B-132887, AUG. 20, 1957

B-132887: Aug 20, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9. IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID. BIDS WERE SOLICITED ON A JOB BASIS "FOR FURNISHING ALL LABOR. THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE JOB WERE SET ON PAGES 6 AND 7 OF THE INVITATION. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THESE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 10:00 A.M. THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CAROLINA VENTILATED AWNING COMPANY WAS PRESENT AT THE OPENING. INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED THAT BY CLOSE FIGURING THE FABRICATION OF THESE AWNINGS ALONE WOULD APPROXIMATE $1. THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED. SINCE YOU HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE LOW BID OF THE CHARLOTTE WEATHER STRIP COMPANY WAS ERRONEOUS AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-132887, AUG. 20, 1957

TO MR. H. E. JOHNSTON, CONTRACTING OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THERE MAY BE DISREGARDED A BID SUBMITTED BY THE CHARLOTTE METAL WEATHER STRIP COMPANY, 524 EAST TRADE STREET, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, PURSUANT TO INVITATION NO. 58 20, IN VIEW OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID.

BY INVITATION NO. 58-20, DATED JULY 24, 1957, MAILED TO SIX POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS, BIDS WERE SOLICITED ON A JOB BASIS "FOR FURNISHING ALL LABOR, MATERIAL, SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO FABRICATE AND INSTALL 30 SLAT TYPE ALUMINUM AWNINGS ON ATTENDANT'S QUARTERS, BUILDING NO. 15 AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL WITH THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATIONS.' THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE JOB WERE SET ON PAGES 6 AND 7 OF THE INVITATION. ONLY TWO BIDDERS RESPONDED TO THIS INVITATION. THE CHARLOTTE METAL WEATHER STRIP COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OF $1,292.88 FOR THE JOB, AND THE CAROLINA VENTILATED AWNING COMPANY, SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA, SUBMITTED A BID FOR THE JOB OF $1,795.10.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THESE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 10:00 A.M., AUGUST 5, 1957, AS SCHEDULED, IN THE PRESENCE OF REQUIRED WITNESSES, AND THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CAROLINA VENTILATED AWNING COMPANY WAS PRESENT AT THE OPENING. UPON HEARING THE LOW BID OF THE CHARLOTTE METAL WEATHER STRIP COMPANY QUOTED, THIS REPRESENTATIVE COMMENTED THAT SOME MISTAKE HAD APPARENTLY BEEN MADE IN THE PRICE SINCE HIS FIRM DID THE MANUFACTURING FOR THAT COMPANY AND THE AWNINGS, AS SPECIFIED, COULD ONLY BE MANUFACTURED AND INSTALLED AT THE PRICE QUOTED AT CONSIDERABLE LOSS TO THE BIDDER. YOU STATE THAT THIS PROMPTED A TELEPHONE CALL TO THE CHARLOTTE METAL WEATHER STRIP COMPANY TO CONFIRM THE PRICE FURNISHED, WHEREUPON MR. FRANK KOVEY, OWNER, RESPONDED BY A PERSONAL VISIT ON AUGUST 6, 1957. AT THAT TIME, HE ALLEGED A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE AND REQUESTED CONSIDERATION FOR WITHDRAWAL OF HIS COMPANY'S BID. HE CLAIMED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS HAD BEEN MISINTERPRETED. ALSO, HE ADMITTED HIS ERROR IN NOT VISITING THE HOSPITAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING "ON SITE" MEASUREMENTS AS INDICATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND HIS NEGLIGENCE IN FAILING TO STUDY MORE THOROUGHLY THESE SPECIFICATIONS PRIOR TO THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF THE COMPANY'S BID. YOU ALSO STATE THAT IN CHECKING WITH THE CAROLINA VENTILATED AWNING COMPANY, PURPORTEDLY THE SOLE MANUFACTURER STATE-WIDE OF THIS TYPE OF AWNING, INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED THAT BY CLOSE FIGURING THE FABRICATION OF THESE AWNINGS ALONE WOULD APPROXIMATE $1,400. ALSO, BY CLOSE FIGURING THE INSTALLATION COULD BE COMPLETED IN APPROXIMATELY TWO DAYS WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THREE MEN AT AN AVERAGE OF $2.50 PER MAN HOUR.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOU HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE LOW BID OF THE CHARLOTTE WEATHER STRIP COMPANY WAS ERRONEOUS AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD. IN THE EVENT AN AWARD IS MADE TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION NO. 58-20, A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE CONTRACT OR VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT IN THE MATTER.