B-125114, AUG. 16, 1955

B-125114: Aug 16, 1955

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TO SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID FOR REHABILITATION OF EQUIPMENT IN TWO BOILER PLANTS. YOU STATE THAT IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACT IN THIS CASE WAS AWARDED WITHOUT AFFORDING THE CONTRACTOR A REASONABLE TIME TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS ORAL ALLEGATION OF A MISTAKE IN BID. ALTHOUGH BIDS WERE SOLICITED FROM 19 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. ONE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNT OF $11. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $9. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED BECAUSE OF THE GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNTS OF THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED. WAS CONSIDERABLY BELOW THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE.

B-125114, AUG. 16, 1955

TO SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY CHARLES SIMKIN AND SONS, INC., TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID FOR REHABILITATION OF EQUIPMENT IN TWO BOILER PLANTS. YOU STATE THAT IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACT IN THIS CASE WAS AWARDED WITHOUT AFFORDING THE CONTRACTOR A REASONABLE TIME TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS ORAL ALLEGATION OF A MISTAKE IN BID. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE BID MAY BE CORRECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTRACTOR'S REQUEST FOR RELIEF.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION DATED MARCH 30, 1955, ISSUED BY THE POST PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, REQUESTING BIDS FOR REHABILITATION OF THE EQUIPMENT IN THE BOILER PLANTS, CHARLES SIMKIN AND SONS, INC., SUBMITTED A BID WHEREIN IT OFFERED TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR $6,134. ALTHOUGH BIDS WERE SOLICITED FROM 19 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS, ONE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNT OF $11,484. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $9,131.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED BECAUSE OF THE GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNTS OF THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE BID OF CHARLES SIMKIN AND SONS, INC., WAS CONSIDERABLY BELOW THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE. IT IS REPORTED FURTHER THAT:

"VERIFICATION OF THE BID AMOUNT WAS REQUESTED FROM THE LOW BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, WHEREUPON THE BIDDER STATED THAT THE BID AMOUNT WAS INCORRECTLY TRANSCRIBED ONTO THE BID SHEET FROM THEIR WORK SHEET, THAT THE BID AMOUNT SHOULD READ $9,134.00 INSTEAD OF $6,134.00. THE BIDDER WAS TOLD ON 22 APRIL 1955 TO CONFIRM HIS STATEMENT PROMPTLY IN WRITTEN FORM. SINCE CONFIRMATION OF THE FOREGOING WAS NOT RECEIVED BY 29 APRIL 1955, AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER IN THE AMOUNT BID.'

CHARLES SIMKIN AND SONS, INC., FORWARDED WITH LETTER DATED APRIL 29, 1955, TO THE POST PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE, A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF AN ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWING THAT ITS BID WAS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $9,153.43 REDUCED TO $9,134.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT THE CONTRACTOR MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED, AND SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF AN ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD AND SINCE SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF SUCH ERROR WAS FORWARDED PRIOR TO AWARD, ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY RECEIVED AFTER AWARD, CONTRACT NO. DA-28-013-AI -1454 MAY BE AMENDED TO INCREASE THE CONSIDERATION STATED THEREIN FROM $6,134, TO $9,134, WHICH AMOUNT IS STILL LOWER THAN THE ONLY OTHER BID RECEIVED.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE WHEN FORWARDING THE AMENDMENT TO BE ATTACHED TO THE CONTRACT.