B-129665, NOV. 7, 1956

B-129665: Nov 7, 1956

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PUBLIC PRINTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 30. BECAUSE HE BELIEVED THE BID WAS IN ERROR AS IT WAS VERY LOW IN COMPARISON WITH YOUR OFFICE'S ESTIMATE OF $3. THE FIRM PROMPTLY RESPONDED BY TELEGRAM THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BINDING OPERATIONS AND THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3. THE FIRM ALLEGED THAT GROSS ERRORS WERE MADE AS THE BID WAS PREPARED IN A HURRY WITHOUT A THOROUGH CHECK. THE ORIGINAL AND CORRECTED ESTIMATE SHEETS WERE ENCLOSED WITH THE LETTER. HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY ONE AND THE ORIGINAL PRICES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO REFLECT AN INCREASE. IT HAS BEEN STATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE CORRECTED PRICE IS FAIR AND REASONABLE. WHEN A CONTRACTING OFFICER BELIEVES A BID IS ERRONEOUS AND UPON HIS REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION PRIOR TO AWARD THE BIDDER PROMPTLY PRESENTS CONVINCING EVIDENCE WHICH SHOWS THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE.

B-129665, NOV. 7, 1956

TO THE HONORABLE RAYMOND BLATTENBERGER, PUBLIC PRINTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 30, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER, WHO REQUESTS A DECISION WHETHER THE BID FROM THE HURLEY COMPANY, INC., CAMDEN, ARKANSAS, SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS CORRECTED OR WHETHER IT SHOULD BE DISREGARDED BECAUSE OF AN ERROR ALLEGED UPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION PRIOR TO AWARD.

IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISED REQUEST FOR PRICES, THE HURLEY COMPANY, INC., BID $2,335.90 FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 200,001 COPIES OF A 40-PAGE AND COVER BOOKLET, TRIM SIZE 2 1/4 BY 3 INCHES, TO BESADDLE WIRE STITCHED IN TWO PLACES ON THE 3-INCH SIDE. BY TELEGRAM DATED OCTOBER 22, 1956, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED THE FIRM TO REVIEW THE SPECIFICATIONS AND CONFIRM THE BID PRICE, BECAUSE HE BELIEVED THE BID WAS IN ERROR AS IT WAS VERY LOW IN COMPARISON WITH YOUR OFFICE'S ESTIMATE OF $3,109.48 AND THE TWO OTHER BIDS OF $3,232.20 AND $4,854. THE FIRM PROMPTLY RESPONDED BY TELEGRAM THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BINDING OPERATIONS AND THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3,165.34. BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 23, 1956, THE FIRM ALLEGED THAT GROSS ERRORS WERE MADE AS THE BID WAS PREPARED IN A HURRY WITHOUT A THOROUGH CHECK. THE ORIGINAL AND CORRECTED ESTIMATE SHEETS WERE ENCLOSED WITH THE LETTER. THE FIRST 11 ITEMS WHICH PERTAIN TO PRESSROOM OPERATIONS REMAIN UNCHANGED. THE REMAINING ITEMS, THE BINDING OPERATIONS, HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY ONE AND THE ORIGINAL PRICES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO REFLECT AN INCREASE. THE FIRM REQUESTS ITS BID BE CORRECTED TO REFLECT THE CORRECTED PRICE, $3,165.34. IT HAS BEEN STATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE CORRECTED PRICE IS FAIR AND REASONABLE.

WHEN A CONTRACTING OFFICER BELIEVES A BID IS ERRONEOUS AND UPON HIS REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION PRIOR TO AWARD THE BIDDER PROMPTLY PRESENTS CONVINCING EVIDENCE WHICH SHOWS THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE, THE BID ORDINARILY IS TO BE DISREGARDED, SINCE IT CANNOT BE ACCEPTED IN GOOD FAITH, AND THE RULE IS THAT A BID MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER OPENING. WHERE THE BIDDER CAN ESTABLISH BY VIRTUALLY CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE NOT ONLY THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE BUT WHAT THE BID WOULD HAVE BEEN BUT FOR THE ERROR, THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRE THAT THE BID BE CONSIDERED AS CORRECTED SO THAT IF THE CORRECTED BID IS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID RECEIVED THE GOVERNMENT MAY HAVE THE BENEFIT OF IT.

THIS EXCEPTION, HOWEVER, DOES NOT EXTEND TO PERMITTING A BIDDER TO RECALCULATE AND CHANGE HIS BID TO INCLUDE FACTORS WHICH HE DID NOT HAVE IN MIND WHEN HIS BID WAS SUBMITTED, OR AS TO WHICH HE HAS SINCE CHANGED HIS MIND. 17 COMP. GEN. 575. HERE IT APPEARS THAT THE BID SUBMITTED WAS EXACTLY AS COMPUTED AND INTENDED, ALTHOUGH NOT WHAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD IT BEEN MORE THOROUGHLY CONSIDERED AND REVIEWED. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, CORRECTION MAY NOT BE PERMITTED, BUT THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE BIDS, COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THE TELEGRAMS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.