B-134604, DEC. 17, 1957

B-134604: Dec 17, 1957

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5. IS BASED. THE COMPANY'S BID WAS ACCEPTED JUNE 29. THE OTHER TWO BIDS RECEIVED WERE $8. WHICH WAS PREPARED APPROXIMATELY A YEAR PRIOR TO THE INVITATION. WAS $5. THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT AND. THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID. IT IS STATED THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SUM OF $6. 583 REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTOR AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE APPROVED APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR EARLIER BY HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY IS DEEMED TO BE READILY EXPLAINED BY THE CONTINUED COST RISE DURING THE YEAR IN THE STEEL AND LABOR MARKETS. WHICH IS LESS THAN THE NEXT LOW BID.

B-134604, DEC. 17, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR KEYSTONE STRUCTURAL STEEL COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. DA 28-013-AI-2053, DATED JUNE 29, 1957, IS BASED.

BY INVITATION NO. AI-28-013-57-77, DATED JUNE 11, 1957, THE POST PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICER, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF CATWALKS, RAILINGS, LADDERS, ETC., IN CENTRAL HEATING PLANT, BUILDING NO. 77, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY. THE KEYSTONE STRUCTURAL STEEL COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO DO THE JOB FOR $3,068. THE COMPANY'S BID WAS ACCEPTED JUNE 29, 1957.

BY LETTER OF JULY 3, 1957, THE CONTRACTOR NOTIFIED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN ITS BID IN THAT IT HAD USED THE FIGURE LISTED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF ITS WORKSHEET RATHER THAN TURNING THE SHEET OVER TO ARRIVE AT THE BID FIGURE OF $6,583, AND FURNISHED ITS WORKSHEETS ESTABLISHING THIS FACT. THE OTHER TWO BIDS RECEIVED WERE $8,753 AND $10,600. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, WHICH WAS PREPARED APPROXIMATELY A YEAR PRIOR TO THE INVITATION, WAS $5,260.

IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMPANY'S BID, AND OTHER BIDS AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT AND, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID. IN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT OF OCTOBER 24, 1957, IT IS STATED THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SUM OF $6,583 REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTOR AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE APPROVED APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR EARLIER BY HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY IS DEEMED TO BE READILY EXPLAINED BY THE CONTINUED COST RISE DURING THE YEAR IN THE STEEL AND LABOR MARKETS. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE CONTRACTOR HAS FURNISHED EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING THE PRICE, EXCEPT FOR THE ERROR, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO SHOW A PRICE OF $6,583, WHICH IS LESS THAN THE NEXT LOW BID. A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT OF OCTOBER 24, 1957, ARE RETURNED.