B-142317, MAR. 30, 1960

B-142317: Mar 30, 1960

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BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14. WERE OPENED ON MARCH 3. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE BIDS WERE READ AS BEING IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS: $8. THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $9. THE BIDS WERE REVIEWED. IT WAS THEN DISCOVERED THAT THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER. 760 WAS SHOWN. ON THE LATTER COPIES NO EXPRESSION OF THE AMOUNT WAS GIVEN IN WORDS. ALL THREE COPIES OF THE BID FORM WERE COMPLETED BY THE BIDDER AS ORIGINAL COPIES. 670 APPEARED ON STANDARD FORM 33 (OCTOBER 1957 EDITION) WHILE THE OTHER TWO BID FORMS USED WERE IN EACH CASE STANDARD FORM 33 (REVISED JUNE 1955). IN SOLICITING BIDS IN THIS CASE THE 1955 EDITION OF STANDARD FORM 33 WAS ORIGINALLY USED BUT WHEN IT WAS LEARNED THAT THERE WAS AN OCTOBER 1957 EDITION OF THIS FORM.

B-142317, MAR. 30, 1960

TO MR. EDWARD A. POYNTON, CHIEF, BRANCH OF PLANT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1960, FILE PD AND C, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHICH OF TWO AMOUNTS SHOWN ON SEPARATE COPIES OF A BID SUBMITTED BY WOODS CONTRACTING COMPANY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN COMPETITION WITH OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON AN ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT OF SERVICES.

BIDS FOR DEMOLITION OF A GIRLS' DORMITORY AT FORT WINGATE, NEW MEXICO, WERE OPENED ON MARCH 3, 1960. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED. AT THE TIME OF THE BID OPENING, THE BIDS WERE READ AS BEING IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS: $8,670; $8,733; $22,809.72; $24,449; AND $37,250. THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $9,048.

AFTER THE BID OPENING AND AFTER ALL IN ATTENDANCE HAD DEPARTED, THE BIDS WERE REVIEWED. IT WAS THEN DISCOVERED THAT THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER, WOODS CONTRACTING COMPANY, HAD SHOWN THE AMOUNT OF $8,670 ON ONE OF THE THREE COPIES OF THE BID FORM REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED, WITH THE SAME AMOUNT ALSO BEING EXPRESSED IN WORDS, WHILE ON THE OTHER TWO COPIES OF THE BID FORM THE AMOUNT OF $8,760 WAS SHOWN. HOWEVER, ON THE LATTER COPIES NO EXPRESSION OF THE AMOUNT WAS GIVEN IN WORDS. ALL THREE COPIES OF THE BID FORM WERE COMPLETED BY THE BIDDER AS ORIGINAL COPIES. THE FIRST AMOUNT OF $8,670 APPEARED ON STANDARD FORM 33 (OCTOBER 1957 EDITION) WHILE THE OTHER TWO BID FORMS USED WERE IN EACH CASE STANDARD FORM 33 (REVISED JUNE 1955).

IN SOLICITING BIDS IN THIS CASE THE 1955 EDITION OF STANDARD FORM 33 WAS ORIGINALLY USED BUT WHEN IT WAS LEARNED THAT THERE WAS AN OCTOBER 1957 EDITION OF THIS FORM, ADDENDUM NO. 1 DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1960, WAS ISSUED, CALLING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT A COPY OF THE 1957 EDITION WAS BOUND INTO THE SPECIFICATIONS THEN BEING DISTRIBUTED AND ADVISING PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS THAT THEY SHOULD DESTROY ALL 1955 EDITIONS AND THAT ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THE 1957 EDITION WOULD BE FURNISHED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS IN TRIPLICATE.

UPON THE REQUEST OF YOUR OFFICE, MR. WOODS HAS FURNISHED AN EXPLANATION AS TO HOW THE AMOUNT OF $8,670 WAS SHOWN AS THE AMOUNT OF HIS COMPANY'S BID ON THE 1957 EDITION OF THE BIDDING FORM WHILE THE TWO 1955 EDITIONS SHOW THE AMOUNT OF THE BID AS $8,760. IN HIS NOTARIZED LETTER OF MARCH 7, 1960, MR. WOODS STATED HE WAS FURNISHED ONLY ONE COPY OF THE 1957 EDITION AND THAT THIS FORM WAS FILLED OUT PROPERLY BY SHOWING THE AMOUNT THAT HE INTENDED TO BID ($8,670), IN FIGURES AND WORDS. ALSO, HE STATED THAT SINCE THE 1955 EDITIONS WERE SENT HIM AND SINCE THOSE FORMS MADE REFERENCE ON PAGE 3 TO ADDENDUMS 1 AND 2, HE CONCLUDED THAT THEY COULD BE USED, ALTHOUGH HE HAD INTENDED TO GET THE LATER 1957 EDITION BUT CONCLUDED FINALLY HE MIGHT BE TOO LATE FOR THE BID OPENING. IT WAS WHILE COMPLETING THE TWO ADDITIONAL COPIES OF STANDARD FORM 33 (REVISED JUNE 1955) THAT THE TRANSPOSITION OF FIGURES OCCURRED, RESULTING IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,760 BEING SHOWN ON THE TWO INCORRECT BID FORMS.

IT IS OBVIOUS THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THIS CASE SINCE THE AMOUNT OF THE BID IS SHOWN AS $8,670 ON ONE BID FORM AND THE AMOUNT OF $8,760 IS SHOWN ON THE OTHER TWO FORMS. IF THIS INTENDED BID WERE TO BE REGARDED AS IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,760, IT WOULD NO LONGER BE THE LOW BID AS THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED A BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,733. IT CAN NOT BE ASCERTAINED FROM THE FACE OF THE INVITATION AND BID ITSELF AS TO WHAT WAS THE INTENDED BID. IN SUCH CASES, WHERE THE CORRECTION IN A BID MIGHT DISPLACE ONE OR MORE BIDDERS FROM BEING FAVORABLY CONSIDERED FOR AWARD, OUR OFFICE HAS GENERALLY HELD THAT CORRECTION SHOULD NOT BE MADE AND THAT SUCH BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD. COMPARE 37 COMP. GEN. 210; ID. 851.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF WOODS CONTRACTING COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD.