B-140400, AUG. 7, 1959

B-140400: Aug 7, 1959

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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING ERRORS ALLEGED BY THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS OPENED ON JULY 7. ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE BASIC RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BIDS OF THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION WERE ERRONEOUS. SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS WERE EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDERS PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-140400, AUG. 7, 1959

TO MR. ERNEST W. BRACKETT, DIRECTOR, PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING ERRORS ALLEGED BY THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS OPENED ON JULY 7, 1959.

BY INVITATION NO. C-411-PB, THE LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, CLEVELAND, OHIO, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING SERVICES AND MATERIALS NECESSARY FOR MACHINING TWO FLUORINE PUMP SCROLLS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S SPECIFICATIONS. RESPONSE THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED JULY 6, 1959, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR A JOB PRICE OF $2,440; AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION SUBMITTED A TELEGRAPHIC BID DATED JULY 7, 1959, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE JOB FOR A PRICE OF $3,990. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE SIX OTHER BIDDERS ON THE FLUORINE SCROLLS QUOTED JOB PRICES RANGING FROM $5,420 TO $11,500.

UPON BEING REQUESTED TO VERIFY THEIR BIDS, THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION ADVISED BY LETTERS DATED JULY 8, 1959, THAT ERRORS HAD BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS IN THAT THEY FAILED TO INCLUDE IN THEIR BID PRICES THE COST OF CERTAIN ITEMS OF WORK. THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY ALLEGED THAT IN COMPUTING ITS BID PRICE, IT INCLUDED THE COST OF MACHINING ONLY ONE SCROLL RATHER THAN TWO SCROLLS, AS REQUIRED AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID PRICE FOR THE JOB BE CORRECTED TO $4,393. THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION ALLEGED THAT THE TOOLING AND MODEL COSTS HAD BEEN OMITTED FROM ITS BID PRICE AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID PRICE FOR THE JOB BE INCREASED TO $4,870 TO COVER THE COST OF THE OMITTED ITEMS. IN SUPPORT OF THEIR ALLEGATIONS OF ERROR, THE TWO BIDDERS SUBMITTED CERTAIN WORKSHEETS.

ON THE RECORD, THERE APPEARS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION MADE ERRORS IN THEIR BIDS, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE BASIC 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 BIDS OF THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION WERE ERRONEOUS, AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS WERE EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDERS PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BIDS OF THE STAR MACHINE AND TOOL COMPANY AND THE ALLOY-FREITAG CORPORATION MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.