B-125227, AUG. 25, 1955

B-125227: Aug 25, 1955

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FOREST SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19. WHICH WAS RECEIVED ON AUGUST 17. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT NO BID OF LESS THAN $5.30 PER MBM FOR LIVE AND MERCHANTABLE DEAD PONDEROSA PINE SAWTIMBER WILL BE CONSIDERED AND THAT IN ADDITION TO THE PRICE BID FOR STUMPAGE. A DEPOSIT OF $5.20 PER MBM FOR STUMPAGE WILL BE REQUIRED FOR SALE AREA BETTERMENT WORK AND THAT A DEPOSIT OF $1.10 PER MBM FOR SAWTIMBER WILL BE REQUIRED FOR SLASH DISPOSAL WORK TO BE DONE BY THE FOREST SERVICE. WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID DEPOSIT IN THE AMOUNT OF $1. WAS THE ONLY BID RECEIVED ON THE TIMBER IN THE DAVIS COMPARTMENT. SLASH DISPOSAL IN THE PRICE BID COLUMN IN WHICH THE PRICE OF STUMPAGE ONLY WAS TO BE SHOWN.

B-125227, AUG. 25, 1955

TO MR. JACK C. KERN, CONTRACTING OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, WHICH WAS RECEIVED ON AUGUST 17, 1955, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR THE SOUTHERN HILLS LUMBER COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON JULY 5, 1955.

THE FOREST SUPERVISOR, CUSTER, SOUTH DAKOTA, BY A NOTICE OF SALE PUBLISHED IN THE CUSTER COUNTY CHRONICLE, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CERTAIN TIMBER IN THE DAVIS COMPARTMENT AND OTHER COMPARTMENTS IN THE BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST, SOUTH DAKOTA. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT NO BID OF LESS THAN $5.30 PER MBM FOR LIVE AND MERCHANTABLE DEAD PONDEROSA PINE SAWTIMBER WILL BE CONSIDERED AND THAT IN ADDITION TO THE PRICE BID FOR STUMPAGE, A DEPOSIT OF $5.20 PER MBM FOR STUMPAGE WILL BE REQUIRED FOR SALE AREA BETTERMENT WORK AND THAT A DEPOSIT OF $1.10 PER MBM FOR SAWTIMBER WILL BE REQUIRED FOR SLASH DISPOSAL WORK TO BE DONE BY THE FOREST SERVICE.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE SOUTHERN HILLS LUMBER COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED JULY 5, 1955, ON THE DAVIS COMPARTMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE ESTIMATED QUANTITIES AND PAYMENTS AND DEPOSITS

UNIT OF MEASURE PER UNIT OF MEASURE ------------------------

SPECIES AND ADDITIONAL REQUIRED

PRODUCTS DEPOSITS FOR

PRICE BID

SALES AREA SLASH

TOTAL BETTERMENT DISPOSAL ------ ---------------------------------------- ------------------------ 1,600 MBM. MORE OR LESS PONDEROSA $11.65 $5.20 $1.10

PINE SAWTIMBER,

LIVE AND

MERCHANTABLE

DEAD.

THE BID OF THE COMPANY, WHICH WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID DEPOSIT IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,000, WAS THE ONLY BID RECEIVED ON THE TIMBER IN THE DAVIS COMPARTMENT.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 5, 1955, THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING, MR. RAYMOND VENTLING, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN HILLS LUMBER COMPANY, ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE COMPANY'S BID IN THAT ITS SECRETARY- TREASURER HAD INADVERTENTLY INSERTED THE TOTAL AMOUNT FOR STUMPAGE, SALES AREA BETTERMENT, AND SLASH DISPOSAL IN THE PRICE BID COLUMN IN WHICH THE PRICE OF STUMPAGE ONLY WAS TO BE SHOWN; AND THAT THE PRICE FOR STUMPAGE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN AS BEING $5.35 PER MBM-- $0.05 MORE THAN THE REQUIRED MINIMUM BID. THEREFORE, THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT ITS BID PRICE FOR STUMPAGE BE CORRECTED TO READ $5.35 PER MBM.

IN A MEMORANDUM DATED JULY 6, 1955, FROM THE REGIONAL FORESTER TO THE FOREST SUPERVISOR, IT IS STATED THAT AFTER THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS OPENED MR. VENTLING VERBALLY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HE INTENDED TO RAISE THE ADVERTISED RATE BY $0.05 PER MBM; THAT HE AT FIRST THOUGHT THAT THE $11.65 FIGURE WAS PROPERLY ENTERED AS A TOTAL BID, UNTIL IT WAS EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT THE TOTAL COST WOULD BE $17.95 PER MBM; AND THAT IT IS APPARENT THAT THE BIDDER BECAME CONFUSED IN THE PREPARATION OF ITS BID.

IN THE PRICE BID COLUMN IN WHICH THE COMPANY WAS TO INSERT THE PRICE FOR STUMPAGE IT INSERTED THE AMOUNT OF $11.65, AND IF THE AMOUNTS INSERTED IN THE SALES AREA BETTERMENT AND SLASH DISPOSAL COLUMNS ARE DEDUCTED FROM THE SUM OF $11.65, THE REMAINDER WILL BE $5.35--- THE COMPANY'S ALLEGED INTENDED BID PRICE FOR STUMPAGE. IT IS NOTED FROM AN ABSTRACT OF BIDS RECEIVED ON PREVIOUS SALES OF TIMBER IN THE GENERAL AREA OF THE DAVIS COMPARTMENT THAT THE AVERAGE PRICE QUOTED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS FOR STUMPAGE WAS $0.05 HIGHER THAN THE AVERAGE ADVERTISED SALE PRICE FOR STUMPAGE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE COMPANY INADVERTENTLY INSERTED THE TOTAL OF THE INTENDED AMOUNTS FOR STUMPAGE, SALES AREA BETTERMENT, AND SLASH DISPOSAL IN THE COLUMN IN WHICH THE PRICE FOR STUMPAGE WAS TO BE SHOWN AND THAT IT INTENDED TO QUOTE A PRICE OF $5.35 PER MBM FOR STUMPAGE. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS PROMPTLY ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE SOUTHERN HILLS LUMBER COMPANY MAY BE CORRECTED TO PROVIDE FOR A PRICE OF $5.35 PER MBM FOR STUMPAGE.

IN THE EVENT THAT AWARD BE MADE TO THE SOUTHERN HILLS LUMBER COMPANY, A REFERENCE TO THE ..END :