B-140521, SEP. 3, 1959

B-140521: Sep 3, 1959

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 17. THE OTHER BIDS FOR THE NINE ITEMS WERE $1. YOU STATE THAT SINCE IT WAS APPARENT THAT COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID. THE COMPANY STATED THAT ITS BID ON THE NINE ITEMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN $1. THE BASIC RULE IS THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN THAT SET FORTH IN THE BID WHEN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE. THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $1.

B-140521, SEP. 3, 1959

TO MR. FRANK A. BAKTIS, CHIEF, SUPPLY DIVISION, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 17, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, YOUR FILE NO. 5111-134, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED AUGUST 13, 1959.

BY INVITATION NO. 60-25, ISSUED JULY 30, 1959, THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, COATESVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF NINE ITEMS OF PLUMBING SUPPLIES. THE COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH THE NINE ITEMS FOR $930.51. THE OTHER BIDS FOR THE NINE ITEMS WERE $1,706.35 AND $1,937.59.

YOU STATE THAT SINCE IT WAS APPARENT THAT COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID. THE COMPANY ALLEGED ERROR. BY LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1959, THE COMPANY STATED THAT ITS BID ON THE NINE ITEMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN $1,853.20 AND REQUESTED CORRECTION OF THE BID.

THE BASIC RULE IS THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. THE EXCEPTION TO SUCH RULE, WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN THAT SET FORTH IN THE BID WHEN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE RECALCULATION OR CHANGING OF THE BID WITHOUT CONCLUSIVE PROOF AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577; AND 31 ID. 183, 184. IN THE PRESENT CASE COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY HAS NOT SUBMITTED SUCH PROOF, BUT ONLY ALLEGES IN ITS LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1959, THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $1,853.20 INSTEAD OF $930.51.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID OF COATESVILLE MAY NOT BE CORRECTED. HOWEVER, SINCE A COMPARISON OF BIDS RECEIVED INDICATES THAT THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS IN ERROR, AND SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED BY THE COMPANY PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF COATESVILLE PLUMBING SUPPLY COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.