B-126063, NOV. 22, 1955

B-126063: Nov 22, 1955

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ON THE BASIS OF A UNIT PRICE CORRECTION MADE AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED. WHICH WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. THE LOW BID WAS REGARDED AS BEING OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHERS RECEIVED AND AS CONSTITUTING NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR. THIS CONCLUSION ALSO APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN VOICED BY BIDDERS PRESENT AT THE OPENING. THE COMPANY ALLEGED FURTHER THAT BUT FOR THE ERROR ITS BID WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY $148.54 TO $1. THE COPIES OF ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS AND OF THE SUPPLIER'S QUOTATION ATTACHED TO THE FILE FULLY SUPPORT THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONCLUSION THAT A BONE FIDE MISTAKE WAS MADE AND ESTABLISH CONCLUSIVELY ITS EXTENT TO BE AS ALLEGED. SINCE YOU WERE ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE. SINCE AN ACTUAL MISTAKE AND ITS PRECISE EXTENT HAVE BEEN PROVED.

B-126063, NOV. 22, 1955

TO MR. C. O. SCHICK, CHIEF, PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY SECTION, WEATHER BUREAU:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF AWARDING CONTRACT NO. CWB-8675 TO ENGINEERING ENTERPRISES, INCORPORATED, ON THE BASIS OF A UNIT PRICE CORRECTION MADE AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED.

THE AWARD INVOLVES ITEM 1C OF INVITATION NO. 65-WB-56, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 2, 1955, COVERING 100 RETRANSMITTER AND RECORDER SYSTEMS FOR THE WEATHER BUREAU. ENGINEERING ENTERPRISES SUBMITTED A QUOTATION OF $1,487.69 EACH, WHICH WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED, AND OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED $2,050.93, $2,079.22, $2,170.55, $2,359 AND $2,400 EACH FOR THE SAME ITEM. YOU ADVISE THAT AT THE THE TIME OF OPENING BIDS, OF SEPTEMBER 27, THE LOW BID WAS REGARDED AS BEING OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHERS RECEIVED AND AS CONSTITUTING NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR. THIS CONCLUSION ALSO APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN VOICED BY BIDDERS PRESENT AT THE OPENING. BEFORE THE COMPANY COULD BE CONTACTED, IT ALLEGED, IN LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 27, THAT A SUPPLIER'S QUOTATION FOR AMPLIFIERS HAD BEEN MISINTERPRETED AND REGARDED AS APPLYING TO SETS OF TWO REQUIRED IN FABRICATING THE RETRANSMITTER AND RECORDER SYSTEMS, RATHER THAN TO A SINGLE UNIT AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE SUPPLIER. THE COMPANY ALLEGED FURTHER THAT BUT FOR THE ERROR ITS BID WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY $148.54 TO $1,636.23 FOR EACH UNIT. THE COPIES OF ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS AND OF THE SUPPLIER'S QUOTATION ATTACHED TO THE FILE FULLY SUPPORT THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONCLUSION THAT A BONE FIDE MISTAKE WAS MADE AND ESTABLISH CONCLUSIVELY ITS EXTENT TO BE AS ALLEGED.

THE MATTER APPEARS TO FALL WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE BASIC RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. CF. 31 COMP. GEN. 183. SINCE YOU WERE ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, SINCE AN ACTUAL MISTAKE AND ITS PRECISE EXTENT HAVE BEEN PROVED, AND SINCE THE COMPANY'S INTENDED QUOTATION REMAINS THE LOWEST RECEIVED, WE PERCEIVE NO OBJECTION TO AN AWARD MADE TO ENGINEERING ENTERPRISES, INCORPORATED, ON THE BASIS OF ITS CORRECTED BID.