B-140286, AUG. 4, 1959

B-140286: Aug 4, 1959

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 17. ALTHOUGH THE TOTALS FOR EACH OF THE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN ITS BID. HUMBOLDT WRECKING CONTRACTORS ADVISED THAT THEY WERE "A LITTLE CONFUSED" AS TO ITEM 8 AND FIGURED THEIR BID PRICE TO "SO MUCH PER BOX.'. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEY ARE ESTIMATED QUANTITIES. THAT IS TO SAY. IF THIS ASSUMPTION IS CORRECT. THE NECESSITY FOR STATED UNIT PRICES IS OBVIOUS. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UNIT PRICES ARE UNNECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF AWARDING A CONTRACT. SO LONG AS TOTAL PRICES PER ITEM ARE SHOWN. INCLUDING THE FACT THAT NO BID FOR LESS THAN THE TOTAL WORK WILL BE CONSIDERED. - IS THE BID PRICE FOR CONSIDERATION IN MAKING AN AWARD.

B-140286, AUG. 4, 1959

TO MR. B. P. BELLPORT, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 17, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE BID OF HUMBOLDT WRECKING CONTRACTORS MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD FOR WORK UNDER SPECIFICATIONS NO. 200C-420, CEMETERY RELOCATION, TRINITY RESERVOIR AREA, CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT, CALIFORNIA.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT HUMBOLDT WRECKING CONTRACTORS SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID FOR THE TWENTY-ONE ITEMS CALLED FOR IN THE SCHEDULE, AND THE BASIS FOR YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION IN THIS MATTER ARISES OUT OF THE FACT THAT THE LOW BIDDER FAILED TO INSERT UNIT PRICES FOR ITEMS 8 AND 19 AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS, ALTHOUGH THE TOTALS FOR EACH OF THE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN ITS BID.

ITEM 8 OF THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 4,000 FEET, BOARD MEASURE, FOR ROUGH BOXES, BOTH THE UNIT PRICE AND THE TOTAL BID PRICE TO BE SET FORTH IN THE BID. ITEM 19 CALLED FOR FURNISHING AND ERECTING 1,050 LINEAR FEET OF CHAIN-LINK FENCE, BOTH THE UNIT PRICE AND THE TOTAL BID PRICE TO BE STATED. THE LOW BIDDER FAILED TO INSERT THE UNIT PRICES FOR THESE TWO ITEMS. BY LETTER OF JULY 13, 1959,HUMBOLDT WRECKING CONTRACTORS ADVISED THAT THEY WERE "A LITTLE CONFUSED" AS TO ITEM 8 AND FIGURED THEIR BID PRICE TO "SO MUCH PER BOX.' THEY STATED, HOWEVER, THAT THE UNIT PRICE AS TO THIS ITEM SHOULD READ $517.50--- MEANING, OF COURSE, PER THOUSAND FEET. AS TO ITEM 19, FOR FURNISHING AND ERECTING 1,050 LINEAR FEET OF CHAIN-INK FENCE, THE LOW BIDDER GAVE NO EXPLANATION FOR FAILURE TO INSERT A UNIT PRICE, IT BEING MERELY STATED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 13, 1959, THAT THE UNIT PRICE SHOULD READ "$2.85.7"--- INTERPRETED BY YOU AND CORRECTLY SO, WE THINK, AS $2.857. RESPECTING SUCH UNIT BID PRICE YOU POINT OUT THAT THE PRICE OF $2,857 WHEN MULTIPLIED BY 1,050 LINEAR FEET RESULTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,999.85--- NOT THE AMOUNT OF $3,000 SHOWN IN THE BID.

WHILE THE INVITATION SHOWS DEFINITE QUANTITIES OF WORK OR MATERIALS REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TWENTY-ONE ITEMS INVOLVED, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEY ARE ESTIMATED QUANTITIES. THAT IS TO SAY, IF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED OR THE MATERIALS TO BE FURNISHED SHOULD BE LESS THAN INDICATED, THEN PAYMENTS WOULD BE MADE AT THE UNIT RATE. IF THIS ASSUMPTION IS CORRECT, THE NECESSITY FOR STATED UNIT PRICES IS OBVIOUS. HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UNIT PRICES ARE UNNECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF AWARDING A CONTRACT, SO LONG AS TOTAL PRICES PER ITEM ARE SHOWN. UNDER THE FACTS DISCLOSED BY THE RECORD IN THIS CASE, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT NO BID FOR LESS THAN THE TOTAL WORK WILL BE CONSIDERED, IT APPEARS THAT THE TOTAL BID PRICE OF $36,725--- CORRECTED TO $35,725 BY REASON OF AN ERROR IN THE EXTENSION OF ITEM 2--- IS THE BID PRICE FOR CONSIDERATION IN MAKING AN AWARD. IN ANY EVENT, THE REQUIRED UNIT PRICES HAVING BEEN SUPPLIED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 13, 1959, THE FAILURE TO INCLUDE THEM IN THE ORIGINAL BID MAY BE CONSIDERED AS AN INFORMALITY WHICH MAY BE WAIVED AS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. IF A CONTRACT IN THIS CASE IS AWARDED TO HUMBOLDT WRECKING CONTRACTORS, AND SHOULD A QUESTION ARISE AS TO PAYMENT UNDER ITEMS 8 AND 19, IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD NOT BE IN A POSITION TO CLAIM PAYMENT AT A RATE DIFFERENT FROM THAT STATED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 13, 1959.