B-130808, FEB. 27, 1957

B-130808: Feb 27, 1957

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20. THE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 3:00 P.M. YOU REPORT THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. NOTIFIED THE DENVER PROCUREMENT OFFICE BY TELEPHONE THAT THEY WERE ALLEGING ERROR IN THEIR BID. STATING THAT THEIR BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3.16 PER SHEET INSTEAD OF THE BID PRICE OF $2.53 PER SHEET. THE ALLEGED ERROR WAS CONFIRMED BY LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12. THE FOUR BIDS SUBMITTED IN THIS CASE WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2.53. THUS THEIR BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3.16 PER SHEET. THERE IS A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT THE LOW BIDDER MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR. SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-130808, FEB. 27, 1957

TO MR. C.C. SCHADE, CONTRACTING OFFICER, GELOGICAL SURVEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATING TO A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED BY THE FRANK PAXTON LUMBER COMPANY, DENVER 16, COLORADO, UNDER INVITATION NO. 57-30, DATED JANUARY 30, 1957, ISSUED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION (ROCKY MOUNTAIN BRANCH), U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, DENVER 2, COLORADO. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN THE MATTER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY THE INDICATED INVITATION THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AT DENVER INVITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 675 SHEETS OF HARDBOARD, 1/8 INCH BY 4 FEET BY 10 FEET, DELIVERY TO BE F.O.B. YOUR DESTINATION AT DENVER, THE MATERIAL TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION NO. LLL-H-35, TYPE II. THE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 3:00 P.M., ON FEBRUARY 11, 1957. YOU REPORT THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION; THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE BID OPENING THE LOW BIDDER, THE FRANK PAXTON LUMBER COMPANY, NOTIFIED THE DENVER PROCUREMENT OFFICE BY TELEPHONE THAT THEY WERE ALLEGING ERROR IN THEIR BID, STATING THAT THEIR BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3.16 PER SHEET INSTEAD OF THE BID PRICE OF $2.53 PER SHEET. THE ALLEGED ERROR WAS CONFIRMED BY LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12, 1957.

THE FOUR BIDS SUBMITTED IN THIS CASE WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $2.53, $2.90, $2.93, AND $3.14 PER SHEET. THE LOW BIDDER EXPLAINED THE ALLEGED ERROR BY STATING THAT THEY USED A PRICE OF $79 PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET AND THAT INSTEAD OF FIGURING 40 FEET PER PIECE AS CALLED FOR BY THE BID INVITATION, THEY USED A FOOTAGE OF 4 FEET BY 8 FEET, OR 32 SQUARE FEET, AND THUS THEIR BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $3.16 PER SHEET.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES REPORTED, THERE IS A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT THE LOW BIDDER MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR, AND SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD HEREIN.