B-124561, JUL. 14, 1955

B-124561: Jul 14, 1955

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TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 6. MERELY ALLEGED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND THEREFORE REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW IT. INCLUDING ITS WORKSHEETS AND AFFIDAVITS OF ITS OFFICIALS IN SUBSTANTIATION OF THE ALLEGATION THAT THE BID WAS NOT AS INTENDED BY REASON OF A MISTAKE MADE IN THE COMPUTATION THEREOF. WHILE SUCH PROOF AFFORDS A SOUND BASIS FOR THE CONCLUSION THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID. THERE MUST BE OF RECORD EVIDENCE THAT WILL NOT ONLY ESTABLISH THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE INTENDED BID PRICE BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT AND CONVINCING PROOF. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS BELIEVED THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS WERE ESTABLISHED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-124561, JUL. 14, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 6, 1955, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY (LOGISTICS AND R AND D) WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON THE BID DATED MAY 20, 1955, SUBMITTED BY THE WEATHERHEAD COMPANY IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. CML 11-021-55-42, IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

UPON BEING REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM TO VERIFY ITS BID, THE COMPANY BY LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1955, MERELY ALLEGED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND THEREFORE REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW IT. HOWEVER, BY LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1955, IT REFERRED TO ITS PREVIOUS LETTER, REQUESTED CORRECTION OF ITS BID AND FORWARDED A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE OF A COMPETENT NATURE, INCLUDING ITS WORKSHEETS AND AFFIDAVITS OF ITS OFFICIALS IN SUBSTANTIATION OF THE ALLEGATION THAT THE BID WAS NOT AS INTENDED BY REASON OF A MISTAKE MADE IN THE COMPUTATION THEREOF. WHILE SUCH PROOF AFFORDS A SOUND BASIS FOR THE CONCLUSION THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID, IT MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THE COMPANY'S INTENDED BID PRICE ON ITEMS 1 AND 2. BEFORE THIS OFFICE WOULD BE WARRANTED IN AUTHORIZING A CHANGE IN THE BID AFTER OPENING, THERE MUST BE OF RECORD EVIDENCE THAT WILL NOT ONLY ESTABLISH THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID, BUT IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE INTENDED BID PRICE BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT AND CONVINCING PROOF. SEE 9 COMP. GEN. 339; 14 ID. 78, 80; 16 ID. 565; 17 ID. 532. HERE THE REQUESTED CORRECTION REPRESENTS IN FACT A REVISED COMPUTATION BASED IN PART UPON COST DATA NOT AVAILABLE TO THE BIDDER UNTIL AFTER THE BID OPENING.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS BELIEVED THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS WERE ESTABLISHED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE WEATHERHEAD COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED PURSUANT TO ITS ORIGINAL REQUEST--- THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES NOT BEING SUCH AS TO JUSTIFY A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER OPENING. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.