B-132271, JUL. 8, 1957

B-132271: Jul 8, 1957

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 18. ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 3070-56 (S) IS BASED. THE BID PRICES OF THE OTHER TWO BIDDERS WERE ?415 AND ?44 EACH. WAS CALLED TO VERIFY ITS BID AND BY RETURN MAIL CONFIRMED IT. THE LAW IS WELL SETTLED THAT A BIDDER IS NOT ENTITLED TO RELIEF FOR ANY MISTAKE WHICH IS DUE SOLELY TO THE BIDDER'S OVERSIGHT. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT HAVE ANY NOTICE THAT THE BIDDER FAILED TO INCLUDE COST OF OVERSEAS PACKING IN ITS BID PRICE. THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THE NATURE OF THE MISTAKE AND BY REQUESTING VERIFICATION. THE CONTRACTOR IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY REDRESS FOR ITS UNILATERAL MISTAKE.

B-132271, JUL. 8, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 18, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY (LOGISTICS), WHO REQUESTS A DECISION REGARDING AN ERROR LEWIS AND REIF INC., SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 3070-56 (S) IS BASED.

INVITATION NO. SC-36-237-56-91, DATED FEBRUARY 13, 1957, SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING, IN OVERSEAS PACKAGING, 3390 ELECTRICAL CONDUIT ELBOWS. LEWIS AND REIF INC. BID $23.41 PER HUNDRED. THE BID PRICES OF THE OTHER TWO BIDDERS WERE ?415 AND ?44 EACH. THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE HAD MADE NO PREVIOUS PROCUREMENT OF THE ITEM, BUT BECAUSE OF THE VARIANCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE OTHER BIDS, LEWIS AND REIF INC. WAS CALLED TO VERIFY ITS BID AND BY RETURN MAIL CONFIRMED IT. TEN DAYS AFTER AWARD, THE CONTRACTOR STATED THAT IT HAD BASED ITS PRICE ON STANDARD PACKAGING AND THAT IT REQUIRED AN ADDITIONAL $185.77 FOR OVERSEAS PACKAGING. ON SUBSEQUENT OCCASIONS, THE CONTRACTOR INCREASED ITS CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT TO $378.90 AND THEN TO $395.27.

LEWIS AND REIF INC. ATTRIBUTES ITS FAILURE TO INCLUDE THE COST OF OVERSEAS PACKAGING IN ITS BID PRICE TO ITS OWN INADVERTENCE. THE LAW IS WELL SETTLED THAT A BIDDER IS NOT ENTITLED TO RELIEF FOR ANY MISTAKE WHICH IS DUE SOLELY TO THE BIDDER'S OVERSIGHT, CARELESSNESS OR NEGLIGENCE.

AT THE TIME OF AWARD, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT HAVE ANY NOTICE THAT THE BIDDER FAILED TO INCLUDE COST OF OVERSEAS PACKING IN ITS BID PRICE. WHILE PRIOR TO AWARD THE PRICE VARIANCE MADE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SUSPECT ERROR, THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID TO INDICATE THE NATURE OF THE MISTAKE AND BY REQUESTING VERIFICATION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID ALL THAT COULD REASONABLY BE EXPECTED OF HIM. THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID AFTER VERIFICATION BY THE BIDDER CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. SEE 18 COMP. GEN. 942 AND 27 ID. 17.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CONTRACTOR IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY REDRESS FOR ITS UNILATERAL MISTAKE.