B-143570, AUG. 2, 1960

B-143570: Aug 2, 1960

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 20. ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. 14-20-0402-392 IS BASED. THE DECISION WILL BE ADDRESSED TO YOU. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 4. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON JULY 18. WHICH WAS REDUCED TO $1. THAT AN APPARENT ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE COMPANY AND THAT SUCH ERROR IS FURTHER EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THE ONLY OTHER BID WAS $3. IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND. THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION. IT IS APPARENT THAT THE BOND MARBLE AND TILE COMPANY.

B-143570, AUG. 2, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 20, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING AREA DIRECTOR, MUSKOGEE AREA OFFICE, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE BOND MARBLE AND TILECOMPANY, INC., TULSA, OKLAHOMA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. 14-20-0402-392 IS BASED.

SINCE AN AWARD HAS BEEN MADE IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE DECISION WILL BE ADDRESSED TO YOU. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 993; 28 ID. 401; 36 ID. 513.

THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA, BY INVITATION NO. P- 2123, AS AMENDED BY ADDENDUM NO. 1, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING LABOR AND MATERIALS AND PERFORMING ALL WORK REQUIRED FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A QUARRY TILE FLOOR IN BUILDING NO. 5, SAQUOYAH VOCATIONAL SCHOOL, TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA. THE SPECIFICATIONS ALSO REQUIRED THE CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM SOME CARPENTRY AND PLASTERING WORK. IN RESPONSE THE BOND MARBLE AND TILE COMPANY, INC., SUBMITTED A BID DATED APRIL 22, 1960, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR THE LUMP SUM OF $1,799. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MAY 4, 1960.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON JULY 18, 1960, MR. CLAY BOND AND HIS ATTORNEY VISITED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AND THAT MR. BOND REQUESTED THAT HE BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW HIS BID ON THE PROJECT FOR THE REASON THAT HE HAD FAILED TO NOTE THE FULL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN A LETTER DATED JULY 18, 1960, THE COMPANY STATED THAT IT HAD SUBMITTED ITS BID ON THE BASIS OF PERFORMING ONLY THE TILE WORK; THAT IT HAS BEEN ITS POLICY IN THE PAST, ON INVITATIONS REQUIRING TILE WORK AND OTHER TYPES OF WORK, TO BID ONLY ON THE TILE WORK; AND THAT AFTER RECEIVING NOTICE OF AWARD, IT LEARNED FROM ONE OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS THAT UNDER THE CONTRACT IT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PERFORM CARPENTRY AND PLASTERING WORK IN ADDITION TO THE TILE WORK. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF ITS ESTIMATE SHEET. THE ESTIMATE SHEET SHOWS VARIOUS ITEMS OF COST TOTALING $1,860, WHICH WAS REDUCED TO $1,799 BEFORE SUBMISSION OF THE BID. NONE OF THE ITEMS SHOWN THEREON APPEAR TO INCLUDE THE COST OF THE CARPENTRY AND PLASTERING WORK.

IN THE LETTER OF JULY 20, 1960, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (ACTING AREA DIRECTOR) STATES THAT HIS OFFICE FAILED TO NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF THE SPREAD BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE OF $3,600 AND THE BID PRICE OF $1,799, THAT AN APPARENT ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE COMPANY AND THAT SUCH ERROR IS FURTHER EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THE ONLY OTHER BID WAS $3,137. IN VIEW OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BID AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE BOND MARBLE AND TILE COMPANY, INC., MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. 14-20-0402-392 MAY BE CANCELLED WITHOUT LIABILITY.