B-142110, MAR. 10, 1960

B-142110: Mar 10, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16. IN YOUR LETTER THERE IS QUOTED THE FOLLOWING PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 5 (D) OF STANDARD FORM 22 OF A CONSTRUCTION TYPE INVITATION FOR BIDS: "MODIFICATION BY TELEGRAPH OF BIDS ALREADY RECEIVED WILL BE CONSIDERED IF RECEIVED PRIOR TO THE TIME FIXED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.'. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT BIDS WERE TO BE OPENED AT 2 P.M. ALTHOUGH THE TELEGRAM WAS NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT IN HIS OFFICE. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT IS PROPER FOR A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO ACCEPT BID MODIFICATIONS BY TELEPHONE FROM A LOCAL WESTERN UNION OFFICE OR WHETHER TELEGRAPHIC MODIFICATIONS MUST BE IN THE PHYSICAL POSSESSION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING.

B-142110, MAR. 10, 1960

TO CAPTAIN REX A. NELSON, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16, 1960, FILE DM8, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO A TELEGRAPHIC MODIFICATION OF A BID.

IN YOUR LETTER THERE IS QUOTED THE FOLLOWING PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 5 (D) OF STANDARD FORM 22 OF A CONSTRUCTION TYPE INVITATION FOR BIDS:

"MODIFICATION BY TELEGRAPH OF BIDS ALREADY RECEIVED WILL BE CONSIDERED IF RECEIVED PRIOR TO THE TIME FIXED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.'

IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT BIDS WERE TO BE OPENED AT 2 P.M., DECEMBER 22, 1959. AT 12:58 P.M. ON THAT DATE--- MORE THAN AN HOUR BEFORE THE TIME SET FOR OPENING BIDS--- THE WESTERN UNION OFFICE IN A CITY FIVE MILES FROM THE BASE TELEPHONED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER A TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGE FROM A BIDDER REDUCING HIS BID BY $50,200. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACCEPTED THE TELEPHONE CALL AND ANNOUNCED THE MODIFICATION AT THE BID OPENING, ALTHOUGH THE TELEGRAM WAS NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT IN HIS OFFICE. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT IS PROPER FOR A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO ACCEPT BID MODIFICATIONS BY TELEPHONE FROM A LOCAL WESTERN UNION OFFICE OR WHETHER TELEGRAPHIC MODIFICATIONS MUST BE IN THE PHYSICAL POSSESSION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING.

THE OFFICE HERETOFORE HAS NOT SPECIFICALLY CONSIDERED THE PRECISE QUESTION SUBMITTED AND NOTHING APPEARS IN THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION PERTINENT THERETO. HOWEVER, AS THE INVITATION AUTHORIZED MODIFICATION OF BIDS BY TELEGRAM AND SINCE, AS INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, IT IS ACCEPTED PRACTICE FOR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES TO NOTIFY ADDRESSEES OF THE CONTENTS OF TELEGRAMS BY TELEPHONE, WE SEE NO OBJECTION IN A CASE SUCH AS THIS TO THE CONSIDERATION OF A TELEGRAPHIC MODIFICATION OF A BID TELEPHONED BY A RECEIVING TELEGRAPH OFFICE TO THE ADDRESSEE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRIOR TO THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING BIDS. HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR OR DECEIT, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE TELEPHONED MESSAGE SHOULD BE CONFIRMED BY A WRITTEN TELEGRAM AND AWARD WITHHELD UNTIL RECEIPT THEREOF.