B-143144, JUL. 5, 1960

B-143144: Jul 5, 1960

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8. WAS AWARDED GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT NO. IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE BIDDER SHOULD STATE WHETHER STATE TAXES HAVE BEEN INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FROM HIS QUOTATIONS AND. IN THE EVENT THAT NO SUCH INDICATION IS MADE BY THE BIDDER. IT WILL BE UNDERSTOOD THAT ALL STATE TAXES ARE INCLUDED IN PRICES QUOTED. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE QUOTED PRICES SHOULD INCLUDE ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL TAXES IN EFFECT ON THE DATE SET FOR BID OPENING. AT TIME OF BID) WERE NOT INCLUDABLE IN THE BID PRICE. THAT IT IS APPARENT THE ERROR SHOULD HAVE BEEN DETECTED BECAUSE BY COMPARISON WITH THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S CONTRACT FOR THESE ITEMS IT IS NOTED THERE IS A VARIANCE OF $0.0101 PER GALLON.

B-143144, JUL. 5, 1960

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED FROM AN ERROR IN BID ALLEGED BY STEVE W. O-LEARY AFTER AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. GS-10S 14011, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1959.

BY RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. SES-1545, ISSUED JUNE 26, 1959, STEVE W. O-LEARY OF HARLEM, MONTANA, AN INDIVIDUAL DOING BUSINESS AS O- LEARY'S SERVICE STATION, WAS AWARDED GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT NO. GS-10S-14011 ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1959, COVERING ITEMS NOS. 152, 153 AND 154, AN ESTIMATED TOTAL OF 102,000 GALLONS OF GASOLINE AT A MAXIMUM PRICE OF $0.208 PER GALLON, FOR THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1959, THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1960.

UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND RESULTING CONTRACT, IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE BIDDER SHOULD STATE WHETHER STATE TAXES HAVE BEEN INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FROM HIS QUOTATIONS AND, IN THE EVENT THAT NO SUCH INDICATION IS MADE BY THE BIDDER, IT WILL BE UNDERSTOOD THAT ALL STATE TAXES ARE INCLUDED IN PRICES QUOTED. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE QUOTED PRICES SHOULD INCLUDE ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL TAXES IN EFFECT ON THE DATE SET FOR BID OPENING.

SUBSEQUENT TO AWARD, BY LETTERS DATED MARCH 1 AND 21, 1960, THE CONTRACTOR NOTIFIED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OF AN ALLEGED MISTAKE IN HIS BID TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAD DEDUCTED $0.09 PER GALLON FROM HIS ACTUAL PRICE OF $0.298 PER GALLON ON THE CONTRACT ITEMS UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT TAXES (CONSISTING OF $0.06 PER GALLON STATE TAX, AND $0.03 PER GALLON FEDERAL TAX, AT TIME OF BID) WERE NOT INCLUDABLE IN THE BID PRICE. THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTS CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT.

AN ABSTRACT OF BIDS REVEALS THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER ON THESE ITEMS, UNION OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA, SUBMITTED A BID OF $0.2201 PER GALLON ON ITEM NO. 153, AND $0.2241 ON ITEMS NOS. 152 AND 154.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT DUE TO THE VOLUME OF BIDS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO THE INVITATION, EVALUATION OF BIDS DID NOT REVEAL TO HIM THE PRESENCE OF AN OBVIOUS ERROR. BUT HE CONCLUDES ON RE EXAMINING THE BIDS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE BIDDER'S STATEMENT, THAT IT IS APPARENT THE ERROR SHOULD HAVE BEEN DETECTED BECAUSE BY COMPARISON WITH THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S CONTRACT FOR THESE ITEMS IT IS NOTED THERE IS A VARIANCE OF $0.0101 PER GALLON. BASED ON THE FOREGOING, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS OF THE VIEW THAT RELIEF SHOULD BE GRANTED TO THE CONTRACTOR.

WE AGREE WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT HE SHOULD HAVE NOTED A POSSIBLE MISTAKE IN THE LOW BID. SINCE THE PRICE OF GASOLINE IS RELATIVELY STABLE, THE EXPERIENCE OF THE PROCURING OFFICE IN THE PRICES RECEIVED FOR THIS COMMODITY ON PAST PROCUREMENTS, AND UNDER THE PRESENT INVITATION, SHOULD HAVE ALERTED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND HE SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRICE PRIOR TO MAKING THE AWARD. SEE B-141847, FEBRUARY 19, 1960.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACTOR MAY BE ALLOWED AN AMOUNT ON DELIVERIES MADE UNDER ITEMS NOS. 152, 153, AND 154 OF THE SUBJECT CONTRACT NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT BID BY THE NEXT LOW BIDDER AND THE CONTRACT MAY BE CANCELLED UPON APPROPRIATE NOTICE TO THE CONTRACTOR.