B-142695, MAY 10, 1960

B-142695: May 10, 1960

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (D-289A). BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION FOR FURNISHING FOUR ITEMS OF FISH SCREENS. WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. 490 FOR THE SCHEDULE WAS SUBMITTED BY UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO. 780 WAS SUBMITTED BY THE WESTERN FOUNDRY AND MACHINE WORKS. THE GOVERNMENT ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE IS GIVEN AS $42. SINCE AT THE TIME BIDS WERE BEING EVALUATED. IT WAS NOTED THAT THIS PRICE WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE SECOND LOW BIDDER'S PRICE OF $25. 667 POUNDS WAS CALCULATED FOR ITEM NO. 2 WHEREAS IT SHOULD HAVE USED 102. IT HAS NOT ESTABLISHED EXACTLY WHAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS. HAS NOT ESTABLISHED EXACTLY WHAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS.

B-142695, MAY 10, 1960

TO MR. J. C. KIMBALL, HEAD, INVITATIONS AND AWARDS SECTION, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (D-289A), DATED APRIL 22, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING AN ERROR UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO., DENVER, COLORADO, ALLEGES IT MADE AS TO ITEM NO. 2 ON ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. (D) H-33,409-A. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE LOW BID OF THE COMPANY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD AND, IF SO, AT WHAT PRICE FIGURE FOR ITEM NO. 2.

BY INVITATION NO. (D) H-33,409-A, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1960, BIDS WERE SOLICITED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION FOR FURNISHING FOUR ITEMS OF FISH SCREENS, METALWORK, ETC., AS LISTED ON THE SCHEDULE (PAGE 3) AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACCOMPANYING SPECIFICATIONS, DRAWINGS NOS. 416-D 509 THROUGH 515; -D-641; 40-D-5-199, IN SUPPLEMENTAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS (7- 1560, SEPTEMBER 1959), THE ITEMS TO BE DELIVERED F.O.B. DESTINATION (REDDING, CALIFORNIA). THE INVITATION REQUIRED THAT BIDS BE SUBMITTED ON THE BASIS OF A LUMP-SUM PRICE FOR EACH OF THE FOUR ITEMS, AND PROVIDED THAT NO BID WOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR ONLY A PART OF THE SCHEDULE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT 22 BIDS, RANGING FROM A LOW OF $27,490 TO A HIGH OF $68,100 FOR THE TOTAL OF THE FOUR ITEMS, WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE LOW TOTAL BID OF $27,490 FOR THE SCHEDULE WAS SUBMITTED BY UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO. AND THE SECOND LOW BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $36,780 WAS SUBMITTED BY THE WESTERN FOUNDRY AND MACHINE WORKS, INC., TOPEKA, KANSAS. THE GOVERNMENT ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE IS GIVEN AS $42,400 FOR THE FOUR ITEMS.

YOU STATE THAT UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO. IN ITS BID QUOTED A LUMP- SUM PRICE OF $16,480 FOR ITEM NO. 2 AND THAT, SINCE AT THE TIME BIDS WERE BEING EVALUATED, IT WAS NOTED THAT THIS PRICE WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE SECOND LOW BIDDER'S PRICE OF $25,380 FOR THAT ITEM AND WITH THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE OF $28,840 FOR THE ITEM, THERE EXISTED THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE LOW BID. ACCORDINGLY, YOU REQUESTED UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO., BY LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1960, TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE OF $16,480 ON ITEM NO. 2. IN REPLY, BY LETTER DATED MARCH 25, 1960, THE COMPANY ADVISED YOU THAT IT HAD MADE A SERIOUS MISTAKE IN ITS BID, EXPLAINING THAT A WEIGHT OF ONLY 68,667 POUNDS WAS CALCULATED FOR ITEM NO. 2 WHEREAS IT SHOULD HAVE USED 102,374 POUNDS, WHICH WOULD BRING ITS CORRECTED TOTAL PRICE TO $24,570 FOR ITEM NO. 2 ONLY, AND A CORRECTED TOTAL PRICE OF $35,580 FOR THE FOUR ITEMS ON THE BIDDING SCHEDULE. LETTER DATED APRIL 13, 1960, THE COMPANY STATED THAT UPON A REVIEW OF ITS BID IT FOUND THAT IT HAD ESTIMATED ITS WORK AT TOO LOW A PRICE FOR THE CLASS OF WORK CALLED FOR ON THE PROJECT AND, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT IT BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS ENTIRE PROPOSAL. LATER, BY LETTER OF APRIL 14, 1960, THE COMPANY EXTENDED THE PERIOD FOR ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID TO MAY 23, 1960, AND IN SUPPORT OF ITS CLAIM OF ERROR FORWARDED A NOTARIZED AFFIDAVIT TOGETHER WITH ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS.

YOU STATE FURTHER THAT A CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF THE BIDDER'S WORKSHEET DISCLOSES SEVERAL MATHEMATICAL ERRORS IN THE EXTENSION UNDER THE TOTAL WEIGHT COLUMN AND THAT THE INCREASE OF $8,090 IN ITS PRICE FOR PRESUMABLY INCLUDES A COMPONENT FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION CHARGES SHOWN ORIGINALLY TO BE $520 ON THE BIDDER'S WORKSHEET. YOU STATE, ALSO, THAT THE EXAMINATION OF THE WORKSHEET FURTHER INDICATES A MATHEMATICAL ERROR IN ADDITION ($1,000) IN THAT THE TOTAL FIGURE OF $15,448 SHOWN THEREON APPARENTLY SHOULD BE $14,448, BUT THAT THE BIDDER HAS MADE NO COMMENT AS TO THIS LATTER ERROR.

WHILE THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CORPORATION MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, IT HAS NOT ESTABLISHED EXACTLY WHAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS. HAS NOT ESTABLISHED EXACTLY WHAT ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS. TO ALLOW IT TO CORRECT ITS BID AT THIS TIME WOULD BE TO PERMIT RECOMPUTATION OF THE BID, AFTER BID OPENING, CONTRARY TO OUR DECISIONS. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577; 34 ID. 76, 78; 38 ID. 633.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOU HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE UNITED STEEL AND IRON WORKS CO. MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED BY IT, PRIOR TO AWARD, IT MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID, AS REQUESTED.