B-134976, JAN. 31, 1958

B-134976: Jan 31, 1958

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 20. BOTH OF THOSE QUOTATIONS WERE PENCILED OUT AND THE FIGURE $4. A NEW FIGURE WAS PLACED IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE ORIGINAL WHICH. WAS PENCILED OUT AND A THIRD FIGURE PLACED ABOVE IT. WE THINK THERE IS A BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT THE QUOTED PRICE OF $4. 285 WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO ITEM 76 AND NOT 75. WE FEEL THAT THE MANNER IN WHICH THE BID WAS INSERTED CREATED SUCH A DOUBT AS TO WHICH ITEM THE BIDDER INTENDED TO BID UPON THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND. THE BID OF THE TAYLOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AS TO ITEM 75 SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT VERIFICATION.

B-134976, JAN. 31, 1958

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 20, 1958, FROM THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (LOGISTICS), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE TAYLOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, BETHESDA, MARYLAND, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO BID INVITATION NO. 44-008-S-58-46, DATED OCTOBER 2, 1957.

BY THE AFOREMENTIONED INVITATION TO BID THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL OFFICE, FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED OCTOBER 23, 1957--- FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF 108 ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT DESCRIBED THEREIN. IN RESPONSE, THE TAYLOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID FROM WHICH IT APPEARS THAT IT HAD INITIALLY MARKED THE INVITATION IN INK, BIDDING $450 ON ITEM 75 AND $2,000 ON ITEM 76. BOTH OF THOSE QUOTATIONS WERE PENCILED OUT AND THE FIGURE $4,285.00 INSERTED BETWEEN ITEMS 75 AND 76.

UPON RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF AWARD OF ITEM 75 FOR THE PRICE OF $4,285, THE TAYLOR COMPANY ADVISED BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1957, THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID; THAT IT HAD INTENDED TO BID ON ITEM 76, A CRANE-SHOVEL, BUT HAD INADVERTENTLY PLACED ITS BID PRICE OPPOSITE ITEM 75, A 4-WHEEL TRACTOR. THE COMPANY REQUESTED, IN EFFECT, THAT IT BE RELEASED FROM ANY OBLIGATION UNDER ITS BID AS TO ITEM 75.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE BID OF THE TAYLOR COMPANY SHOWS THAT, IN ADDITION TO ITEMS 75 AND 76, THE COMPANY HAD PENCILED OUT THE ORIGINAL INK QUOTATIONS ON ITEMS 40, 80, AND 97. AS TO ITEM 97, A NEW FIGURE WAS PLACED IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE ORIGINAL WHICH, IN TURN, WAS PENCILED OUT AND A THIRD FIGURE PLACED ABOVE IT, THE LAST FIGURE BEING PLACED OPPOSITE THE DESCRIPTIVE PORTION OF ITEM 96. HOWEVER, IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE THIRD FIGURE REPRESENTS THE BIDDER'S QUOTATION FOR ITEM 97. LIKEWISE, SINCE A SECOND FIGURE HAD BEEN DELETED ABOVE THE ORIGINAL QUOTATION FOR ITEM 76 AND A THIRD PLACED ABOVE THAT, OPPOSITE THE DESCRIPTION OF ITEM 75, WE THINK THERE IS A BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT THE QUOTED PRICE OF $4,285 WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO ITEM 76 AND NOT 75, AS ALLEGED BY THE TAYLOR COMPANY. IN ANY EVENT, WE FEEL THAT THE MANNER IN WHICH THE BID WAS INSERTED CREATED SUCH A DOUBT AS TO WHICH ITEM THE BIDDER INTENDED TO BID UPON THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE BID AND, THEREFORE, THE BID OF THE TAYLOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AS TO ITEM 75 SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT VERIFICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY UPON RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF AWARD, AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY HAS TAKEN NO FURTHER ACTION TOWARDS COMPLETION OF THE CONTRACT, IT MAY BE RELEASED FROM ITS OBLIGATION UNDER THE AGREEMENT, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED.