B-144172, OCT. 17, 1960

B-144172: Oct 17, 1960

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TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 5. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AWARD WAS MADE TO CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY. STATING THAT THE PRICES QUOTED ON ITEMS 1 AND 2 WERE REVERSED. IT IS STATED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 5. THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE SUBSEQUENTLY OBTAINED INFORMAL QUOTATIONS ON THE HARDWARE COVERED BY ITEM 1 AND THAT THE LOWEST PRICE QUOTED WAS $616.50. THE FACT THAT THE AMOUNT OF ITS BID ON ITEM 1 ($370.68) WAS COMPARABLE TO THE AMOUNT OF THE OTHER BID RECEIVED ON ITEM 2 ($290). IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION BEFORE MAKING THE AWARD.

B-144172, OCT. 17, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 5, 1960, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC., CEREDO, WEST VIRGINIA, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. M-61-6 ISSUED AUGUST 23, 1960, BY THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE, MONONGEHELA NATIONAL FOREST, ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED SEPTEMBER 6, 1960--- FOR FURNISHING MISCELLANEOUS HARDWARE (ITEM 1) AND REINFORCING STEEL (ITEM 2). IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC., SUBMITTED ITS BID IN THE AMOUNTS OF$370.68 ON ITEM 1 AND $605.48 ON ITEM 2. THE ONLY OTHER BIDDER QUOTED A PRICE OF $290 ON ITEM 2, SUBMITTING NO BID ON ITEM 1. ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1960, AWARD WAS MADE TO CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC., ON ITEM 1.

BY ITS LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 1960, CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC., ALLEGED AN ERROR IN ITS BID, STATING THAT THE PRICES QUOTED ON ITEMS 1 AND 2 WERE REVERSED, AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID ON BOTH ITEMS BE CANCELED. IT IS STATED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, 1960, THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE SUBSEQUENTLY OBTAINED INFORMAL QUOTATIONS ON THE HARDWARE COVERED BY ITEM 1 AND THAT THE LOWEST PRICE QUOTED WAS $616.50.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AS REPORTED AND SHOWN BY THE FILE, IT MAY BE REGARDED AS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED THAT CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC., MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED BY IT, INTENDING ITS BID TO BE $605.48 ON ITEM 1 AND $370.68 ON ITEM 2. ALSO, BECAUSE OF THE GREAT DISPARITY BETWEEN ITS BID ON ITEM 2 ($605.48) AND THE OTHER BID RECEIVED ON THAT ITEM ($290), AND THE FACT THAT THE AMOUNT OF ITS BID ON ITEM 1 ($370.68) WAS COMPARABLE TO THE AMOUNT OF THE OTHER BID RECEIVED ON ITEM 2 ($290), IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED VERIFICATION BEFORE MAKING THE AWARD.

FOR THE REASONS ABOVE SET FORTH, THE AWARD SHOULD BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY ON THE PART OF CEREDO LUMBER AND CREOSOTING COMPANY, INC.

THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED WITH LETTER OR OCTOBER 5, 1960, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.