B-134005, OCT. 15, 1957

B-134005: Oct 15, 1957

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4. TO HAVE BEEN MADE ON ITEMS NOS. 63 AND 64 OF HIS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION ON SPECIFICATIONS NO. RELATING TO CERTAIN INSULATORS AND CONDUCTORS WAS MADE AN ALTERNATE TO THE GROUP OF ITEMS NOS. 108. THE NEXT LOW BID IS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $294. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE WAS $282. THAT AS A RESULT OF THE ERROR HIS TOTAL BID PRICE WAS $2. THE COST PER DAY OF CARPENTERS WAS $28.80. IN ESTIMATING THE AMOUNTS WERE ROUNDED OFF AS $29. THAT SUCH FIGURES WERE USED IN COMPUTING THE COST OF LABOR FOR THE VARIOUS ITEMS. EXCEPT THAT ON ITEMS NOS. 63 AND 64 A DAILY WAGE OF $26 FOR CARPENTERS WAS USED RATHER THAN $29.

B-134005, OCT. 15, 1957

TO MR. L. N. MCCLELLAN, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE CORRECTION OF AN ERROR ALLEGED BY EARL M. GEHRING, DOING BUSINESS AS GEHRING CONSTRUCTION CO., TO HAVE BEEN MADE ON ITEMS NOS. 63 AND 64 OF HIS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION ON SPECIFICATIONS NO. DC-4914.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS TO BE OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1957, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENCES, STREETS, UTILITIES AND POWER FACILITIES FOR THE GOVERNMENT COMMUNITY AT NAVAJO DAM, NAVAJO UNIT, COLORADO-NEW MEXICO, SAN JUAN DIVISION, COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT. THE SCHEDULE OF THE SPECIFICATION, FOR PURPOSES OF BID COMPARISON AND CONTRACT PAYMENTS, DIVIDED THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED AND THE MATERIALS TO BE FURNISHED INTO 110 ITEMS REQUIRING, IN MOST INSTANCES, THE QUOTING OF UNIT PRICES ON ESTIMATED QUANTITIES AND, IN OTHER INSTANCES, LUMP SUM PRICES. THE GROUP OF ITEMS, NOS. 79, 80, 97 AND 98, RELATING TO CERTAIN INSULATORS AND CONDUCTORS WAS MADE AN ALTERNATE TO THE GROUP OF ITEMS NOS. 108, 109 AND 110, WITH THE AWARD TO INCLUDE ONLY ONE OF EITHER OF SUCH GROUPS.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, GEHRING CONSTRUCTION CO. SUBMITTED A BID IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $258,074.83 ON THE BASIS OF ALTERNATE GROUP OF ITEMS NOS. 79, 80, 97 AND 98. THE NEXT LOW BID IS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $294,584.09, AND THE SEVERAL OTHER BIDS RECEIVED RANGE ON UP TO $381,663.57. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE WAS $282,265.00.

BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 24, 1957, MR. GEHRING ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN COMPUTING AND QUOTING HIS BID PRICES FOR THE RESIDENCES AND THE WASHHOUSE (ITEMS NOS. 63 AND 64), IN THAT HE HAD ERRONEOUSLY USED A WAGE RATE FOR CARPENTERS OF $26 PER DAY RATHER THAN $29 PER DAY AS INTENDED, AND THAT AS A RESULT OF THE ERROR HIS TOTAL BID PRICE WAS $2,114.85 LOWER THAN HE HAD INTENDED. THE BIDDER REQUESTED THAT THE BID BE CORRECTED BY THE AMOUNT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR. BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1957, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED HIS WORKSHEETS AND OTHER EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR.

THE BIDDER ALLEGES THAT IN FIGURING LABOR COST HE USED AS A BASIS THE MINIMUM WAGES REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS TO BE PAID EMPLOYEES, PLUS 10 PERCENT FOR TAXES, ETC., BUT OPERATING ON A BASIS OF 48 HOURS PER WEEK. ON THAT BASIS, THE COST PER DAY OF CARPENTERS WAS $28.80, LABORERS $18.80, ROOFERS $22.65, ETC., AND IN ESTIMATING THE AMOUNTS WERE ROUNDED OFF AS $29, $19, AND $23, AND THAT SUCH FIGURES WERE USED IN COMPUTING THE COST OF LABOR FOR THE VARIOUS ITEMS, EXCEPT THAT ON ITEMS NOS. 63 AND 64 A DAILY WAGE OF $26 FOR CARPENTERS WAS USED RATHER THAN $29. THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BEARS OUT THE BIDDER'S CONTENTION IN THIS REGARD.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT THE BIDDER MADE AN ERROR IN USING $26 PER DAY AS THE COST FOR CARPENTERS ON ITEMS 63 AND 64, AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE, SINCE THE WAGE RATES SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION ARE THE MINIMUM WAGES REQUIRED TO BE PAID UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT, IT APPEARS CLEAR THAT EXCEPT FOR THE ERROR, THE TOTAL BID WOULD HAVE BEEN $2,114.85 MORE THAN SUBMITTED.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED ESTABLISHING THE ERROR AND WHAT THE BID WOULD HAVE BEEN EXCEPT FOR THE ERROR, THE BID OF GEHRING CONSTRUCTION CO., MAY BE CORRECTED BY ADDING $2,044.12 TO ITEM 63 AND $70.73 TO ITEM 64, MAKING A TOTAL BID OF $260,189.68, WHICH IS STILL SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOWEST BID. THE BID, AS SO CORRECTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.