B-144575, DEC. 13, 1960

B-144575: Dec 13, 1960

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FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION. THE LOWEST BID IS REPORTED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED DOES NOT MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE NEXT TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED WERE FROM CATERPILLAR TRACTOR COMPANY AND INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY. IF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CONSIDER THE INTERNATIONAL DISCOUNT ITS BID WOULD BE LOW. THE DISCOUNT OFFERED "FROM DATE OF INVOICE" BY INTERNATIONAL IS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION WHICH REQUIRED THAT THE DISCOUNT PERIOD BEGIN TO RUN FROM THE DATE OF DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT AT DESTINATION OR FROM THE DATE THE CORRECT BILL OR DULY CERTIFIED VOUCHER IS RECEIVED OR FROM THE DATE THE CONTRACT IS FORMALLY EXECUTED.

B-144575, DEC. 13, 1960

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

YOUR LETTER D-289A OF DECEMBER 2, 1960, REQUESTS A DECISION RELATIVE TO AN ERROR INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID TO FURNISH ONE CRAWLER-TRACTOR WITH AN ANGLE DOZER UNDER INVITATION (U) 86,500-A.

FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION. THE LOWEST BID IS REPORTED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED DOES NOT MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE NEXT TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED WERE FROM CATERPILLAR TRACTOR COMPANY AND INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY. CATERPILLAR BID $29,025.46. INTERNATIONAL BID $29,488.82 LESS "A CASH DISCOUNT OF 2 PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 30 CALENDAR DAYS FROM DATE OF INVOICE.' THE DISCOUNT WOULD TOTAL $589.78. THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CONSIDER THE INTERNATIONAL DISCOUNT ITS BID WOULD BE LOW. BUT, AS YOU INDICATE, THE DISCOUNT OFFERED "FROM DATE OF INVOICE" BY INTERNATIONAL IS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION WHICH REQUIRED THAT THE DISCOUNT PERIOD BEGIN TO RUN FROM THE DATE OF DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT AT DESTINATION OR FROM THE DATE THE CORRECT BILL OR DULY CERTIFIED VOUCHER IS RECEIVED OR FROM THE DATE THE CONTRACT IS FORMALLY EXECUTED, WHICHEVER IS LATER. INTERNATIONAL, HOWEVER, STATES THAT ITS DISCOUNT TERMS WERE STATED IN ERROR BY ONE OF ITS CLERKS AND THAT IT WAS NOT INTENDED THAT THEY BE AT VARIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION. INTERNATIONAL THEREFORE SEEKS TO HAVE ITS DISCOUNT TERMS CORRECTED TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION.

THE DISCOUNT TERMS AS OFFERED BY INTERNATIONAL IN ITS BID ARE CLEARLY AT VARIANCE WITH THE TERMS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION AND ARE THEREFORE NONRESPONSIVE TO THE DISCOUNT PROVISION. IN 38 COMP. GEN. 876, AT PAGE 878, WE STATED,"ERRORS IN BID WHICH MAY BE CORRECTED AFTER OPENING ARE THOSE WHICH DO NOT AFFECT THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID.' FURTHER, IN B- 134931, JANUARY 30, 1958, WE STATED,"THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER A BID IS RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION IS FOR DETERMINATION UPON THE BASIS OF THE BID AS SUBMITTED AND IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT IT WOULD BE PROPER TO CONSIDER THE REASON FOR THE UNRESPONSIVENESS, WHETHER DUE TO MISTAKE OR OTHERWISE.'

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, NO BASIS EXISTS THAT WOULD PERMIT OUR OFFICE TO AUTHORIZE INTERNATIONAL TO CHANGE ITS BID TO MAKE IT RESPONSIVE TO THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION.

PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING FURNISHED TO THE COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ..END :