B-144017, SEP. 29, 1960

B-144017: Sep 29, 1960

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BUREAU OF RECLAMATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14. REQUESTING OUR DECISION RESPECTING THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING A MISTAKE ALLEGED BY THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY GATE CITY STEEL. THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE WAS $13. YOU STATED THAT THE INVITATION IN THIS CASE WAS PREPARED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS ON THE BASIS OF A LUMP-SUM PRICE FOR THE SIX BULKHEAD GATES CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM 1 AND A UNIT PRICE FOR THE LIFTING FRAME UNDER ITEM 2. 200 WAS SO LOW AS TO INDICATE THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR. THUS THERE IS FOR COMPARISON THE TOTAL SECOND LOW BID OF $11.

B-144017, SEP. 29, 1960

TO MR. J. C. KIMBALL, CONTRACTING OFFICER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION RESPECTING THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING A MISTAKE ALLEGED BY THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. (D) 90,025-A, DATED JULY 22, 1960, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DENVER, COLORADO, FOR FURNISHING BULKHEAD GATES AND LIFTING FRAME FOR THE FLAMING GORGE UNIT OF THE COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT.

YOU REPORTED THAT FIFTEEN BIDS, RANGING FROM A LOW BID OF $5,400 TO A HIGH BID OF $42,166 FOR THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE TWO ITEMS UNDER THE SCHEDULE, WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE LOW BID BEING SUBMITTED BY THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY, BLUE ISLAND, ILLINOIS. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY GATE CITY STEEL, INC., BOISE, IDAHO, AT THE PRICE OF $11,841. THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE WAS $13,200 FOR ITEM 1 AND $800 FOR ITEM 2, OR AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $14,000.

YOU STATED THAT THE INVITATION IN THIS CASE WAS PREPARED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS ON THE BASIS OF A LUMP-SUM PRICE FOR THE SIX BULKHEAD GATES CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM 1 AND A UNIT PRICE FOR THE LIFTING FRAME UNDER ITEM 2, IT BEING STIPULATED IN THE INVITATION THAT NO BID WOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR ONLY A PART OF THE SCHEDULE. THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY QUOTED A LUMP-SUM PRICE OF $4,200 FOR ITEM 1 AND A PRICE OF $1,200 FOR ITEM 2, OR A TOTAL PRICE OF $5,400 FOR THE SCHEDULE. YOU STATED THAT THE PRICE SUBMITTED BY THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY FOR ITEM 1 WHEN COMPARED WITH THOSE QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS AND WITH THE ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE OF $13,200 WAS SO LOW AS TO INDICATE THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR. YOU THEN POINTED OUT THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER QUOTED A PRICE OF $10,717 FOR ITEM 1 AND A PRICE OF $1,124 FOR ITEM 2, AND THUS THERE IS FOR COMPARISON THE TOTAL SECOND LOW BID OF $11,841 FOR THE SCHEDULE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY LETTER OF AUGUST 19, 1960, THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE OF $4,200 FOR ITEM 1, AND THAT BY LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1960, THE COMPANY REPLIED TO THE EFFECT THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $4,200 WAS FOR ONLY ONE GATE AND THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY INSERTING THE PRICE FOR ONE GATE INSTEAD OF MAKING THE EXTENSION FOR THE SIX GATES REQUIRED FOR THIS ITEM AND WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN $25,200. BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1960, THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY TRANSMITTED ITS ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SHEET, COPY OF DRAWING 591-D-760, BID COPY OF THE INVITATION AND AFFIDAVITS FROM ITS ESTIMATOR AND TYPIST TO SUPPORT ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, AND REQUESTED TO BE EXCUSED FROM PERFORMANCE. IN VIEW OF THE ALLEGED ERROR AND THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT THEREOF, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE LOW BID OF THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UPON REQUEST FOR CONFIRMATION OF ITS BID AS TO ITEM 1, THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY ALLEGED ERROR AND SUBMITTED EVIDENCE SHOWING HOW THE ERROR OCCURRED. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE YOU ARE ON NOTICE OF ERROR, IT APPEARS THAT THE BID OF THAT CONCERN CANNOT BE ACCEPTED IN GOOD FAITH. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF THE ROCKWELL ENGINEERING COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD IN THIS CASE.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST, THE ENCLOSURES TO YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.