B-126182, DEC. 7, 1955

B-126182: Dec 7, 1955

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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25. SINCE IT WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE THREE OTHER BIDS OF $5. THAT ITS BID WAS $1. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON AUGUST 29. THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS. SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR. WAS EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-126182, DEC. 7, 1955

TO MR. WILHO KALLIO, CONTRACTING OFFICER, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO A BID DATED AUGUST 25, 1955, SUBMITTED BY SCHUTTE WOODWORKING AND MFG., IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU PROPERLY TOOK NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID OF $4,040 SUBMITTED BY SCHUTTE WOODWORKING AND MFG., SINCE IT WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE THREE OTHER BIDS OF $5,920 (2 BIDS) AND $5,924. UPON BEING INFORMED BY YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1955, THAT ITS BID WAS $1,880 LOWER THAN THE OTHER THREE BIDS RECEIVED, SCHUTTE WOODWORKING AND MFG. ADVISED BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1955, AND SUBSEQUENT LETTERS OF OCTOBER 8 AND NOVEMBER 7, 1955, THAT IT HAD FIGURED ITS BID INCORRECTLY DUE TO LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE COST OF CERTAIN METAL PARTS OF THE REQUIRED FIXTURES.

BECAUSE OF ITS ALLEGED ERROR IN THE BID, IT REQUESTED PERMISSION TO INCREASE ITS BID PRICE $1,000 OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THAT THE BID BE DISREGARDED. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE BIDDER ALLOWED IN ITS BID A PERIOD OF ONLY 30 DAYS, AFTER THE OPENING, FOR THE ACCEPTANCE THEREOF. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON AUGUST 29, 1955, THE OFFER OF SCHUTTE WOODWORKING AND MFG. EXPIRED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1955, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXTENSION AGREEMENT, WHICH DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE RECORD. IN THIS CONNECTION THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 27, 1955, REQUESTED THE BIDDER TO ADVISE IF IT WOULD BE WILLING TO ACCEPT AN AWARD AT ITS BID PRICE OF $4,040 AND THAT BY ITS LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1955, THE BIDDER REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE CONTRACT FOR THE JOB AT THAT PRICE.

IN ANY EVENT, SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BELIEVED, THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS, AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR, TOGETHER WITH THE REASON THEREFOR, WAS EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF SCHUTTE WOODWORKING AND MFG. SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.