B-141395, DEC. 15, 1959

B-141395: Dec 15, 1959

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 3. THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED AND FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO 88 ITEMS. IT IS PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE THAT NO BID WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR ONLY A PART OF THE SCHEDULE. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ACCOMPANIED BY STANDARD FORM 22. BIDDERS MUST QUOTE ON ALL ITEMS AND THEY ARE WARNED THAT FAILURE TO DO SO MAY DISQUALIFY THE BID. THERE WERE 14 BIDS RECEIVED. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY LINDSTROM CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $208. IT IS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT AT THE BID OPENING TIME. THERE WERE ENCLOSED WITH MR. ONLY THE FIRST OF WHICH WAS SIGNED.

B-141395, DEC. 15, 1959

TO MR. GRANT BLOODGOOD, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 3, 1959, FILE D-150, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH REGARD TO THE BID OF JOSEPH BASSICK, AN INDIVIDUAL DOING BUSINESS AS UTILITIES SERVICE COMPANY, SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO SPECIFICATIONS NO. DC-5247.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED NOVEMBER 17, 1959--- FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STAGE D3 ADDITIONS TO HURON SUBSTATION (INITIAL 230--- KILOVOLT DEVELOPMENT). THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED AND FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO 88 ITEMS. THE SCHEDULE PROVIDED FOR THE QUOTING, IN SOME INSTANCES, OF LUMP SUM PRICES AND, IN OTHER CASES, UNIT PRICES FOR ESTIMATED QUANTITIES STATED THEREIN. IT IS PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE THAT NO BID WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR ONLY A PART OF THE SCHEDULE. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ACCOMPANIED BY STANDARD FORM 22, INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS, SUBPARAGRAPH 5 (B) OF WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHERE PROVIDED ON THE BID FORM, BIDDERS MUST QUOTE ON ALL ITEMS AND THEY ARE WARNED THAT FAILURE TO DO SO MAY DISQUALIFY THE BID.

THERE WERE 14 BIDS RECEIVED, RANGING IN PRICE FROM $200,030.90, THE BID SUBMITTED BY MR. BASSICK, TO A HIGH BID OF $334,743.15. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY LINDSTROM CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $208,352.00. THE LOW BID OF MR. BASSICK FAILED TO QUOTE ANY UNIT PRICE OR TOTAL AMOUNT FOR ITEM NO. 21 OF THE SCHEDULE WHICH CALLS FOR FURNISHING AND LAYING AN ESTIMATED 180 LINEAR FEET OF 8-INCH DIAMETER CONCRETE PIPE FOR DRAIN LINE. AFTER THE OPENING OF BIDS, OR ON NOVEMBER 20, 1959, MR. BASSICK INFORMED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE BY TELEPHONE THAT HE HAD INADVERTENTLY NEGLECTED TO INSERT IN HIS BID FOR ITEM NO. 21 THE UNIT PRICE OF $1.00 PER LINEAR FOOT, OR A TOTAL AMOUNT OF $180.00. ON NOVEMBER 30, 1959, HE VISITED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AND PRESENTED SIX WORKSHEETS, INDICATED TO BE THE ORIGINALS, SETTING FORTH HIS COMPUTATIONS FOR THE INTENDED BID QUOTATIONS.

IT IS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT AT THE BID OPENING TIME, THERE WERE ENCLOSED WITH MR. BASSICK'S BID AN UNCOMPLETED AND UNSIGNED BID FORM (SF- 21), A COPY EACH OF SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICES NOS. 1 AND 2, ONLY THE FIRST OF WHICH WAS SIGNED, AND A BID BOND (SF-24) APPARENTLY BEARING HIS SIGNATURE AND THAT OF A QUALIFIED SURETY COMPANY. WHEN MR. BASSICK VISITED YOUR OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 30, 1959, HE COMPLETED AND SIGNED AN APPROPRIATE BID FORM.

YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER MR. BASSICK'S BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD AND, IF SO, FOR WHAT AMOUNT. YOU CALL ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT IF THE ALLEGED INTENDED BID OF $180.00 FOR ITEM NO. 21 OF THE SCHEDULE IS ADDED TO THE AMOUNT OF MR. BASSICK'S BID, THE TOTAL AMOUNT FOR COMPARATIVE PURPOSES WOULD STILL BE $8,141.10 BELOW THE AMOUNT OF THE SECOND LOW BID.

ASIDE FROM THE DOUBT THAT EXISTS AS TO WHETHER AN AWARD TO MR. BASSICK WOULD BE PROPER IN VIEW OF HIS FAILURE TO SIGN AN APPROPRIATE BID FORM, THE BID AS SUBMITTED IS INCOMPLETE BY VIRTUE OF THE OMISSION OF A PRICE ON ITEM NO. 21 AND AN ACCEPTANCE AT THE TIME OF OPENING OF BIDS WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED AN ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT INSOFAR AS PERFORMANCE OF WORK UNDER ITEM NO. 21 IS CONCERNED. MR. BASSICK'S OFFER, AFTER THE BID OPENING DATE, TO PERFORM THE WORK COVERED BY THAT ITEM FOR $180.00 CONSTITUTED IN EFFECT A NEW BID AND WOULD BE UNFAIR TO OTHER BIDDERS WHO OFFERED TO PERFORM EACH AND EVERY ITEM OF WORK FOR A CERTAIN CONSIDERATION. THE ACCEPTANCE OF MR. BASSICK'S OFFER NOW WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF GIVING HIM AN OPTION, AFTER THE BID OPENING, EITHER TO ELECT TO PROCEED WITH THE ENTIRE WORK AFTER THE AMOUNTS OF ALL BIDS ARE DISCLOSED OR REFUSE TO FURNISH A BID PRICE FOR ITEM NO. 21, WHICH WOULD PLACE THE GOVERNMENT IN THE POSITION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO CREATE A BINDING CONTRACT FOR THE ENTIRE WORK UPON ACCEPTANCE OF HIS BID. THE OMISSION OF A PRICE UNDER ITEM NO. 21 CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS A MINOR INFORMALITY WHICH MAY BE WAIVED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICE BECAUSE IT GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE CONTRACT TO BE AWARDED. THE FACT THAT A SAVING OF APPROXIMATELY $8,000.00 MIGHT RESULT FROM THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO MR. BASSICK, AFTER ADDING THE ALLEGED INTENDED BID PRICE OF ITEM NO. 21, IS NOT A SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR DISREGARDING ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES FOR THE PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF MR. BASSICK SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD.