B-144616, DEC. 30, 1960

B-144616: Dec 30, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 60145. THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 29. THE LOW BID OF AMERICAN-STANDARD WAS $1. 324 AND THE NEXT LOW BID WAS $2. THE THREE REMAINING BIDS WERE $2. AMERICAN-STANDARD SET FORTH THE DISCOUNT SCHEDULE USED TO ARRIVE AT THE FIGURE STATED IN ITS BID AND ATTACHED THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE AND A WORK SHEET TO SUBSTANTIATE THE STATEMENT THAT ITS INTENDED BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2. WE AGREE WITH YOUR CONCLUSION THAT THE AMERICAN-STANDARD BID IS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS AND THAT AN EXAMINATION OF THE ESTIMATE SHEETS CONFIRMS THE BIDDER'S EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED ERROR. IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT ACCEPTANCE OF A BID WITH KNOWLEDGE OF AN ERROR THEREIN DOES NOT COMSUMMATE A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. 36 COMP.

B-144616, DEC. 30, 1960

TO MR. J. GEORGE STEWART, ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, INQUIRING IF YOU MAY DISREGARD, BECAUSE OF AN ERROR, THE LOW BID OF THE AMERICAN- STANDARD INDUSTRIAL DIVISION OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IN MAKING AN AWARD FOR A FAN FOR THE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM IN THE OLD SENATE OFFICE BUILDING.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 60145, DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1960, AND THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 29, 1960. THE LOW BID OF AMERICAN-STANDARD WAS $1,324 AND THE NEXT LOW BID WAS $2,049 FROM THE TRANE COMPANY. THE THREE REMAINING BIDS WERE $2,166, $2,306 AND $2,911.

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5, 1960, AMERICAN-STANDARD ADVISED THAT AN ERROR OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS ESTIMATE AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE WITHDRAWN. AMERICAN-STANDARD SET FORTH THE DISCOUNT SCHEDULE USED TO ARRIVE AT THE FIGURE STATED IN ITS BID AND ATTACHED THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE AND A WORK SHEET TO SUBSTANTIATE THE STATEMENT THAT ITS INTENDED BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2,324 INSTEAD OF $1,324.

WE AGREE WITH YOUR CONCLUSION THAT THE AMERICAN-STANDARD BID IS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS AND THAT AN EXAMINATION OF THE ESTIMATE SHEETS CONFIRMS THE BIDDER'S EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED ERROR.

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT ACCEPTANCE OF A BID WITH KNOWLEDGE OF AN ERROR THEREIN DOES NOT COMSUMMATE A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. 36 COMP. GEN. 441, 444; 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 576. IN ALTA ELECTRIC AND MECHANICAL COMPANY, INC. V. UNITED STATES, 90 CT.CL. 466, THE COURT RECOGNIZED THE RIGHT OF A BIDDER TO WITHDRAW HIS BID WHEN NOTICE OF ERROR IN THE BID WAS GIVEN TO THE CONTRACTING AGENCY PRIOR TO AWARD.

SINCE THE ERROR HAS BEEN ALLEGED BEFORE THE AWARD AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED, AMERICAN-STANDARD IS ENTITLED TO HAVE ITS BID WITHDRAWN, AS REQUESTED. THE ERRONEOUS BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT.