B-128448, JUL. 2, 1956

B-128448: Jul 2, 1956

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ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 28. THE TOTAL OF WHICH IS $162. IT WAS STATED THAT ON JUNE 6. HICKS BY TELEPHONE TO INFORM HIM THAT HIS FIRM WAS THE LOWEST BIDDER ON THE PROJECT. HICKS WAS INFORMED OF THE AMOUNTS OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND THAT WHEN HE WAS ASKED WHETHER HE HAD EXAMINED THE WORK CAREFULLY AND WHETHER HE HAD DONE SIMILAR WORK INVOLVING SOLID ROCK EXCAVATION. IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT ON JUNE 11. THAT A SEPARATE ESTIMATE SHEET HAD BEEN PREPARED FOR THE DRILLING AND BLASTING WORK BUT THAT IT WAS OVERLOOKED IN PREPARING THE SUMMARY ESTIMATE SHEET ON ITEM 24/1). ITS BID PRICE FOR THE PROJECT WOULD HAVE BEEN $189.

B-128448, JUL. 2, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE T. MOORE, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR STECKER, SCOTT AND HARRY D. HICKS, JOINT VENTURERS, SUN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, ALLEGE THEY MADE IN THEIR BID OPENED ON JUNE 5, 1956.

ON MAY 17, 1956, THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING LABOR AND MATERIALS AND PERFORMING ALL WORK REQUIRED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF CALIFORNIA FOREST HIGHWAY PROJECT 90-B1, WESTERN DIVIDE HIGHWAY, SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST, TULARE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. IN RESPONSE STECKER, SCOTT AND HARRY D. HICKS, AS JOINT VENTURERS, SUBMITTED A BID DATED JUNE 5, 1956, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR THE VARIOUS UNIT PRICES SET FORTH OPPOSITE EACH ITEM, THE TOTAL OF WHICH IS $162,447.

IN AN OFFICE MEMORANDUM DATED JUNE 12, 1956, FROM THE DIVISION ENGINEER, IT WAS STATED THAT ON JUNE 6, THE DAY FOLLOWING OPENING OF BIDS, THE SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION OFFICE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS CONTACTED MR. HARRY D. HICKS BY TELEPHONE TO INFORM HIM THAT HIS FIRM WAS THE LOWEST BIDDER ON THE PROJECT; THAT AT THAT TIME MR. HICKS WAS INFORMED OF THE AMOUNTS OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND THAT WHEN HE WAS ASKED WHETHER HE HAD EXAMINED THE WORK CAREFULLY AND WHETHER HE HAD DONE SIMILAR WORK INVOLVING SOLID ROCK EXCAVATION, HE REPLIED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT ON JUNE 11, 1956, MR. SCOTT, ONE OF THE JOINT VENTURERS, ADVISED BY TELEPHONE THAT THE FIRM HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND ON JUNE 12, 1956, MR. HICKS VISITED THE SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION OFFICE AND SUBMITTED LETTERS DATED JUNE 11 AND 12, 1956, TOGETHER WITH THE FIRM'S ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEETS IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGATION OF ERROR. IN ITS LETTERS THE FIRM STATED THAT IN COMPUTING THEIR BID PRICE FOR ITEM 24/1), UNCLASSIFIED EXCAVATION, THEY FAILED TO INCLUDE DRILLING AND BLASTING COSTS IN THE ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF $26,600 ON AN ESTIMATED 38,000 CUBIC YARDS OF SOLID ROCK EXCAVATION; THAT A SEPARATE ESTIMATE SHEET HAD BEEN PREPARED FOR THE DRILLING AND BLASTING WORK BUT THAT IT WAS OVERLOOKED IN PREPARING THE SUMMARY ESTIMATE SHEET ON ITEM 24/1); AND THAT, BUT FOR THE ERROR, ITS BID PRICE FOR THE PROJECT WOULD HAVE BEEN $189,047. THE JOINT VENTURERS REQUESTED THAT THEY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW THEIR BID ON THE PROJECT. THE ESTIMATE SHEETS SUBMITTED BY THE JOINT VENTURERS SUBSTANTIATE THEIR STATEMENT THAT THEY FAILED TO INCLUDE IN THEIR BID PRICE FOR ITEM 24/1) THE DRILLING AND BLASTING COSTS.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE TWO OTHER BIDS ON THE PROJECT WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $205,865.18 AND $235,912.14, AND THAT THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $279,014. THUS, THE BID OF THE JOINT VENTURERS OF $162,447 IS SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THAT OF THE TWO OTHER BIDS AND THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE JOINT VENTURERS MADE AN ERROR IN THEIR BID AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF STECKER, SCOTT AND HARRY D. HICKS, JOINT VENTURERS, MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.