B-136904, AUG. 4, 1958

B-136904: Aug 4, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

COLUMBIA BASIN PROJECT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO ERRORS ALLEGED BY THE ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY AND GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS FOR BIDS NOS. 116- 40. IT IS STATED THAT THE INVITATIONS INVOLVED ARE READVERTISEMENTS OR PRIOR INVITATIONS UNDER WHICH NO BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE INVITATIONS WERE REVISED AND READVERTISED UNDER THE ABOVE NUMBERS AND THE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 2 P.M. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE SERVICES IN GRANT COUNTY AND ONLY ONE BID FOR SERVICES IN ADAMS COUNTY. APPARENTLY THERE IS SOME CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ONE BID RECEIVED FOR ADAMS COUNTY.

B-136904, AUG. 4, 1958

TO MR. P. W. CLARK, CHIEF, GENERAL SERVICES BRANCH, COLUMBIA BASIN PROJECT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16, 1958, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO ERRORS ALLEGED BY THE ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY AND GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS FOR BIDS NOS. 116- 40,746-A AND C COVERING ABSTRACT SERVICES IN ADAMS AND GRANT COUNTIES, WASHINGTON.

IT IS STATED THAT THE INVITATIONS INVOLVED ARE READVERTISEMENTS OR PRIOR INVITATIONS UNDER WHICH NO BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ADVISED THAT ONE OF THE ITEMS IN THE INVITATIONS CONFLICTED WITH THEIR FILED RATE SCHEDULE. THE INVITATIONS WERE REVISED AND READVERTISED UNDER THE ABOVE NUMBERS AND THE BIDS WERE OPENED AT 2 P.M. ON JUNE 4, 1958. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE SERVICES IN GRANT COUNTY AND ONLY ONE BID FOR SERVICES IN ADAMS COUNTY. APPARENTLY THERE IS SOME CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ONE BID RECEIVED FOR ADAMS COUNTY, ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY, AND ONE OF THE BIDS RECEIVED FOR GRANT COUNTY, GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY, SINCE BOTH BIDS ARE SIGNED BY ONE C. A. WEBBER AS PRESIDENT AND MANAGER, RESPECTIVELY.

THREE OF THE FOUR BIDS RECEIVED FOR GRANT COUNTY QUOTED IDENTICAL PRICES FOR ALL ITEMS. THE FOURTH BID (GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY) ALSO QUOTED THE SAME PRICES AS THE OTHER THREE ON ALL BUT ONE OF THE ITEMS (ITEM 4). THE TOTAL DIFFERENCE IN THE AGGREGATE PRICE, BASED UPON THE ESTIMATED QUANTITIES GIVEN FOR THE VARIOUS ITEMS IS $50, $7,795 AGAINST $7,845 QUOTED BY THE OTHER THREE BIDDERS. THE PRICES QUOTED BY ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY FOR SERVICES IN ADAMS COUNTY ARE THE SAME AS THOSE QUOTED BY GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY FOR SERVICES IN GRANT COUNTY.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON JUNE 5, 1958, MR. C. A. WEBBER ORALLY ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE BIDS SUBMITTED BY ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY AND GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY IN THAT THE PERSON WHO TYPED THE BIDS HAD MISINTERPRETED THE FIGURE SHOWN ON HIS WORKSHEET FOR ITEM 4. BY LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1958, MR. WEBBER CONFIRMED THE ALLEGATION OF ERROR IN THE TWO BIDS AND SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT THEREOF THE WORKSHEET FROM WHICH IT IS STATED THAT THE BIDS AS SUBMITTED WERE COPIED. IN EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, MR. WEBBER STATED THAT IN PREPARING THE BIDS HE HAD FIRST PENCILED IN $0.00 INDICATING NO CHARGE FOR ITEM 4 OF THE TWO INVITATIONS; AND THEN DISCOVERED HE HAD NOT CORRECTLY INTERPRETED THE ITEM AND THEN PENCILED A 5 OVER THE FIRST ZERO INDICATING A CHARGE OF $5.00, AND IN TYPING FROM THIS COPY TO THE ORIGINAL BID AS SENT IN THE TYPIST CONSTRUED THE PENCILED FIGURE AS $0.00 RATHER THAN $5.00 AND THE FIGURES TYPED WERE NOT PROOFREAD THEREAFTER. THE CORRECTION OF THE BID OF GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY WILL MAKE ALL FOUR BIDS IDENTICAL FOR SERVICE IN GRANT COUNTY.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BIDS AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE, AS POINTED OUT BY YOU, SINCE THE INVITATIONS CONTAINED A 30- DAY CANCELLATION CLAUSE WHICH EITHER PARTY MAY EXERCISE, THERE WOULD BE LITTLE TO GAIN IN MAKING AWARDS TO UNWILLING BIDDERS. ALSO, THE BID OF ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY WAS THE ONLY ONE RECEIVED FOR SERVICES IN ADAMS COUNTY.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD, AND EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED REASONABLY ESTABLISHING THAT AN ERROR WAS IN FACT MADE IN THE BIDS AS ALLEGED, THE UNIT PRICE QUOTED FOR ITEM 4 BY ADAMS COUNTY TITLE COMPANY AND GRAND COULEE TITLE COMPANY MAY BE CORRECTED TO READ $5.00 AS RECOMMENDED. THE BIDS, AS SO CORRECTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.