B-134411, NOV. 25, 1957

B-134411: Nov 25, 1957

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TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15. MAY BE MODIFIED SO AS TO CORRECT CERTAIN ERRORS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE THEREIN. PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF UNITY RANGER STATION RESIDENCE NO. WHEREIN THE FOLLOWING PRICES WERE QUOTED: CHART ITEM NO. 1 DESCRIPTION OF WORK AMOUNT A CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENCE R-3-9 $18. 300 IT IS APPARENT. - IS $39. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTICED "WHAT APPEARED TO BE AN OBVIOUS ERROR" IN THE CONTRACTOR'S QUOTATION ON ITEM NO. 2C AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE BEING TABULATED SHORTLY AFTER THEIR OPENING ON OCTOBER 1. THE ERRORS FIRST WERE ALLEGED BY THE CONTRACTOR ON OCTOBER 1. THAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE FOR ITEM NO. 2C WAS $19.

B-134411, NOV. 25, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER CONTRACT NO. 12-11-006; 27101, DATED OCTOBER 4, 1957, WITH THE MANN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, REDMOND, OREGON, MAY BE MODIFIED SO AS TO CORRECT CERTAIN ERRORS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE THEREIN.

BY BID NO. 120, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 10, 1957, BY THE REGIONAL SUPPLY OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE, PORTLAND, OREGON, PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF UNITY RANGER STATION RESIDENCE NO. R-3-9 AND HALFWAY RANGER STATION RESIDENCE NO. R-6-7, AS SPECIFIED, AT SITES LOCATED IN THE WALLOWA-WHITMAN NATIONAL FOREST, OREGON. IN RESPONSE THERETO, THE MANN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS BID DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1957, WHEREIN THE FOLLOWING PRICES WERE QUOTED:

CHART

ITEM NO. 1 DESCRIPTION OF WORK AMOUNT

A CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENCE R-3-9 $18,600

B INSTALLATION OF SEPTIC TANK

DRAINAGE, AND WATER LINES 900

C TOTAL LUMP SUM BID FOR ITEM 1 $19,500

ITEM NO. 2

A CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENCE R-6-7 $18,600

B INSTALLATION OF SEPTIC TANK

DRAINAGE, AND WATER LINES1,100

C TOTAL LUMP SUM BID FOR ITEM 2 $17,700

ITEM NO. 3 TOTAL LUMP SUM OFFER (AGGREGATE)

FOR ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 $38,300

IT IS APPARENT, OF COURSE, THAT ITEM NO. 2 OF THE ABOVE BID TOTALS $19,700, INSTEAD OF $17,700 AS LISTED, AND THAT THE AGGREGATE OF BOTH ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2--- WITHOUT REGARD TO THE TOTALS LISTED BY THE BIDDER--- IS $39,200, INSTEAD OF $38,300, AS QUOTED FOR ITEM NO. 3.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTICED "WHAT APPEARED TO BE AN OBVIOUS ERROR" IN THE CONTRACTOR'S QUOTATION ON ITEM NO. 2C AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE BEING TABULATED SHORTLY AFTER THEIR OPENING ON OCTOBER 1, 1957. THE ERRORS FIRST WERE ALLEGED BY THE CONTRACTOR ON OCTOBER 1, WHEN HE CALLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF THE BIDDING. ON THAT OCCASION, IT APPEARS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTIFIED THE BIDDER OF THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENTION TO AWARD HIM THE CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF ITS AGGREGATE LUMP SUM BID PRICE OF $38,300 ON ITEM NO. 3.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER, ALSO DATED OCTOBER 1, 1957, THE CONTRACTOR STATED, UNDER OATH, THAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE FOR ITEM NO. 2C WAS $19,700, AND THAT HIS BID ON ITEM NO. 3 WAS INTENDED TO REPRESENT THE TOTAL OF ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2, OR $39,200. IN THE SAID LETTER, THE CONTRACTOR FURNISHED THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION AS TO HOW THE ALLEGED ERRORS OCCURRED:

"AS YOU KNOW, WE HAVE BID SEVERAL 2 AR AND 4A RESIDENCES FOR THE FOREST SERVICE. IN EACH CASE, WE USED THE SAME COST ESTIMATE, ALLOWING DIFFERENCES ONLY FOR LOCATION; THEREFORE, WE HAD NO PARTICULAR WORK SHEETS ON THIS JOB. I WROTE THE FIGURES IN PENCIL THAT I INTENDED TO USE ON THE BID FORM ITSELF AND HANDED IT TO MY SECRETARY TO TYPE. SHE ERASED THE PENCIL FIGURES AND WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE TYPED THE SAME FIGURES I HAD WRITTEN IN PENCIL. PERHAPS SHE MISREAD OR INADVERTENTLY TYPED THE WRONG FIGURES AFTER ERASING THE PENCILED FIGURES. SHE TYPED THIS RATHER HURRIEDLY, SO THAT I COULD GET MY BID TO THE POST OFFICE TO BE POST MARKED BEFORE CLOSING TIME. AS ANY SELF METERED MAIL IS NOT POST MARKED BY THE POST OFFICE UNLESS REQUESTED.'

ADDITIONAL BIDDING DATA FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN CONNECTION WITH PRIOR CONSTRUCTION JOBS PERFORMED BY HIM FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WOULD TEND TO CONFIRM HIS ALLEGATION THAT IT INVARIABLY HAS BEEN HIS BIDDING PRACTICE TO QUOTE AN AGGREGATE OR LUMP SUM PRICE WHICH TOTALS THE AMOUNTS QUOTED ON THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS BID UPON.

CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT THE ERRORS HERE ALLEGED WERE APPARENT FROM A SUPERFICIAL EXAMINATION OF THE CONTRACTOR'S BID, AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD ACTUAL NOTICE OF SUCH ERRORS AT THE TIME HE AWARDED THE CONTRACT ON OCTOBER 4, 1957, NO OBJECTION WILL BE INTERPOSED BY US TO THE MODIFICATION OF CONTRACT NO. 12-11-006; 27101 TO CONFORM TO THE CONTRACTOR'S INTENDED BID PRICES ON ITEMS NOS. 2C AND 3.