B-142497, MAY 24, 1960

B-142497: May 24, 1960

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WILLIAM DOUGLAS CRAWFORD: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX OF APRIL 5. THE PROPERTY OFFERED FOR SALE CONSISTED OF 16 TRACTS OF LAND AND IT WAS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE INVITATION THAT: "BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF THIS PROPERTY MAY BE MADE FOR SEPARATE TRACTS OR FOR A COMBINATION OF TRACTS.'. BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 1. 9 AND 27 INDIVIDUAL BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON TRACTS NOS. 3. THE HIGHEST OF THE BIDS FOR EACH OF SUCH TRACTS WERE $18. THE HIGH BIDDERS ON THESE TRACTS WERE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO INCREASE THEIR OFFERS. SINCE IT WAS THE HIGHEST BIDDER ON TRACTS NOS. 3. STEUART'S OFFER WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 14. IT IS NOTED THAT AT LEAST 5 COMBINATION BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR TWO OR THREE TRACTS AT THIS SALE.

B-142497, MAY 24, 1960

TO MR. WILLIAM DOUGLAS CRAWFORD:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX OF APRIL 5, 1960, AND LETTER OF APRIL 11, 1960, PROTESTING AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION OF COMBINATION BIDS FOR THE SALE OF THE PINEY POINT ANNEX OF THE NAVAL GUN FACTORY, PINEY POINT, MARYLAND, UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. GS 03-B/S/-8709, ISSUED ON DECEMBER 18, 1959, BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

THE PROPERTY OFFERED FOR SALE CONSISTED OF 16 TRACTS OF LAND AND IT WAS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE INVITATION THAT: "BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF THIS PROPERTY MAY BE MADE FOR SEPARATE TRACTS OR FOR A COMBINATION OF TRACTS.' BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 1, 1960, AND IT APPEARS FROM THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS RECEIVED THAT YOU OFFERED TO PURCHASE TRACT NO. 3 FOR $14,050 AND TRACT NO. 5 FOR $9,550, AND THAT THE STEUART INVESTMENT COMPANY SUBMITTED A COMBINATION BID OF $35,150 FOR TRACTS NOS. 3, 4 AND 5. ASIDE FROM THE COMBINATION BID OF STEUART, 20, 9 AND 27 INDIVIDUAL BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON TRACTS NOS. 3, 4 AND 5, RESPECTIVELY, AND THE HIGHEST OF THE BIDS FOR EACH OF SUCH TRACTS WERE $18,500, $1,500 AND $9,550, RESPECTIVELY, OR A TOTAL OF $29,550. THE HIGH BIDDERS ON THESE TRACTS WERE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO INCREASE THEIR OFFERS, AND STEUART INCREASED ITS OFFER OF $35,150 TO $40,000 FOR THE THREE TRACTS. SINCE IT WAS THE HIGHEST BIDDER ON TRACTS NOS. 3, 4 AND 5, STEUART'S OFFER WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 14, 1960.

IT IS NOTED THAT AT LEAST 5 COMBINATION BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR TWO OR THREE TRACTS AT THIS SALE, THEREBY INDICATING THAT THESE PURCHASERS WERE INTERESTED ONLY IN ACQUIRING ALL OR NONE OF THE TRACTS BID UPON. THIS TYPE OF BIDDING IS NOT UNCOMMON WHEN SEVERAL TRACTS OF LAND OFFERED FOR SALE ARE CONTIGUOUS OR LOCATED IN THE SAME GENERAL AREA.

THE BID FORM, ON PAGE 8, PROVIDED SPACE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF A COMBINATION BID FOR TRACTS NOS. 1 AND 2 ONLY. WHY THIS WAS DONE IS NOT CLEAR TO US. HOWEVER, WE ARE ADVISED INFORMALLY BY GSA THAT SUCH PROVISION WAS INTENDED TO MERELY ILLUSTRATE THE TYPE OF BIDDING PERMITTED BY THE INVITATION. IN ANY EVENT, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE DISPOSAL AGENCY INTENDED TO LIMIT COMBINATION BIDS TO TRACTS NOS. 1AND 2, SINCE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTRARY TO THE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS STATEMENT IN THE INVITATION THAT BIDS COULD BE MADE "FOR A COMBINATION OF TRACTS ON THE * * * BID FORM, ON PAGES 7, 8, 9, AND 10," IT BEING NOTED THAT THESE PAGES INCLUDED A LISTING OF ALL OF THE TRACTS BEING SOLD. WHILE WE BELIEVE THAT IT WAS UNFORTUNATE TO SPECIFICALLY SINGLE OUT IN THE BID SCHEDULE ONLY TRACTS NOS. 1 AND 2 FOR COMBINATION BID PURPOSES, WE CANNOT HOLD THAT BIDDERS' RIGHTS WERE PREJUDICED IF THEY ELECTED TO BID UPON SINGLE TRACTS RATHER THAN IN COMBINATION, CONSIDERING THE UNEQUIVOCAL AUTHORIZATION IN THE INVITATION FOR THE SUBMISSION OF COMBINATION BIDS ON ANY OR ALL OF THE TRACTS INVOLVED. WE ARE CONSTRAINED TO CONCLUDE THAT NO LEGAL OBJECTION MAY BE RAISED TO THE SALE AS CONSUMMATED.