B-135033, FEB. 5, 1958

B-135033: Feb 5, 1958

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FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 5005. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE FHA OFFICE IN FORT WORTH. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE LOW BIDDER WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM OF JANUARY 7. THERE IS NO ITEM COVERING THE REQUIRED FENCE AND THE COST OF THE FENCE COULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN ANY SINGLE ITEM AS THE LARGEST IS $1. IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW WHAT HIS BID PRICE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD THE COST OF THE FENCE BEEN INCLUDED. IT WAS STATED THAT IT HAS BEEN HIS PRACTICE TO ADD 10 PERCENT TO THE SUBCONTRACTOR'S FENCE PRICE. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS ALLEGED.

B-135033, FEB. 5, 1958

TO OSBORNE KOERNER, CONTRACTING OFFICER, GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24, 1958, REQUESTING THE DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY N. E. ARCHIE AND SON LANDSCAPE CO., TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 5005, OPENED ON DECEMBER 20, 1957.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR SPECIFIED SITE IMPROVEMENTS AT THE FHA HOUSING PROJECT, WESTHAVEN APARTMENTS, FORT WORTH, TEXAS, INCLUDING FINISHED GRADING, SOIL TREATMENT, FENCING, LAWN CONSTRUCTION, PLANTING OF TREES AND VINES, AND RELATED ITEMS. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE FHA OFFICE IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS, ESTIMATED THE COST OF THE PROPOSED WORK AT $12,000.

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. N. E. ARCHIE AND SON LANDSCAPE CO., QUOTED A PRICE OF $8,998. THE OTHER BIDDER QUOTED $13,987.

IN VIEW OF THE WIDE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW BID ON THE ONE HAND AND THE HIGH BID AND THE FHA ESTIMATE ON THE OTHER, THE LOW BIDDER WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM OF JANUARY 7, 1958, TO VERIFY HIS BID PRICE. BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 8, 1958, THE BIDDER ADVISED THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE IN HIS BID IN THAT THE COST OF THE CHAIN LINK FENCE, $2,750, HAD BEEN OMITTED. IN RESPONSE TO REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED HIS ESTIMATE SHEET AND A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 3, 1957, ADDRESSED TO HIM FROM THE ALLIED FENCE CO., INC., FORT WORTH, TEXAS, CONTAINING A QUOTATION OFFERING TO FURNISH AND INSTALL ALL MATERIALS ON THE CHAIN LINK FENCE REQUIREMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH FHA WESTHAVEN APARTMENTS PROJECT IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATIONS AND REGULATIONS, TO HIS AND THE GOVERNMENT'S SATISFACTION FOR $2,750.

THE ESTIMATE SHEET CONTAINS INDIVIDUAL PRICES FOR PLANTING VARIOUS TYPES OF TREES AND SHRUBBERY, FURNISHING TOP SOIL, PEAT MOSS, SEED, FERTILIZER, LABOR FOR VARIOUS ITEMS OF WORK, ETC. THE ITEMS TOTAL $8,998, THE AMOUNT OF THE BID PRICE. THERE IS NO ITEM COVERING THE REQUIRED FENCE AND THE COST OF THE FENCE COULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN ANY SINGLE ITEM AS THE LARGEST IS $1,520, AND COVERS THE FURNISHING OF 76 AMERICAN ELMS AT $20 PER TREE.

IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW WHAT HIS BID PRICE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD THE COST OF THE FENCE BEEN INCLUDED, IT WAS STATED THAT IT HAS BEEN HIS PRACTICE TO ADD 10 PERCENT TO THE SUBCONTRACTOR'S FENCE PRICE, AND IN SUPPORT THEREOF HE SUBMITTED AN ESTIMATE AND RECORD OF PAYMENTS ON ANOTHER JOB WHERE HE HAD DONE SO.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE, THE EVIDENCE REASONABLY ESTABLISHES THAT EXCEPT FOR THE ERROR THE BID WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE AMOUNT OF $12,023, WHICH IS STILL SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER BID RECEIVED. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF N. E. ARCHIE AND SON LANDSCAPE CO. MAY BE CORRECTED TO READ $12,023 AND THE BID, AS SO CORRECTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.