B-132451, JUL. 29, 1957

B-132451: Jul 29, 1957

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FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 3. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN HIS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. THE WORK INVOLVED WAS DIVIDED INTO 15 ITEMS FOR BIDDING AND PAYMENT PURPOSES. THE THREE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED WERE IN THE TOTAL AMOUNTS OF $29. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST WAS $31. CORRECT TOTAL FOR ITEM 2 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $4. IN VIEW THEREOF AND ALSO SINCE THE UNIT PRICE SHOWN WAS SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN WAS QUOTED BY OTHER BIDDERS AND ESTIMATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. PLUMB ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE AND THAT THE CORRECT UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 2 WAS $0.399 PER CUBIC YARD. WAS STILL SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID. IT WAS DECIDED TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO MR.

B-132451, JUL. 29, 1957

TO MR. W. E. CORBIN, CHIEF, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 3, 1957, CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY LEO PLUMB, WAPELLO, IOWA, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN HIS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FW3-2893, ISSUED BY THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, AND OPENED ON APRIL 16, 1957.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE REMOVAL OF EXISTING CONCRETE TANKS, KETTLES, PIPELINES AND OIL HOUSE, CONSTRUCTION OF PIPELINES, CONCRETE KETTLES AND FISH REARING PONDS WITH NECESSARY EARTH EXCAVATION, EMBANKMENT, AND MISCELLANEOUS GRADING AT THE U.S. FISH CULTURAL STATION, ABOUT ONE-HALF MILE EAST OF FAIRPORT, IOWA. THE WORK INVOLVED WAS DIVIDED INTO 15 ITEMS FOR BIDDING AND PAYMENT PURPOSES. ITEM 2 COVERS AN ESTIMATED 12,500 CUBIC YARDS OF EXCAVATION, COMPLETE AND IN PLACE. RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, LEO PLUMB SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 12, 1957, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE 15 ITEMS OF WORK FOR A TOTAL OF $22,516.10. THE THREE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED WERE IN THE TOTAL AMOUNTS OF $29,975.60, $33,241.90 AND $34,669.25. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST WAS $31,500.

IN CHECKING THE BIDS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTED THAT ON ITEM 2 THE UNIT PRICE OF $0.329 DID NOT AGREE WITH THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $3,737.50 SHOWN FOR THE ITEM. CORRECT TOTAL FOR ITEM 2 SHOULD HAVE BEEN $4,112.50 (12,500 TIMES $0.329). IN VIEW THEREOF AND ALSO SINCE THE UNIT PRICE SHOWN WAS SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN WAS QUOTED BY OTHER BIDDERS AND ESTIMATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, BY TELEGRAM DATED APRIL 17, 1957, REQUESTED MR. PLUMB TO CONFIRM THE UNIT PRICE AND THE EXTENDED TOTAL FOR ITEM 2, AND THE GRAND TOTAL FOR ALL 15 ITEMS. TELEGRAM DATED APRIL 18, MR. PLUMB ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE AND THAT THE CORRECT UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 2 WAS $0.399 PER CUBIC YARD, EXTENDED TO $4,987.50, MAKING THE TOTAL BID FOR ALL ITEMS $23,766.10. SINCE THE BIDDER HAD ALLOWED ONLY 10 DAYS FOR ACCEPTANCE AND SINCE THE BID, IF CORRECTED, WAS STILL SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID, IT WAS DECIDED TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO MR. PLUMB AT THE UNIT PRICE BID FOR ITEM 2 AFTER CORRECTION OF THE EXTENSION FOR THIS ITEM AND THE TOTAL FOR ALL ITEMS. THE AWARD AS MADE PROVIDES "THIS CONTRACT IS SUBJECT TO INCREASE UPON PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THE UNIT PRICE ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BE BID ON ITEM 2 AND IF SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL IS MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.'

THEREAFTER, THE CONTRACTOR SUBMITTED CERTAIN EVIDENCE AND EXPLAINED THAT ON ITEM 2 HE HAD RECEIVED A QUOTATION FROM A SUBCONTRACTOR OF $0.299 PER CUBIC YARD; THAT HE INSTRUCTED HIS SUPERINTENDENT TO ADD $0.10 TO THE SUBCONTRACTOR'S QUOTATION TO COVER INSURANCE, BOND EXPENSE AND OVERHEAD; AND THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT MISUNDERSTOOD AND INCREASED THE UNIT PRICE BY ONLY 10 PERCENT AND ALSO FAILED TO CHANGE THE EXTENDED AMOUNT TO CORRESPOND THEREWITH. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE APPEARS LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS ALLEGED.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED ESTABLISHING THAT AN ERROR WAS IN FACT MADE AS ALLEGED, AN AMENDMENT MAY BE MADE TO CONTRACT NO. 14-19-003-3371, INCREASING THE UNIT PRICE OF ITEM NO. 2 TO $0.399 PER CUBIC YARD, AS RECOMMENDED BY YOU AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT TO THE CONTRACT.

THE COPY OF THE CONTRACT INVOLVED IS RETURNED. THE OTHER PAPERS ARE BEING RETAINED HERE.