B-136286, JUN. 11, 1958

B-136286: Jun 11, 1958

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED APRIL 30. IT APPEARS THAT SINCE THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BID RECEIVED ($13. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM TO CONFIRM THEIR QUOTATION. THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT A MATHEMATICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN ADDITION ON ITS ESTIMATE SHEET AND THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE QUOTED A PRICE OF $7. A MATHEMATICAL ERROR OCCURRED AND THAT THE CORRECT TOTAL FOR THE VARIOUS ITEMS ON PAGE 6 SHOULD HAVE READ $7. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID. FURTHERMORE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE APPEAR TO BE SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED.

B-136286, JUN. 11, 1958

TO MR. WILLIAM M. MARTIN, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION IN REGARD TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE INTERIOR STEEL EQUIPMENT CO., CLEVELAND, OHIO, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED APRIL 30, 1958.

THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS, WASHINGTON, D. C., BY INVITATION NO. 1599 DATED APRIL 11, 1958, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING THE GOVERNMENT PIGEONHOLE COMPARTMENT CASES FOR PATENT COPIES, WITH LOCK DOOR, BASES AND ACCESSORIES. IN RESPONSE THE INTERIOR STEEL EQUIPMENT CO. SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 28, 1958, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED SUPPLIES FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $4,051.50.

IT APPEARS THAT SINCE THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BID RECEIVED ($13,806.15) AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE ($15,000), THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM TO CONFIRM THEIR QUOTATION. THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT A MATHEMATICAL ERROR WAS MADE IN ADDITION ON ITS ESTIMATE SHEET AND THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE QUOTED A PRICE OF $7,051.50.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER THE COMPANY FORWARDED PHOTO COPIES OF ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATING WORKSHEETS SHOWING A BREAKDOWN OF THE BIDDING PRICE ON SHEET NO. 6 OF SIX SHEETS. IT APPEARS THAT IN THE ADDITION OF THE VARIOUS FIGURES ON SUCH PAGE 6, A MATHEMATICAL ERROR OCCURRED AND THAT THE CORRECT TOTAL FOR THE VARIOUS ITEMS ON PAGE 6 SHOULD HAVE READ $7,051.50 INSTEAD OF $4,051.50.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID, AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE APPEAR TO BE SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS, SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD AND SINCE THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID WAS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN $7,051.50, THE BID OF THE INTERIOR STEEL EQUIPMENT CO., MAY BE CORRECTED TO PROVIDE FOR A LUMP-SUM PRICE OF $7,051.50, AND THE BID AS SO CORRECTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED WITH THE OTHER BID IN MAKING THE AWARD.

IN THE EVENT OF AWARD TO THE INTERIOR STEEL EQUIPMENT CO., A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE CONTRACT.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE COMPANY'S LETTER OF MAY 12, 1958, ARE RETURNED AS REQUESTED.