B-126147, DEC. 9, 1955

B-126147: Dec 9, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 21. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT. CRITERIA HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED FOR DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF AIR COOLING AND AIR CONDITIONING IN NEW HOSPITALS FOR VETERANS AND THAT. ALTHOUGH THESE CRITERIA HAVE NOT BEEN EMBODIED IN THE DESIGN FOR THE TOPEKA HOSPITAL. IT IS DESIRED TO ADAPT THEM TO EXISTING CONSTRUCTION TO AS GREAT A DEGREE AS POSSIBLE. DOUBT IS EXPRESSED. IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR THE ADDITIONAL WORK. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND ADVERTISING FOR AND RECEIPT OF BIDS WOULD REQUIRE A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EXISTING CONTRACT MAY NOT BE EXPANDED SO AS TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL WORK OF ANY CONSIDERABLE MAGNITUDE WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 3709.

B-126147, DEC. 9, 1955

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 21, 1955, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OUR OFFICE WOULD OBJECT TO THE EXECUTION OF A SUGGESTED CHANGE ORDER UNDER CONTRACT NO. V1006C-89, DATED JUNE 15, 1955, ENTERED INTO WITH PETER KIEWIT SONS COMPANY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 1000 -BED HOSPITAL AT TOPEKA, KANSAS.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT, SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, CRITERIA HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED FOR DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF AIR COOLING AND AIR CONDITIONING IN NEW HOSPITALS FOR VETERANS AND THAT, ALTHOUGH THESE CRITERIA HAVE NOT BEEN EMBODIED IN THE DESIGN FOR THE TOPEKA HOSPITAL, IT IS DESIRED TO ADAPT THEM TO EXISTING CONSTRUCTION TO AS GREAT A DEGREE AS POSSIBLE. THE PROPOSED CHANGE ORDER WOULD PROVIDE FOR THE ELIMINATION FROM THE CONTRACT OF THE STEAM HEATING SYSTEM AND AUXILIARY HEATING EQUIPMENT VALUED AT APPROXIMATELY $600,000 AND THE SUBSTITUTION THEREFOR OF A COMBINATION HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF $1,500,000, OR A NET ADDITIONAL COST OF $900,000. DOUBT IS EXPRESSED, HOWEVER, AS TO WHETHER THIS CHANGE MAY BE MADE UNDER THE "CHANGES" ARTICLE OF THE CONTRACT OR WHETHER, IN THE LIGHT OF OUR DECISION 17 COMP. GEN. 427, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR THE ADDITIONAL WORK. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND ADVERTISING FOR AND RECEIPT OF BIDS WOULD REQUIRE A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME; THAT CERTAIN PHASES OF THE CONSTRUCTION WORK WOULD BE UNREASONABLY DELAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF TWO CONTRACTS FOR WORK SO CLOSELY RELATED IN PURPOSE AND SCOPE WOULD BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

AS RECOGNIZED IN THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR'S LETTER, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EXISTING CONTRACT MAY NOT BE EXPANDED SO AS TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL WORK OF ANY CONSIDERABLE MAGNITUDE WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, UNLESS IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT THE ADDITIONAL WORK WAS NOT IN CONTEMPLATION AT THE TIME OF THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTING AND IS SUCH AN INSEPARABLE PART OF THE WORK ORIGINALLY CONTRACTED FOR AS TO RENDER IT REASONABLY IMPOSSIBLE OF PERFORMANCE BY OTHER THAN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTOR. SEE 30 COMP. GEN. 34 AND THE DECISIONS THERE CITED.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, IT APPEARS THAT THE AIR COOLING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM WAS NOT CONTEMPLATED FOR THE TOPEKA HOSPITAL AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT WAS EXECUTED. REGARDING THE PROPOSED CHANGE, IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1955, THAT---

"THE USE OF SUCH A SYSTEM OF HEATING AND COOLING PRE-SUPPOSES THE ELIMINATION OF THE PRESENT PLANNED CONVENTIONAL STEAM HEATING UNITS, VACUUM RETURNS AND AUXILIARY HEATING EQUIPMENT IN EACH BUILDING IN WHICH THE CONVERSION TO THE REMOTE HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM IS PROPOSED. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE IN THIS PLANNED HEATING CONVERSION FOR THE REASON THE PROPOSED WORK IS VIRTUALLY AN INSEPARABLE PART OF THE BUILDING CONSTRUCTION, SINCE SLEEVES MUST BE SET FOR THE NEW SERVICES TO THE REMOTE ROOM UNITS AS THE FLOOR SLABS ARE POURED, PROVISION MUST BE MADE FOR THE REFRIGERATING EQUIPMENT FOR CHILLING THE WATER AND THE CONVERTOR FOR HEATING THE WATER DURING THE HEATING SEASON AT THE TIME THE BASEMENT UTILITIES ARE ROUGHED IN AND CONVECTOR SIZES AND CAPACITIES MUST BE KNOWN TO THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR SO THAT RECESSES AND LOUVER OPENINGS OF PROPER SIZE CAN BE FORMED IN THE BRICK WORK AS THE BUILDING WALLS ARE LAID UP.'

THUS IT APPEARS THAT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE COOLING SYSTEM IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAKE CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE CONVENTIONAL STEAM HEATING UNITS PROVIDED FOR BY THE CONTRACT SPECIFICATIONS AND CERTAIN CHANGES MUST BE MADE IN THE GENERAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDINGS IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT THE CONVERSION. IN VIEW OF THIS SHOWING THAT, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, THE PROPOSED ADDITIONAL WORK IS NOT, IN FACT, INSEPARABLE FROM THE WORK ORIGINALLY CONTRACTED FOR, IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO REGARD THE ADDITIONAL WORK AS FALLING WITHIN THE "GENERAL SCOPE" OF THE CONTRACT WORK AS STIPULATED IN THE "CHANGES" ARTICLE OF THE CONTRACT. ACCORDINGLY AND IN VIEW OF THE PUBLIC EXIGENCIES INVOLVED AS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE CHANGE BY MEANS OF A CHANGE ORDER UNDER THE EXISTING CONTRACT FOR GENERAL CONSTRUCTION, SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.