B-126609, JAN. 19, 1956

B-126609: Jan 19, 1956

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SOUTHWESTERN REGION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE THREE BIDS RECEIVED WERE. IT WAS STATED IN THE NOTE. SUBSTANTIALLY THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE BIDDER AND THE ASSISTANT RANGER AND THAT IT WAS DECIDED THAT JOHNNIE'S BID SHOULD BE ON A UNIT PRICE PER MILE BASIS. SINCE THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE THE REQUIRED FENCE LENGTH WOULD BE OVER THE TWO MILES AND THAT THE ACTUAL LENGTH COULD BE DETERMINED ACCURATELY AFTER CONSTRUCTION WAS COMPLETED. ALTHOUGH THE NOTE WAS NOT SIGNED BY THE BIDDER AND WAS NO PART OF THE BID. - THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS PLACED ON NOTICE THEREBY . THE FAILURE TO MAKE HIS INTENTION CLEAR WAS AN ERROR ON HIS PART.

B-126609, JAN. 19, 1956

TO MR. J. A. HUNDLEY, CONTRACTING OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE, SOUTHWESTERN REGION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO A BID DATED DECEMBER 20, 1955, SUBMITTED BY JOHNNIE COSPER, IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

INVITATION NO. 7-3-56 ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE, GILA NATIONAL FOREST, SILVER CITY, NEW MEXICO, REQUESTED BIDS "FOR THE JOB" OF CONSTRUCTING A FOREST BOUNDARY FENCE APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES IN LENGTH IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATED SPECIFICATIONS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE THREE BIDS RECEIVED WERE---

TABLE

UNIT PRICE AMOUNT JOHNNIE COSPER FOR THE JOB:

$575 -- JAMES A. COSPER DO. DO. DO. $ 750 "PER

MILE" ROBERT M. BALKE DO. DO. DO. 1,300 "FOR

THE JOB"

A LONG HAND NOTE, WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY THE ASSISTANT FOREST RANGER AND ADDRESSED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT IN THE FOREST OFFICE AT SILVER CITY, ACCOMPANIED THE BID OF JOHNNIE COSPER. IT WAS STATED IN THE NOTE, SUBSTANTIALLY THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE BIDDER AND THE ASSISTANT RANGER AND THAT IT WAS DECIDED THAT JOHNNIE'S BID SHOULD BE ON A UNIT PRICE PER MILE BASIS, SINCE THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE THE REQUIRED FENCE LENGTH WOULD BE OVER THE TWO MILES AND THAT THE ACTUAL LENGTH COULD BE DETERMINED ACCURATELY AFTER CONSTRUCTION WAS COMPLETED. ALTHOUGH THE NOTE WAS NOT SIGNED BY THE BIDDER AND WAS NO PART OF THE BID-- MERELY ENCLOSED THEREWITH--- THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS PLACED ON NOTICE THEREBY --- AS WELL AS BY COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER BIDS--- OF THE PROBABILITY THAT THE BIDDER INTENDED TO BID $575 PER MILE FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FENCE. UPON RECEIPT OF A REQUEST FOR A CLARIFICATION OF THE BID, THE AGGREGATE PRICE FOR CONSTRUCTING THE ENTIRE FENCE, AND THE FAILURE TO MAKE HIS INTENTION CLEAR WAS AN ERROR ON HIS PART.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT JOHNNIE COSPER MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN FAILING TO SPECIFY THAT HIS BID WAS ON THE PER MILE BASIS, AND NOT FOR THE JOB. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOU BELIEVE THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF JOHNNIE COSPER MAY BE DISREGARDED, INASMUCH AS IT WOULD NOT BE RESPONSIVE TO THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION IF CONSIDERED AS INTENDED.

THE COPY OF THE BID AND ONE COPY OF THE LETTER DATED JANUARY 5, 1956, FROM THE BIDDER, AND ONE COPY OF THE MEMORANDUM DATED DECEMBER 20, 1955, FROM THE ASSISTANT FOREST RANGER, ARE RETURNED. ALL OTHER PAPERS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1956, ARE BEING RETAINED IN OUR OFFICE FILES.