B-143355, AUG. 8, 1960

B-143355: Aug 8, 1960

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM. PRICES QUOTED WERE TO BE F.O.B. FOR PURPOSES OF BID EVALUATION BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO INSERT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF OUTER SHIPPING CONTAINERS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THAT BID WAS CONSIDERED NON-RESPONSIVE FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE REQUIRED SHIPPING DATA. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINERS WAS APPROXIMATELY 240 POUNDS. BECAUSE OF THE DISPARITY IN THE SHIPPING WEIGHT OF THE TWO LOW BIDS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED IN THE WEIGHT OF YOUR BID AND YOU WERE THEREUPON REQUESTED TO VERIFY YOUR BID. YOU WERE CONTACTED BY TELEPHONE ON JUNE 10. THAT NO WORKSHEET WAS USED BUT YOU INCLUDED A BREAKDOWN OF THE MODIFIED WEIGHT OF 225 POUNDS PER SHIPPING CONTAINER AND CERTIFIED THAT IT WAS CORRECT.

B-143355, AUG. 8, 1960

TO EGAN COTTON MILLS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM--- RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON JUNE 29, 1960--- PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO OTHER THAN YOUR CONCERN UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. QM-30-127-60-247, ISSUED BY THE SCHENECTADY GENERAL DEPOT, U.S. ARMY, UNDER DATE OF MAY 17, 1960. BY OUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1960, WE ADVISED YOU THAT THE MATTER OF YOUR PROTEST HAD BEEN TAKEN UP WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THAT WE WOULD ADVISE YOU OF OUR DECISION AFTER WE HAD CONCLUDED DEVELOPMENT OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE EVIDENCE BEFORE US SHOWS THAT THE CITED INVITATION CALLED FOR FURNISHING 2000 YARDS OF PADDING CONFORMING TO CERTAIN INDICATED SPECIFICATIONS. PRICES QUOTED WERE TO BE F.O.B. ORIGIN WITH INLAND AND OCEAN TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO BE COMPUTED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE LOWEST LAID-DOWN COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AT THE OVERSEAS PORT OF DISCHARGE. FOR PURPOSES OF BID EVALUATION BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO INSERT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF OUTER SHIPPING CONTAINERS, GROSS AVERAGE WEIGHT PER OUTER SHIPPING CONTAINER AND MAXIMUM AVERAGE CUBE PER OUTER SHIPPING CONTAINER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE LOWEST BEING THAT SUBMITTED BY YOUR CONCERN AT THE PRICE OF $1.26 PER YARD, LESS ONE-FOURTH OF ONE PERCENT DISCOUNT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN TWENTY DAYS. YOUR BID LISTED THE NUMBER OF CONTAINERS AS 40, THE GROSS AVERAGE WEIGHT PER CONTAINER AS FOUR POUNDS, AND THE MAXIMUM CUBE PER CONTAINER AS 33.6 FEET. THE NEXT LOW BIDDER SUBMITTED A BID OF $1.30 PER YARD, NET, AND SHOWED THE GROSS AVERAGE WEIGHT OF 40 CONTAINERS AS 221 POUNDS PER CONTAINER. THE THIRD BIDDER OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE PADDING AT THE PRICE OF $1.74 PER YARD, BUT THAT BID WAS CONSIDERED NON-RESPONSIVE FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE REQUIRED SHIPPING DATA.

THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINERS WAS APPROXIMATELY 240 POUNDS. BECAUSE OF THE DISPARITY IN THE SHIPPING WEIGHT OF THE TWO LOW BIDS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED IN THE WEIGHT OF YOUR BID AND YOU WERE THEREUPON REQUESTED TO VERIFY YOUR BID. BY LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1960, YOU ADVISED THAT YOU HAD INTERPRETED THE GROSS AVERAGE WEIGHT FOR SINGLE OUTER SHIPPING CONTAINERS TO MEAN ONLY THE WRAPPING PAPER AND BURLAP AND YOU STATED THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MODIFY YOU BID TO READ 225 POUNDS PER CONTAINER IN LIEU OF THE FOUR POUNDS STATED IN YOUR BID. SINCE YOUR LETTER DID NOT CONTAIN ANY WORKSHEET OR SUPPORTING EVIDENCE OF THE ALLEGED MISTAKE, YOU WERE CONTACTED BY TELEPHONE ON JUNE 10, 1960, AND REQUESTED TO FURNISH EVIDENCE OF THE ALLEGED ERROR. YOU ADVISED BY LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1960, THAT NO WORKSHEET WAS USED BUT YOU INCLUDED A BREAKDOWN OF THE MODIFIED WEIGHT OF 225 POUNDS PER SHIPPING CONTAINER AND CERTIFIED THAT IT WAS CORRECT.

IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1960, THAT YOU MISINTERPRETED THE GROSS AVERAGE WEIGHT OF THE SHIPPING CONTAINERS TO MEAN THE WEIGHT OF THE WRAPPING PAPER AND BURLAP ONLY, AND YOUR BID WAS NOT INTENDED TO COVER THE CONTAINER AND ITS CONTENTS. THE BASIC RULE IS THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THEY ARE OPENED, AND THE EXCEPTION PERMITTING A BID TO BE CORRECTED UPON SUFFICIENT FACTS ESTABLISHING THAT A BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN THAT SET DOWN ON THE BID FORM, WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, DOES NOT EXTEND TO PERMITTING A BIDDER TO RECALCULATE AND CHANGE HIS BID TO INCLUDE FACTORS WHICH HE DID NOT HAVE IN MIND WHEN HIS BID WAS SUBMITTED, OR AS TO WHICH HE HAS SINCE CHANGED HIS MIND. 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577.

WE THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THE AMENDMENT OF YOUR BID TO THE WEIGHT REQUESTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1960, WOULD AMOUNT TO A RECOMPUTATION OF YOUR BID AFTER OPENING. ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH HEREIN YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.