B-136127, MAY 23, 1958

B-136127: May 23, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MAY 13. IT WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ANY PRICE FOR HEATING WORK FROM A SUBCONTRACTOR AND IT ESTIMATED $15. GEN. 612 THERE IS REPORTED A CASE SIMILAR TO THE INSTANT MATTER. IS AS FOLLOWS: "* * * THE ALLEGED MISTAKE IS THAT THE BIDDER FIGURED THE ROUGH LUMBER AND CARPENTRY PRIOR TO RECEIVING ESTIMATES FROM SUBBIDDERS AND THAT AFTER THE PRICE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE SUBBIDDERS. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE ROUGH LUMBER AND CARPENTRY HAD BEEN UNDERESTIMATED ABOUT $4. THE BID WAS AS INTENDED. THE BIDDER'S UNDERESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE HEATING WORK IS AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT. ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

B-136127, MAY 23, 1958

TO MR. E. F. HOGLUND, DIRECTOR, CONSTRUCTION SERVICE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MAY 13, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH REGARD TO AN ERROR IN BID ALLEGED BY ZINER CONSTRUCTION CO., NC., MALDEN, MASSACHUSETTS.

THE BIDDER ALLEGES THAT, PRIOR TO SUBMITTING ITS $175,000 LUMP SUM BID FOR CERTAIN CONSTRUCTION WORK, IT WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ANY PRICE FOR HEATING WORK FROM A SUBCONTRACTOR AND IT ESTIMATED $15,000 FOR THAT PART OF THE WORK. THEN, BEFORE BID OPENING, BUT ALLEGEDLY TOO LATE TO MAKE A TELEGRAPHIC MODIFICATION, IT RECEIVED A QUOTATION FOR THE WORK FROM A SUBCONTRACTOR WHICH INDICATED THAT IT UNDERESTIMATED THE COST OF THE WORK BY $14,000. BECAUSE OF THE UNDERESTIMATE, THE BIDDER REQUESTS, AFTER BID OPENING, THAT ITS BID BE WITHDRAWN.

IN 14 COMP. GEN. 612 THERE IS REPORTED A CASE SIMILAR TO THE INSTANT MATTER. THAT CASE, INSOFAR AS PERTINENT, IS AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE ALLEGED MISTAKE IS THAT THE BIDDER FIGURED THE ROUGH LUMBER AND CARPENTRY PRIOR TO RECEIVING ESTIMATES FROM SUBBIDDERS AND THAT AFTER THE PRICE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE SUBBIDDERS, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE ROUGH LUMBER AND CARPENTRY HAD BEEN UNDERESTIMATED ABOUT $4,000. THIS ERROR IN JUDGMENT ON THE PART OF THE BIDDER IN SUBMITTING ITS BID DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MISTAKE SUCH AS WOULD RELIEVE THE SAID BIDDER FROM THE OBLIGATIONS UNDER ITS BID.' ID. AT 614.

SEE ALSO, 11 COMP. GEN. 445.

IN THE IMMEDIATE MATTER, AS IN THE CITED DECISIONS, THE BID WAS AS INTENDED. THE BIDDER'S UNDERESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE HEATING WORK IS AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT, NOT AN ERROR IN BID SUCH AS WOULD AUTHORIZE WITHDRAWAL OR CORRECTION OF THE BID. ACCORDINGLY, THE BIDDER SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO PERFORM FOR THE BID PRICE OF $175,000 AND FAILURE TO SO PERFORM SHOULD BE TREATED AS A DEFAULT UNDER THE CONTRACT.

THE ENCLOSURES SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.