B-136501, JUL. 10, 1958

B-136501: Jul 10, 1958

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 18. FROM THE ACTING ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER AND CHIEF ENGINEER REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID OF KENNETH N. BECK'S BID FOR ITEM NO. 24 OF SCHEDULE NO. 1 WAS A UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT FOR 440 LINEAL FEET FOR THE FURNISHING AND ERECTING OF PROTECTIVE FENCING. WHICH UNIT PRICE WAS EXTENDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $440 FOR THIS ITEM. INCLUDED IN ITEM NO. 54 OF SCHEDULE NO. 2 WAS A UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT FOR 400 LINEAL FEET OF THE PROTECTIVE FENCING. WHICH WAS EXTENDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $400 FOR THIS ITEM. SINCE THE UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT WAS CONSIDERED EXORBITANT FOR ITEMS NO. 24 AND 54.

B-136501, JUL. 10, 1958

TO MR. GRANT BLOODGOOD, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 18, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER AND CHIEF ENGINEER REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID OF KENNETH N. BECK FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF EARTHWORK AND STRUCTURES FOR THE INITIAL STAGE OF CERTAIN SPOKANE BENCH AND NORTH SIDE LATERALS, HELENA VALLEY UNIT, MONTANA, HELENA-GREAT FALLS DIVISION, MISSOURI RIVER BASIN PROJECT.

IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION DATED APRIL 22, 1958, FOR BIDS ON SPECIFICATIONS NO. DC-5043, KENNETH E. BECK SUBMITTED THE LOW BID FOR SCHEDULE NO. 1 OF THIS PROJECT, WHEREIN HE AGREED TO FURNISH ALL LABOR, EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS AND PERFORM ALL OF THE WORK COVERED BY THE SCHEDULE FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $40,121.86. MR. BECK ALSO SUBMITTED THE LOW TOTAL BID PRICE OF $49,595.12 FOR SCHEDULE NO. 2 OF THE PROJECT. INCLUDED IN MR. BECK'S BID FOR ITEM NO. 24 OF SCHEDULE NO. 1 WAS A UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT FOR 440 LINEAL FEET FOR THE FURNISHING AND ERECTING OF PROTECTIVE FENCING, WHICH UNIT PRICE WAS EXTENDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $440 FOR THIS ITEM. ALSO, INCLUDED IN ITEM NO. 54 OF SCHEDULE NO. 2 WAS A UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT FOR 400 LINEAL FEET OF THE PROTECTIVE FENCING, WHICH WAS EXTENDED IN THE AMOUNT OF $400 FOR THIS ITEM. SINCE THE UNIT PRICE OF $10 A LINEAL FOOT WAS CONSIDERED EXORBITANT FOR ITEMS NO. 24 AND 54, IT WAS SUSPECTED THAT MR. BECK HAD MADE A DECIMAL POINT ERROR, HAVING INTENDED A UNIT PRICE OF $1 A LINEAL FOOT FOR THESE TWO ITEMS. THEREFORE, BY TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 4, 1958, THESE DISCREPANCIES WERE POINTED OUT TO MR. BECK AND THERE WAS REQUESTED A CONFIRMATION OF A $1 UNIT PRICE FOR THESE ITEMS. MR. BECK'S TELEGRAPHIC RESPONSE, HOWEVER, ADVISED THAT THE $10 UNIT PRICE FOR ITEMS NOS. 24 AND 54 WAS CORRECT AND GAVE AS A REASON FOR THE HIGH PRICE THE FACT THAT AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT HAD BEEN INCLUDED FOR THESE ITEMS TO COVER CHARGES FOR THE CLEAN-UP WORK NECESSARY TO BE DONE ON THE PROJECT. MR. BECK HAS FURNISHED AN AFFIDAVIT TOGETHER WITH HIS WORKSHEETS TO SUPPORT HIS CONTENTION THAT HE FULLY INTENDED TO EXTEND THE TOTAL PRICES FOR ITEMS NOS. 24 AND 54 BASED ON THE $10 A LINEAL FOOT UNIT PRICE. IT IS NOTED, AS REPORTED, THAT THIS STILL WOULD RESULT IN HIS TOTAL BID FOR BOTH SCHEDULE NOS. 1 AND 2 BEING $233.52 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID.

SINCE EXAMINATIONS OF ITEM NOS. 24 AND 54 CONCLUSIVELY SHOW THAT AN ERROR IN SOME FORM WAS MADE IN THE BID OF KENNETH E. BECK, THERE REMAINS ONLY FOR CONSIDERATION HERE THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE EXTENDED PRICES FOR THESE TWO ITEMS MAY BE ADJUSTED UPWARD ON THE BASIS OF THE $10 UNIT PRICE WHICH MR. BECK ALLEGES WAS INTENDED, AS SHOWN. OUR OFFICE CONSISTENTLY HAS HELD THAT, AS A PREREQUISITE TO A CORRECTION OF THIS KIND, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. IN THIS CONNECTION, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT THE FACT THAT THE ALLEGED INTENDED $10 UNIT PRICE--- REGARDED BY THE ACTING ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER AND CHIEF ENGINEER AS EXORBITANT--- IS OUT OF ALL PROPORTION NOT ONLY WITH THE UNIT PRICES OF $1, $0.50 AND $0.38 A LINEAL FOOT SUBMITTED BY THE OTHER THREE BIDDERS FOR ITEM NOS. 24 AND 54, BUT WAS ALSO OUT OF LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE OF $0.75 A UNIT FOR THESE ITEMS. CONVERSELY, OF COURSE, A $1UNIT PRICE FOR THESE ITEMS CAN BE COMPARED FAVORABLY WITH ALL OTHER BIDS AND ESTIMATES FOR THIS PARTICULAR WORK. MOREOVER, WHILE THE $10 UNIT PRICE IS SHOWN ON THE WORKSHEETS FURNISHED BY MR. BECK FOR ITEMS NOS. 24 AND 54, THERE MAY NOT BE SUBSTANTIATED, EITHER FROM SUCH WORKSHEETS OR OTHERWISE, MR. BECKS' STATEMENT THAT SOME AMOUNT WAS INCLUDED IN THE $10 UNIT PRICE TO COVER CHARGES FOR THE CLEAN-UP WORK NECESSARY TO BE PERFORMED. NEITHER MAY THERE BE RECONCILED FROM THE RECORD WHY SUCH CHARGES WOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE SPECIFIC ITEM NOS. 24 AND 54 IN PREFERENCE TO ANY OF THE OTHER ITEMS COMPRISING SCHEDULE NOS. 1 AND 2. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE $10 A LINEAL FOOT UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM NOS. 24 AND 54 HAS NOT BEEN SO SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED AS TO WARRANT THE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS AMOUNT IN THE EXECUTION OF THE CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE BID IS ERRONEOUS IT MAY BE DISREGARDED.