF ITS ADOPTION OR AUTHORITY IS SHOWN. THE PARTY INVOLVED IS BOUND BY ITS SIGNATURE. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE PURPORTED BIDDER IN THIS CASE HAS AUTHORIZED OR ADOPTED ITS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE TAKEN THE VIEW THAT UNSIGNED BIDS MAY BE CONSIDERED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE BID HERE IN QUESTION WAS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY ANY SUCH DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.

B-123061, MARCH 11, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 439

BIDS - UNSIGNED - ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN A BID WHICH BEARS HIS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE, BUT IS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE HAD BEEN ADOPTED OR AUTHORIZED, IS A SUBSTANTIVE DEFECT WHICH MAY NOT BE WAIVED AFTER OPENING OF THE BIDS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY, MARCH 11, 1955:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN UNSIGNED BID MAY BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR FURNISHING COIN-OPERATED LAUNDRY MACHINES FOR USE IN THE CUTHBERT MANOR APARTMENTS PROJECT, HADDON TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY.

YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT SHALL BE SUPPLIED, OWNED, AND MAINTAINED BY THE BIDDER WHO SHALL PAY TO THE GOVERNMENT A BID PERCENTAGE OF THE RECEIPTS FROM THE COIN BOXES, WITH AWARD OF THE CONTRACT TO BE MADE TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE THURSTON LAUNDRY SERVICE AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY BID 35 PERCENT AND THE KLEEN-RITE LAUNDRIES BID 17.5 PERCENT. THE HIGH BID IS COMPLETE AS TO BID PRICE AND NAME OF THE FIRM, AND THE TYPEWRITTEN NAME OF BENJAMIN F. THURSTON APPEARS IN THE SIGNATURE BOX. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT SIGNED BY THE BIDDER. THE LOW BID IS COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS AND IS SIGNED.

AN INDIVIDUAL OR CORPORATION MAY ADOPT OR AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS BY A TYPEWRITTEN, PRINTED OR RUBBER-STAMPED SIGNATURE, AND, IF ITS ADOPTION OR AUTHORITY IS SHOWN, THE PARTY INVOLVED IS BOUND BY ITS SIGNATURE. TABAS V. EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION, 9 F.2D. 648. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE PURPORTED BIDDER IN THIS CASE HAS AUTHORIZED OR ADOPTED ITS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE TAKEN THE VIEW THAT UNSIGNED BIDS MAY BE CONSIDERED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A LETTER, BOND, OR OTHER DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE BIDDER CLEARLY EVIDENCING HIS INTENT TO SUBMIT THE BID (17 COMP. GEN. 497), IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE BID HERE IN QUESTION WAS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY ANY SUCH DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.

IN REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE FAILURE TO SIGN THE BID MAY BE CONSIDERED AN INFORMALITY WHICH MAY BE WAIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT, THE RULE IS THAT THE ONLY INFORMALITIES WHICH MAY BE WAIVED ARE THOSE WHICH DO NOT GO TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID AND DO NOT WORK AN INJUSTICE TO THE OTHER BIDDERS. 30 COMP. GEN. 179. SINCE THESE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED, AN ATTEMPTED WAIVER OF THE DEFECT INVOLVED WOULD NOW PLACE THE HIGH BIDDER IN THE POSITION TO MAKE AN ELECTION EITHER TO ABIDE BY ITS BID OR TO CLAIM THAT IT WAS SUBMITTED IN ERROR BY A PERSON WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS ON ITS BEHALF. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY TAKEN THE POSITION THAT A BIDDER PROPERLY MAY NOT BE GIVEN MORE THAN ONE CHANCE UNDER THE SAME INVITATION. FOR EXAMPLE, AS WE STATED IN B-120436, DATED AUGUST 20, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 82," CONDITIONS OR RESERVATIONS WHICH GIVE A BIDDER CHANCE TO SECOND-GUESS HIS COMPETITORS AFTER BID OPENING MUST BE REGARDED AS FATAL TO THE BID.'

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF THURSTON LAUNDRY SERVICE AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.