B-125411, SEP. 29, 1955

B-125411: Sep 29, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER UNIT PRICES OR AGGREGATE PRICES ONLY ARE FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AWARDING OF CONTRACTS WHEREIN IT IS STATED IN THE INVITATION THAT CERTAIN GROUPS OF ITEMS WOULD BE AWARDED IN THE AGGREGATE. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED. IT WAS NOTED THAT THE EXTENSION OF ITEM 10 IN THE BID OF W. WILTON WOOD INCORPORATED WAS NOT CORRECT AND THE CONTRACTOR WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THE PRICE QUOTED ON ITEM 10. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTOR IN THAT A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN THE UNIT PRICE OF ITEM 10 OF ITS BID.

B-125411, SEP. 29, 1955

TO HONORABLE H. V. HIGLEY, ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR WHICH W. WILTON WOOD INCORPORATED, HUNTINGTON STATION, NEW YORK, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS UNDATED BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION 55-54 DATED AUGUST 9, 1955, ISSUED BY THE SUPPLY OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, NORTHPORT, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK. ALSO, YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER UNIT PRICES OR AGGREGATE PRICES ONLY ARE FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AWARDING OF CONTRACTS WHEREIN IT IS STATED IN THE INVITATION THAT CERTAIN GROUPS OF ITEMS WOULD BE AWARDED IN THE AGGREGATE.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, A GROUP OF KITCHEN CABINETS REPRESENTED BY ITEM 6 THROUGH ITEM 12 AND SPECIFIED THAT THE AWARD ON THESE ITEMS WOULD BE MADE TO THE LOWEST AGGREGATE BIDDER ON THE GROUP. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED, THE PRICES QUOTED BY EACH BIDDER BEING AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE ITEM NO. BEACHVIEW LUMBER CO. W. WILTON WOOD, INC.

UNIT PRICE EXTENDED AMOUNTS UNIT PRICES EXTENDED AMTS.

6 $14.00 $42.00 $14.68 $44.04

7 18.00 18.00 17.73 17.73

8 25.00 50.00 25.92 51.84

9 21.00 42.00 21.87 43.74

10 30.00 60.00 23.93 59.86

11 17.50 17.50 18.12 18.12

12 28.00 28.00 25.93 25.93

------- ------- TOTAL $257.50 $261.26

(ITEMS 6 TO 12)

AFTER OPENING AND RECORDING OF THE BIDS, IT WAS NOTED THAT THE EXTENSION OF ITEM 10 IN THE BID OF W. WILTON WOOD INCORPORATED WAS NOT CORRECT AND THE CONTRACTOR WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THE PRICE QUOTED ON ITEM 10. LETTER DATED AUGUST 22, 1955, THE CONTRACTOR CONFIRMED THE ALLEGED ERROR AND STATED THAT DUE TO A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR, THE UNIT PRICE SHOULD BE $29.93 BUT THAT THE EXTENSION OF THE TOTAL REMAINED THE SAME.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTOR IN THAT A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN THE UNIT PRICE OF ITEM 10 OF ITS BID. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID OF W. WILTON WOOD INCORPORATED WAS ERRONEOUS AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 10 MAY BE CORRECTED TO $29.93 WHICH WILL NOT CHANGE THE EXTENSION AMOUNT OF THE ITEM OR THE TOTAL OF THE BID FOR ITEMS 6 THROUGH 12.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, WHILE THERE IS NO INFLEXIBLE RULE FOR APPLICATION IN ALL CASES, WE HAVE HELD GENERALLY THAT WHERE BIDS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED, FOR PURPOSES OF THE AWARD IN THE AGGREGATE, IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL THAT A COMPARISON OF PRICES BE MADE ITEM BY ITEM. B-4013, JULY 10, 1939; 17 COMP. GEN. 534. HOWEVER, WHERE IT IS NOTED THAT THERE IS AN OBVIOUS ERROR IN A PARTICULAR ITEM, A CONTRACTING OFFICER WOULD NOT BE ACTING IN GOOD FAITH IF SUCH BID WAS ACCEPTED.