B-124885, AUG. 10, 1955

B-124885: Aug 10, 1955

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TO SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF JULY 27. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 325 AND OTHER ITEMS ON MAY 10. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE BID ON ITEM 325 BE MODIFIED TO READ $7.94 EACH SINCE THE CONTRACTOR'S PRICE. IS HIGHER THAN THE NEXT HIGHEST BID RECEIVED AND THAT THE ERROR OBVIOUSLY IS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE NATURE AND WAS NOT INTENDED. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 325 WERE $5.50 AND $1.10. THE BID ON ITEM 325 IN THE AMOUNT OF $47.65 FOR THE LOT IS APPROXIMATELY NINE TIMES THAT OF THE NEXT HIGHEST BID RECEIVED ON THE ITEM AND APPROXIMATELY SIX TIMES THE AMOUNT OF ITS ALLEGED INTENDED BID OF $7.94. THE CONTRACTOR'S INTENDED BID OF $7.94 PER UNIT ON ITEM 325 IS IN LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED.

B-124885, AUG. 10, 1955

TO SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF JULY 27, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, REQUESTING A DECISION RELATIVE TO AN ERROR WHICH THE COLUMBIA MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 44-008-6-55-40, DATED APRIL 1, 1955.

THE INVITATION, ISSUED BY THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICE, FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF VARIOUS ITEMS OF NEW AND USED SURPLUS PROPERTY DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 1 TO 348, INCLUSIVE. IN RESPONSE, THE COLUMBIA MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 20, 1955, OFFERING TO PURCHASE, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, ITEM 325 COVERING SIX WOOD TANKS AT A UNIT PRICE OF $47.65 EACH. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 325 AND OTHER ITEMS ON MAY 10, 1955.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 20, 1955, THE CONTRACTOR ADVISED THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE ON ITEM 325 IN THAT IT HAD INSERTED THE TOTAL PRICE FOR THE SIX TANKS IN THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN. THE COMPANY INVITED ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE DEPOSIT OF $130 ON THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE ITEMS BID ON, OR 20 PERCENT, WOULD SUBSTANTIATE THEIR ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 2, 1955, FROM HEADQUARTERS, THE ENGINEER CENTER, U.S. ARMY, FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE BID ON ITEM 325 BE MODIFIED TO READ $7.94 EACH SINCE THE CONTRACTOR'S PRICE, BROKEN DOWN TO A UNIT VALUE, IS HIGHER THAN THE NEXT HIGHEST BID RECEIVED AND THAT THE ERROR OBVIOUSLY IS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE NATURE AND WAS NOT INTENDED.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 325 WERE $5.50 AND $1.10. THUS, THE BID ON ITEM 325 IN THE AMOUNT OF $47.65 FOR THE LOT IS APPROXIMATELY NINE TIMES THAT OF THE NEXT HIGHEST BID RECEIVED ON THE ITEM AND APPROXIMATELY SIX TIMES THE AMOUNT OF ITS ALLEGED INTENDED BID OF $7.94. THE CONTRACTOR'S INTENDED BID OF $7.94 PER UNIT ON ITEM 325 IS IN LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED. FURTHERMORE, THE AMOUNT OF $130 SUBMITTED AS A DEPOSIT ON THE TOTAL OF THE ITEMS BID ON--- IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INVITATION REQUIRING 20 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT BID TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE BID--- COULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE BID AS MADE, INCLUDING ITEM 325. THIS WOULD APPEAR TO SUPPORT THE CONTENTION THAT THE BID OF $47.65 FOR ITEM 325 WAS ERRONEOUS AND NOT AS INTENDED. HENCE, IT APPEARS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MIGHT READILY HAVE SUSPECTED THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID ON ITEM 325 AND, THEREFORE, AFFORDED THE CONTRACTOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY HIS BID PRIOR TO THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIT PRICE OF $7.94 EACH FOR ITEM 325 WHICH IS STILL THE HIGHEST BID.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT.