B-132822, AUG. 13, 1957

B-132822: Aug 13, 1957

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IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BID. TWO OTHER BIDS ALSO WERE RECEIVED PURSUANT TO THIS INVITATION. AT THE REQUEST OF YOUR PLANT ENGINEERING BRANCH A PREAWARD MEETING WAS HELD ON MAY 29. AT THAT MEETING IT WAS INDICATED BY MR. HUBSCHER THAT PERHAPS AN ERROR WAS MADE BY THE COMPANY IN THEIR BID. IN FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE COMPANY ALLEGED ERROR ON WHICH REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THEIR BID WAS BASED. EDWIN PICKENS MADE THE ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK TO BE INSTALLED IN THE DOG ROOMS HE WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE CAGES IN THE ROOMS WERE NOT PERMANENTLY INSTALLED (BUT WERE BELTED AT THE TOP. THAT HE HAD SEEN A COUPLE OF CAGES IN ROOM 402 THAT HAD WHEELS MAKING THEM PORTABLE AND THAT HE HAD THOUGHT THAT ALL CAGES WERE THE SAME.

B-132822, AUG. 13, 1957

TO MR. R. J. COLTON, CONTRACTING OFFICER, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:

IN LETTER OF JULY 30, 1957 (REF. DV 3588), WITH ENCLOSURES, YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THERE MAY BE DISREGARDED A BID SUBMITTED BY CERAMIC TILE COMPANY IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 657-5 24-57, DATED MAY 10, 1957, FOR BIDS TO FURNISH ALL MATERIALS, LABOR AND EQUIPMENT TO INSTALL CERAMIC TILE ON THE WALLS OF ROOMS 402, 404, 408, 409, 410, AND 412, BUILDING 3, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, BETHESDA 14, MARYLAND, IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BID.

BY BID DATED MAY 20, 1957, SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO THE INVITATION, CERAMIC TILE COMPANY, HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND, OFFERED TO FURNISH ALL LABOR, EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS, AND PERFORM ALL WORK FOR THE "INSTALLATION OF CERAMIC TILE WALLS IN ROOMS 402-404-409-410 AND 412" OF BUILDING 3, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $5,915. TWO OTHER BIDS ALSO WERE RECEIVED PURSUANT TO THIS INVITATION, IN AMOUNTS OF $7,929 AND $7,999.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AFTER OPENING OF BIDS ON MAY 24, 1957, AT THE REQUEST OF YOUR PLANT ENGINEERING BRANCH A PREAWARD MEETING WAS HELD ON MAY 29, 1957, WITH MR. HUBSCHER OF CERAMIC TILE COMPANY--- THE LOW BIDDER- -- TO DETERMINE THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE WORK TO BE DONE. AT THAT MEETING IT WAS INDICATED BY MR. HUBSCHER THAT PERHAPS AN ERROR WAS MADE BY THE COMPANY IN THEIR BID. BY LETTER OF JULY 3, 1957, MR. HUBSCHER CONFIRMED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND REQUESTED THAT THEIR BID BE WITHDRAWN AS THEY FELT THAT THEY HAD MISINTERPRETED THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE INVITATION AND THAT AFTER VISITING THE SITE AND INSPECTING THE DOG CAGES THEY KNOW THEY COULD NOT DO THE TILE WORK AND HANDLE THE CAGES FOR THE AMOUNT OF THEIR BID. ALSO, IN LETTER OF JULY 19, IN FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE COMPANY ALLEGED ERROR ON WHICH REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THEIR BID WAS BASED, MR. HUBSCHER STATED THAT WHEN THEIR MR. EDWIN PICKENS MADE THE ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK TO BE INSTALLED IN THE DOG ROOMS HE WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE CAGES IN THE ROOMS WERE NOT PERMANENTLY INSTALLED (BUT WERE BELTED AT THE TOP, SIDES AND BOTTOM), THAT HE HAD SEEN A COUPLE OF CAGES IN ROOM 402 THAT HAD WHEELS MAKING THEM PORTABLE AND THAT HE HAD THOUGHT THAT ALL CAGES WERE THE SAME. MR. HUBSCHER STATED THAT THE COMPANY COULD DO THE TILE AND PLASTER WORK FOR THE PRICE QUOTED IN THEIR BID BUT THEY COULD NOT REMOVE AND REINSTALL THE CAGES FOR THAT AMOUNT.

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT IN EXAMINING THE THREE BIDS SUBMITTED FOR THE PROJECT THERE WAS IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZED THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID OF CERAMIC TILE COMPANY, AND IT IS NOTED THAT AT A PREAWARD MEETING A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY CONFIRMED THAT SUSPICION. ALSO, THE COMPANY IMMEDIATELY ADVISED YOU THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID AND SUBMITTED A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF HOW THE ERROR OCCURRED.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT CERAMIC TILE COMPANY MISINTERPRETED THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE INVITATION AND MADE AN ERROR IN THEIR BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE COMPANY MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD. IN THE EVENT AN AWARD IS MADE TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER THE INVITATION NO. 657-5-24-57, A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE CONTRACT OR VOUCHERS COVERING ..END :