B-125815, OCT. 21, 1955

B-125815: Oct 21, 1955

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ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE BIDS WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 27. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED. IT IS REPORTED THAT SHORTLY AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED SAMUEL N. IT IS AVERRED THAT DURING THE COURSE OF PREPARING THE BID ONE OF THE BIDDER'S EMPLOYEES RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM THE H. THIS WAS THE ONLY QUOTATION RECEIVED FOR THE STONE PRIOR TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS. THERE WAS INCLUDED IN THE BID THE SUM OF $134. ADVISING THAT THE PROPER COST OF ALL THE STONE REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT WAS APPROXIMATELY $150. IS DATED SEPTEMBER 28.

B-125815, OCT. 21, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE J. GEORGE STEWART, ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION, REPAIR, ALTERATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE AREAS LOCATED ABOVE AND IN THE VICINITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE GARAGE.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE BIDS WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1955. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED-- ONE FROM SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $567,700 IN THE PRINCIPAL BID, AND THE OTHER FROM THE AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $767,000 FOR THE PRINCIPAL BID.

IT IS REPORTED THAT SHORTLY AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., ADVISED, BY TELEPHONE, THAT A SERIOUS ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID. BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 28, THE BIDDER ADVISED THAT A SUM OF APPROXIMATELY $167,250 IN CONNECTION WITH STONE WORK HAD BEEN OMITTED FROM ITS BID AND REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW THE BID.

SUBSEQUENTLY, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR AN AFFIDAVIT BY FRED L. KAPLAN, THE INDIVIDUAL WHO PREPARED THE BID, AND CERTAIN OTHER EVIDENCE. IT IS AVERRED THAT DURING THE COURSE OF PREPARING THE BID ONE OF THE BIDDER'S EMPLOYEES RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM THE H. E. FLETCHER COMPANY, INC., QUOTING A PRICE OF $69,965 FOR STONE, F.O.B. CARS, WASHINGTON, D.C. THIS WAS THE ONLY QUOTATION RECEIVED FOR THE STONE PRIOR TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS. MR. KAPLAN BELIEVED THAT THE QUOTATION FROM THE FLETCHER COMPANY COVERED ALL THE STONE, BOTH GRANITE AND FLAGSTONE, REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT AND IN COMPUTING THE COST OF INSTALLING THE STONE, HE APPLIED A COST RATIO OF 60 PERCENT - 40 PERCENT BETWEEN MATERIALS AND LABOR TO THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE FLETCHER COMPANY. AS A RESULT, THERE WAS INCLUDED IN THE BID THE SUM OF $134,965 FOR THE ENTIRE STONE WORK.

THE BIDDER STATES THAT AFTER THE OPENING HE RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM MR. W. H. VICKERY, PRESIDENT OF THE VICKERY STONE COMPANY, WHO HAD ATTENDED THE BID OPENING, ADVISING THAT THE PROPER COST OF ALL THE STONE REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT WAS APPROXIMATELY $150,000; THAT HE, VICKERY, HAD RECOMMENDED TO THE ARCHITECT FOR THE PROJECT THE TYPE OF STONE TO BE USED; AND THAT IN DISCUSSING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VICKERY'S AND FLETCHER'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE STONE, MR. VICKERY STATED THAT HE PERSONALLY KNEW THAT THE FLETCHER QUOTATION DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF THE FLAGSTONE REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT.

THE BIDDER SUBMITTED PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF QUOTATIONS RECEIVED FROM THE H. E. FLETCHER COMPANY, INC., AND THE VICKERY STONE COMPANY. THE FORMAL QUOTATION FROM THE H. E. FLETCHER COMPANY, INC., IS DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1955, AND BEARS A STAMP INDICATING THAT IT WAS RECEIVED BY ZARPAS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1955. THE QUOTATION SHOWS THAT THE PRICE OF $69,965 WAS BASED ONLY ON "NEW HAMPSHIRE PINK GRANITE FROM MADISON, NEW HAMPSHIRE.' THE PROPOSAL BY THE VICKERY STONE COMPANY IS DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1955, AND BEARS A STAMP INDICATING THAT IT WAS RECEIVED BY ZARPAS ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1955. THIS PROPOSAL QUOTES A PRICE OF $150,110 FOR GRANITE AND FLAGSTONE.

THE PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF ZARPAS' SUMMARY WORKSHEET SHOWS THAT ITS BID PRICE WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF ONLY $134,965 FOR STONE WORK, GRANITE AND FLAGSTONE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID IN THAT THE COST OF FLAGSTONE WAS OMITTED. SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THE ERROR WAS SUBMITTED BY SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED IN GOOD FAITH. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF SAMUEL N. ZARPAS, INC., SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS RETURNED. THE OTHER PAPERS ARE BEING RETAINED HERE.