B-145259, APR. 10, 1961

B-145259: Apr 10, 1961

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 7. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE OPENED AN APPARENT ERROR WAS NOTED IN THE BID OF MILTON WELLEN. WELLEN WAS ASKED FOR AN ADDITIONAL DEPOSIT AND A VERIFICATION OF HIS BID. ONE FOR A TOTAL AGGREGATE OF $36 WAS UNACCEPTABLE BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT DEPOSIT AND THE SECOND BID FOR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL OF $53 WAS WELL BELOW THE BID OF MILTON WELLEN. WHILE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THERE IS NO DUTY UPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO COMPUTE THE EXTENSIONS OF UNIT PRICES CONTAINED IN BIDS IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH EXTENSIONS. THAT PRINCIPLE CLEARLY IS NOT FOR APPLICATION WHEN. AN ERROR IN EITHER THE UNIT PRICE OR TOTAL PRICE IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF SUCH ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-145259, APR. 10, 1961

TO CONTRACTING OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 7, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, YOUR FILE 5148/134, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR MILTON WELLEN ALLEGES HE MADE IN HIS BID OPENED FEBRUARY 27, 1961.

BY INVITATION 61-39, ISSUED FEBRUARY 9, 1961, THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA, REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF ITEM 1, COVERING ONE CONSOLE AND ITEM 2, COVERING TWO RADIO EQUIPMENT RACKS. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE OPENED AN APPARENT ERROR WAS NOTED IN THE BID OF MILTON WELLEN. ON ITEM 2 HE SUBMITTED A BID OF $75 PER UNIT AND AN EXTENSION OF $75. ON FEBRUARY 28, 1961, MR. WELLEN WAS ASKED FOR AN ADDITIONAL DEPOSIT AND A VERIFICATION OF HIS BID. MR. WELLEN REPLIED THAT HE HAD INTENDED TO BID $75 FOR ALL OF ITEM 2 AND NOT $75 EACH. THE BIDDER FURTHER CONFUSED THE BID BY INDICATING AN AGGREGATE TOTAL OF $135 ON THE REVERSE OF SF 114A AND THE CONTINUATION SHEET OF THE INVITATION TO BID.

OF THE OTHER TWO BIDS RECEIVED, ONE FOR A TOTAL AGGREGATE OF $36 WAS UNACCEPTABLE BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT DEPOSIT AND THE SECOND BID FOR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL OF $53 WAS WELL BELOW THE BID OF MILTON WELLEN. YOU RECOMMEND THE BID BE AWARDED TO MR. WELLEN AT THE TOTAL AGGREGATE PRICE OF $125.

WHILE THE INVITATION TO BID PROVIDED THAT IN CASE OF ERROR IN EXTENSION UNIT PRICES WOULD GOVERN, AND WHILE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THERE IS NO DUTY UPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO COMPUTE THE EXTENSIONS OF UNIT PRICES CONTAINED IN BIDS IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH EXTENSIONS, THAT PRINCIPLE CLEARLY IS NOT FOR APPLICATION WHEN, AS HERE, AN ERROR IN EITHER THE UNIT PRICE OR TOTAL PRICE IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE OF SUCH ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 746; AND 37 ID. 829.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID OF MILTON WELLEN WAS ERRONEOUS, AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD AND IN VIEW OF THE SMALL AMOUNT INVOLVED, MR. WELLEN'S BID MAY BE ACCEPTED ON THE BASIS YOU SUGGEST.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE QUESTION IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, WE BELIEVE YOUR INQUIRY SHOULD BE COORDINATED WITH VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON.