B-134881, JAN. 27, 1958

B-134881: Jan 27, 1958

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 10. THIS DECISION IS ADDRESSED TO YOU SINCE THE CONTRACT IN QUESTION HAS ALREADY BEEN AWARDED. 26 COMP. "SINCE THE EQUIPMENT WAS URGENTLY NEEDED AND THE CORRECTED BID PRICES WERE STILL THE LOWEST PRICES AT WHICH THE EQUIPMENT COULD BE PURCHASED. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD. ACCEPTANCE WAS CONDITIONED AS STATED.

B-134881, JAN. 27, 1958

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 10, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM MR. W. E. CORBIN, CHIEF, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING THE CORRECTION OF A BID MISTAKE AND REFORMATION OF CONTRACT 14-17-003-18 FOR GENERATORS, AWARDED TO CONSOLIDATED SALES COMPANY, INC.

THIS DECISION IS ADDRESSED TO YOU SINCE THE CONTRACT IN QUESTION HAS ALREADY BEEN AWARDED. 26 COMP. GEN. 993; 28 ID. 401.

THE LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1958, STATES IN PART:

"SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF BIDS UNDER INVITATION CF3-7 BUT PRIOR TO AWARD OF CONTRACT, THE CONSOLIDATED SALES CO., INC. ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THEIR BID PRICE FOR ITEMS 2 AND 3. THEY STATED IN THEIR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1957 THAT THEIR PRICE SHOULD BE $1191.70 INSTEAD OF $891.70 ON ITEM 2 AND $1196.50 INSTEAD OF $896.50 ON ITEM 3 AND REQUESTED THAT EITHER THE PRICES BE CHANGED ACCORDINGLY OR THAT THEIR QUOTATION BE WITHDRAWN.

"SINCE THE EQUIPMENT WAS URGENTLY NEEDED AND THE CORRECTED BID PRICES WERE STILL THE LOWEST PRICES AT WHICH THE EQUIPMENT COULD BE PURCHASED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AWARDED A CONTRACT ON OCTOBER 14, 1957 TO THE COMPANY AT THE ORIGINAL PRICES BID WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITION, "ITEMS 2 AND 3 CONDITIONALLY ACCEPTED SUBJECT TO INCREASE CONTINGENT UPON APPROVAL BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED SHOWING BID MISTAKE JUSTIFYING PAYMENT AT $1191.70 EACH FOR ITEM 2 AND $1196.50 EACH FOR ITEM 3.'"

THE COMPANY ALLEGED IN LETTER DATED OCTOBER 7, 1957, FROM MR. R. J. TACKABURY THAT THE ERROR OCCURRED IN DETERMINING ITS BID PRICE BY APPLYING A MULTIPLE FACTOR OF 40 TO THE LIST PRICE OF $1,988, INSTEAD OF A FACTOR OF 60. IN CONFIRMATION OF THESE ALLEGATIONS THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A COPY OF THEIR BILLING RECEIVED, AFTER THE GENERATORS HAD BEEN SHIPPED, FROM D. W. ONAN AND SONS, THEIR SUPPLIER.

MOREOVER, THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS DISCLOSES A WIDE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE BID PRICES OF THE COMPANY AND THE OTHER BIDDERS, THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 2 UNDER THE INVITATION RANGING FROM $1,533.25 TO $1,234.18, AND ON ITEM 3 FROM $1,537.25 TO $1,233.56. THESE BIDS INCLUDED A BID RECEIVED FROM D. W. ONAN AND SONS, THE SUPPLIER FOR CONSOLIDATED, OF $1,265.10 ON ITEM 2, AND $1,271.10 ON ITEM 3.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED. THE MATTER APPEARS TO FALL WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE BASIC RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. CF. 31 COMP. GEN. 183. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD, AND ACCEPTANCE WAS CONDITIONED AS STATED, AND SINCE THE ACTUAL MISTAKE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AND THE INTENDED BID REMAINS THE LOWEST RECEIVED, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT TO CONSOLIDATED SALES COMPANY ON THE BASIS OF THEIR CORRECTED BID FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT CLAIMED. SEE B-129582, OCTOBER 30, 1956; B-103782, AUGUST 10, 1951; B- 128583, JULY 18, 1956.