B-135911, MAY 1, 1958

B-135911: May 1, 1958

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BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 18. 955 BECAUSE THERE IS A PATENT AMBIGUITY ON ITEMS 2. THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO REVIEW THOSE BID PRICES. THE BIDDER RESPONDED THAT THE INTENDED PRICES WERE AS STATED IN THE "AMOUNT" COLUMN AND IT FURNISHED PHOTOSTATS OF WORKSHEETS. WHICH ARE SWORN TO BE TRUE COPIES. THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED FROM THE OTHER BIDDERS IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS SUBMITTED BY KAHN AND CO. WAS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $165. IS EVALUATED ON THE TOTAL OF THE "UNIT PRICE" COLUMN PLUS THE OTHER ITEMS INVOLVED UNDER THE INVITATION IT IS HIGHER THAN THE KAHN BID BY $1. WHEN IT IS EVALUATED ON THE TOTAL OF THE "AMOUNT" COLUMN.

B-135911, MAY 1, 1958

TO CAPTAIN R. A. WILLIAMS, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 18, 1958, REFERENCE R11.2 L4 -1 L4/NU3-7, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE BID OF FLIGHT SUPPORT, INC., METUCHEN, NEW JERSEY, MAY BE CORRECTED BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. IFB600-819-58, SOLICITING BIDS FOR FURNISHING HIGH PRESSURE PNEUMATIC ACCESSORY STANDS TO STATED DESTINATIONS, FLIGHT SUPPORT, INC., BID AS FOLLOWS:

CHART ITEM UNIT NO. DESTINATION

QUANTITY UNIT PRICE AMOUNT 1. JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 1 EACH $27,005 $27,005 2. CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA 1 EACH 27,980 26,980 3. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 1 EACH 27,080 27,080 4. ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA

1 EACH 27,080 27,080 5. NORFOLK, VIRGINIA1 EACH 27,980

26,980 6. QUONSET POINT, RHODE ISLAND 1 EACH 26,955 26,955

BECAUSE THERE IS A PATENT AMBIGUITY ON ITEMS 2, 5 AND 6 BETWEEN THE PRICES LISTED IN THE "UNIT PRICE" COLUMN AND THE "AMOUNT" COLUMN, THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO REVIEW THOSE BID PRICES. THE BIDDER RESPONDED THAT THE INTENDED PRICES WERE AS STATED IN THE "AMOUNT" COLUMN AND IT FURNISHED PHOTOSTATS OF WORKSHEETS, WHICH ARE SWORN TO BE TRUE COPIES, AND STATEMENTS EXPLAINING HOW THE ALLEGED ERROR OCCURRED.

THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED FROM THE OTHER BIDDERS IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS SUBMITTED BY KAHN AND CO. AND WAS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $165,072. WHEN THE BID OF FLIGHT SUPPORT, INC., IS EVALUATED ON THE TOTAL OF THE "UNIT PRICE" COLUMN PLUS THE OTHER ITEMS INVOLVED UNDER THE INVITATION IT IS HIGHER THAN THE KAHN BID BY $1,658, BUT WHEN IT IS EVALUATED ON THE TOTAL OF THE "AMOUNT" COLUMN, IT IS LOWER THAN THE KAHN BID BY $382.

PARAGRAPH 1 (C) OF THE "TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS" STATES,"IN CASE OF ERROR IN EXTENSION OF PRICE, THE UNIT PRICE WILL GOVERN.'

IN A DECISION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, B-129575, OCTOBER 30, 1956, A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THE IMMEDIATE MATTER IN THAT THERE WAS A PATENT AMBIGUITY BETWEEN THE UNIT PRICE AND THE EXTENDED PRICE, THE BID WAS LOW ONLY BY VIRTUE OF THE EXTENDED PRICE, AND THE INVITATION STATED THAT THE UNIT PRICE WOULD GOVERN OVER THE EXTENDED PRICE, WE SAID:

"* * * WHERE, AS IN THIS CASE, THE REQUESTED CORRECTION WOULD RESULT IN THE CORRECTED BID BECOMING LOWER THAN ONE OR MORE OTHER BIDS WHICH WERE LOWER THAN THE BID ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED BY THE ERRING BIDDER, THE MATTER CAN NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED AS ONE INVOLVING ONLY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BIDDER, BUT MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF DIRECT AND VITAL CONCERN TO THE BIDDERS WHOSE RELATIVE STANDING WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THE CORRECTION. HAVING DUE REGARD FOR ALL THE INTERESTS INVOLVED, WE FEEL THAT TO ALLOW RELIEF IN A CASE SUCH AS THIS, WHERE THE ERRING BIDDER'S POSITION IS BROUGHT ABOUT SOLELY BY ITS OWN NEGLIGENCE, NOT ONLY WOULD SERIOUSLY IMPAIR THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM UPON WHICH THE GOVERNMENT MUST RELY TO A GREAT EXTENT IN MAKING PURCHASES OF ITS SUPPLIES, BUT ALSO COULD OPEN THE DOOR TO FRAUDULENT PRACTICES BY MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR A BIDDER DELIBERATELY TO SUBMIT AN ERRONEOUS BID WITH THE SECRET INTENTION OF ALLEGING AND ESTABLISHING AN ERROR AFTER OPENING OF BIDS IF HIS BID WAS NOT LOW AND IT WAS TO HIS ADVANTAGE TO DO SO.'

ACCORDINGLY, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE BID OF FLIGHT SUPPORT, INC., SHOULD NOT BE CORRECTED AND THAT IT SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION.