B-142880, MAY 20, 1960

B-142880: May 20, 1960

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (D-150). BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED AND THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FIVE BIDS. - WERE RECEIVED. ADVISED YOU THAT THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS IN ERROR AND REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW ITS BID. YOU STATE THAT THE ORIGINAL BID PRICE OFFERED BY WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION IS SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS AND THAT IF THE CORPORATION IS PERMITTED TO INCREASE ITS BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED ITS BID WOULD BE THE FOURTH LOWEST BID. THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE OTHER BIDS SUFFICIENTLY WARRANTS THE CONCLUSION PRIMA FACIE THAT A BONA FIDE MISTAKE WAS MADE BY WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION.

B-142880, MAY 20, 1960

TO MR. GRANT BLOODGOOD, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER AND CHIEF ENGINEER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (D-150), DATED MAY 10, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING AN ERROR WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, DENVER, COLORADO, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO BUREAU OF RECLAMATION INVITATION NO. DS-5288.

INVITATION NO. DS-5288, ISSUED MARCH 4, 1960, SOLICITED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED APRIL 7, 1960--- FOR FURNISHING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE, SPECIFICATIONS, ETC., "OSCILLOGRAPH CONTROL BOARD SECTION FOR FORT THOMPSON SUBSTATION (STAGE 01), TRANSMISSION DIVISION, SOUTH DAKOTA, MISSOURI RIVER BASIN PROJECT.'

BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED AND THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FIVE BIDS--- RANGING FROM $9,503 TO $27,415, WITH PRICES FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES FROM $10,165.50 TO $27,981.10, INCLUDING COST OF REPRODUCED TRACINGS AND COST OF SERVICES OF ERECTING ENGINEER--- WERE RECEIVED. AFTER BID OPENING AND PRIOR TO AWARD, BY LETTER DATED APRIL 15, 1960, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LOW BIDDER, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, ADVISED YOU THAT THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS IN ERROR AND REQUESTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW ITS BID. LATER BY LETTER DATED MAY 9, 1960, THE BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT IN THE ORIGINAL COMPUTATION OF ITS BID IT FAILED TO INCLUDE THE PRICE OF $16,500 FOR A HATHAWAY OSCILLOGRAPH TO BE FURNISHED, STATING THAT ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEET SHOWED THIS OMISSION, AND IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATIONS FORWARDED ITS PURPORTED ORIGINAL WORKSHEET TOGETHER WITH A SWORN STATEMENT OF MAY 5, 1960, BY AN EMPLOYEE OF ITS ASSEMBLED SWITCHGEAR AND DEVICES SALES DEPARTMENT.

YOU STATE THAT THE ORIGINAL BID PRICE OFFERED BY WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION IS SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS AND THAT IF THE CORPORATION IS PERMITTED TO INCREASE ITS BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED ITS BID WOULD BE THE FOURTH LOWEST BID.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE OTHER BIDS SUFFICIENTLY WARRANTS THE CONCLUSION PRIMA FACIE THAT A BONA FIDE MISTAKE WAS MADE BY WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, AS ALLEGED. SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID, AS REQUESTED BY IT.