B-124354, JUN. 30, 1955

B-124354: Jun 30, 1955

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SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16. 150 TUBES REQUIRED WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE FIVE OTHER BIDS. NOTICE PROPERLY WAS TAKEN OF THE PROBABILITY THAT THE LOW BIDDER HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND CONFIRMATION THEREOF WAS REQUESTED. THE BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT A MATHEMATICAL ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN COMPUTING ITS PRICE AND FURNISHED IN SUPPORT THEREOF COPIES OF ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS WHICH REASONABLY CONFIRM THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE. ITS INTENDED BID PRICE IS NOT ESTABLISHED CONCLUSIVELY. SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-124354, JUN. 30, 1955

TO MR. ELLIOTT J. ROBERTS, CONTRACTING OFFICER, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO A BID SUBMITTED BY ESSNER METAL WORKS IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 90 55, IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

SINCE THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE ESSNER METAL WORKS' BID OF $0.3417 EACH, OR A TOTAL BID OF $392.96, FOR THE 1,150 TUBES REQUIRED WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE FIVE OTHER BIDS, RANGING IN TOTAL AMOUNTS FROM $833.75 TO $1,035, NOTICE PROPERLY WAS TAKEN OF THE PROBABILITY THAT THE LOW BIDDER HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND CONFIRMATION THEREOF WAS REQUESTED. BY LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1955, ESSNER METAL WORKS REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE DISREGARDED. THEREAFTER, BY LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1955, THE BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT A MATHEMATICAL ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN COMPUTING ITS PRICE AND FURNISHED IN SUPPORT THEREOF COPIES OF ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS WHICH REASONABLY CONFIRM THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE, AS ALLEGED. HOWEVER, ITS INTENDED BID PRICE IS NOT ESTABLISHED CONCLUSIVELY, AS REQUIRED FOR CORRECTION.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF ESSNER METAL WORKS SHOULD BE DISREGARDED --- THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES NOT BEING SUCH AS TO WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE BASIC RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER OPENING. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577.