B-130802, FEB. 28, 1957

B-130802: Feb 28, 1957

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UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18. BY INVITATION NO. 167 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING 500 LINEAR FEET OF 4 INCH ASBESTOS-CEMENT PRESSURE PIPE. YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND READ AT THE BID OPENING. P. BALTZ AND SON APPARENTLY WAS BASED ON FURNISHING 3 INCH PIPE RATHER THAN 4 INCH PIPE AS REQUIRED. A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM THE COMPANY ALLEGING THAT ITS UNIT PRICE OF $0.97 PER FOOT WAS BASED ON FURNISHING 3 INCH PIPE AND NOT 4 INCH PIPE. THE COMPANY STATED THAT THE CORRECT PRICE FOR THE 4 INCH PIPE WAS $1.17 PER FOOT. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID. ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED.

B-130802, FEB. 28, 1957

TO MR. H. P. CAMPBELL, CONTRACTING OFFICER, UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH E. P. BALTZ AND SON, PORTLAND, OREGON, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON FEBRUARY 14, 1957.

BY INVITATION NO. 167 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING 500 LINEAR FEET OF 4 INCH ASBESTOS-CEMENT PRESSURE PIPE, ITEM 1, AND CERTAIN FITTINGS, SUBITEMS A TO F, INCLUSIVE. IN RESPONSE E. P. BALTZ AND SON SUBMITTED A BID DATED FEBRUARY 13, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, THE PRESSURE PIPE AT A PRICE OF $0.97 PER FOOT. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT EACH OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON THE PIPE QUOTED A PRICE OF $1.17 PER FOOT.

IN A MEMORANDUM TO FILES DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1957, YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND READ AT THE BID OPENING, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE JOHNS-MANSVILLE SALES CORPORATION, THE ONLY BIDDER PRESENT, MADE THE STATEMENT THAT THE BID PRICE OF $0.97 PER FOOT QUOTED BY E. P. BALTZ AND SON APPARENTLY WAS BASED ON FURNISHING 3 INCH PIPE RATHER THAN 4 INCH PIPE AS REQUIRED; AND THAT BEFORE A LETTER OF INQUIRY COULD BE MAILED TO THE COMPANY, A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM THE COMPANY ALLEGING THAT ITS UNIT PRICE OF $0.97 PER FOOT WAS BASED ON FURNISHING 3 INCH PIPE AND NOT 4 INCH PIPE.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1957, THE COMPANY STATED THAT THE CORRECT PRICE FOR THE 4 INCH PIPE WAS $1.17 PER FOOT. WITH ITS LETTER THE COMPANY FURNISHED A COPY OF A DISTRIBUTOR'S PRICE SCHEDULE WHICH SPECIFIES FOR 325 FOOT HEAD TRANSITE IRRIGATION PIPE IN LCL LOTS, A LIST PRICE OF $0.97 PER FOOT FOR THE 3 INCH SIZE PIPE AND A LIST PRICE OF $1.17 PER FOOT FOR THE 4 INCH SIZE PIPE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE ENTIRE BID OF E. P. BALTZ AND SON SHOULD BE DISREGARDED, IT NOT BEING LOW ON ANY OF THE OTHER ITEMS. IN ANY EVENT, IT IS NOTED THAT THE PERIOD FOR ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID OF E. P. BALTZ AND SON EXPIRED ON FEBRUARY 24, 1957.

THE ORIGINAL BID OF E. P. BALTZ AND SON IS RETURNED. THE OTHER PAPERS IN THE CASE ARE BEING RETAINED.