B-144746, JAN. 19, 1961

B-144746: Jan 19, 1961

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 3. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED. WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT SUCH A DISPARITY IN THE BID PRICES WAS CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND. THE COMPANY SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED THE USUAL OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO AWARD. ARE RETURNED.

B-144746, JAN. 19, 1961

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 3, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE MCEWEN'S FARM SERVICE AND SUPPLY CO., LEWISTOWN, MONTANA, MAY BE GRANTED RELIEF FROM ITS LIABILITIES UNDER ITEM NO. 6 OF CONTRACT NO. 14-11-0008-908 IN VIEW OF THE DISCLOSURE AFTER AWARD OF AN ERROR IN THE RELATED BID.

THE MCEWEN'S FARM SERVICE AND SUPPLY CO. SUBMITTED THE LOW BID OF $0.525 FOR FURNISHING 7,000 POUNDS OF "BLUE BUNCH WHEATGRASS (AGROPYRON SPECATUM) REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DENVER, COLORADO, UNDER ITEM NO. 6 OF BID INVITATION NO. 61-30 DATED OCTOBER 11, 1960. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED, $1.475 PER POUND FOR 715 POUNDS, $1.50 PER POUND FOR 4,568 POUNDS, AND $1.85 PER POUND FOR 1,000 POUNDS. OBVIOUSLY, THE LOW BID WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED. VIEW OF THIS, AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE REASONS GIVEN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR NOT RECOGNIZING THE PROBABILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE BID OF MCEWEN'S FARM SERVICE AND SUPPLY CO., WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT SUCH A DISPARITY IN THE BID PRICES WAS CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE COMPANY'S BID AND, THEREFORE, THE COMPANY SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED THE USUAL OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO AWARD. MOREOVER, THE AFFIDAVIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY CLEARLY SUPPORTS THE COMPANY'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND EXPLAINS HOW IT OCCURRED.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, MCEWEN'S FARM SERVICE AND SUPPLY CO. MAY BE RELIEVED FROM LIABILITY FOR THE EXCESS COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT RESULTING FROM THE PROCUREMENT FROM ANOTHER SOURCE OF THE SEED COVERED BY ITEM NO. 6 OF CONTRACT NO. 14-11-0008-908.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, ARE RETURNED, AS REQUESTED.