B-145303, APR. 20, 1961

B-145303: Apr 20, 1961

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UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 9. FIVE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED RANGING FROM $70. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THIS WORK IS $52. HE DISCOVERED THAT SUCH BID WAS LIMITED TO MECHANICAL WORK. PAINTING AND STRUCTURAL ITEMS WHICH HE UNDERSTOOD WERE INCLUDED. 850 WAS RECEIVED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 13. THAT SUCH BID WAS NOT CONSIDERED SINCE THE BID BY HEAD WAS LOWER. STATING THAT HIS BID WOULD HAVE BEEN THIS MUCH HIGHER IF HE HAD NOT MISUNDERSTOOD THE TELEPHONE QUOTATION BY HEAD. IT IS STATED THAT AFTER REVIEWING THE BIDDER'S REQUEST AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. HE WAS CONTACTED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 29. THE CONTRACTOR HAS FURNISHED EVIDENCE THAT IT MISTAKENLY BELIEVED THAT THE SUBBID OF HEAD COVERED WORK WHICH IT DID NOT IN FACT COVER AND IT HAS REASON TO PRESUME THAT IF THE TRUE FACT IN THE MATTER HAD BEEN KNOWN THE CONTRACTOR WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE BID OF HILL AND THEREBY INCREASED HIS BID BY $5.

B-145303, APR. 20, 1961

TO CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 9, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR FIRE DETECTION SERVICE ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED APRIL 13, 1960.

BY INVITATION NO. AT (45-1/-1601 THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING LABOR, EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A FIRE DETECTION AND ALARM SYSTEM AND RELATED WORK IN BUILDING NO. 234-5, 200 WEST AREA, HANFORD WORKS, RICHLAND, WASHINGTON,FIRE DETECTION SERVICE SUBMITTED THE LOW BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $44,100. FIVE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED RANGING FROM $70,850 TO $79,957. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THIS WORK IS $52,000.

AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE BID OPENING, MR. MONACO, SOLE OWNER OF FIRE DETECTION SERVICE, ADVISED THE HANFORD WORKS THAT HE HAD CALLED HIS OFFICE AND VERIFIED THE BID. HOWEVER, ON APRIL 18, 1960, MR. MONACO CALLED THE HANFORD WORKS AND STATED THAT WHEN HE RECEIVED CONFIRMATION OF A TELEPHONIC BID FROM HEAD MECHANICAL, INC., A SUBBIDDER, HE DISCOVERED THAT SUCH BID WAS LIMITED TO MECHANICAL WORK, BUT DID NOT INCLUDE PRICES FOR SHEET METAL, PLASTERING, PAINTING AND STRUCTURAL ITEMS WHICH HE UNDERSTOOD WERE INCLUDED.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 20, 1960, MR. MONACO EXPLAINED THAT A QUOTATION OF $10,850 WAS RECEIVED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 13, 1960, FROM CECIL C. HILL, A SUBBIDDER, BUT THAT SUCH BID WAS NOT CONSIDERED SINCE THE BID BY HEAD WAS LOWER. MR. MONACO REQUESTED RELIEF IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,200, STATING THAT HIS BID WOULD HAVE BEEN THIS MUCH HIGHER IF HE HAD NOT MISUNDERSTOOD THE TELEPHONE QUOTATION BY HEAD.

IT IS STATED THAT AFTER REVIEWING THE BIDDER'S REQUEST AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, HE WAS CONTACTED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 29, 1960, TO CLARIFY HIS POSITION IF CORRECTION OF THE BID COULD NOT BE PERMITTED. THE BIDDER STATED THAT IF THE BID COULD NOT BE CORRECTED, HE WOULD LIKE PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW THE BID WITHOUT FORFEITURE OF THE BID BOND. MR. MONACO ORALLY AGREED TO ACCEPT AWARD OF THE CONTRACT AT THE ORIGINAL BID PRICE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HIS CLAIM, ASSORTED BEFORE AWARD, WOULD BE CONSIDERED. BY LETTER DATED MAY 26, 1960, FIRE DETECTION SERVICE AFFIRMED CONSENT TO ACCEPT AWARD AND REQUESTED THAT THE CLAIM FOR RELIEF BE FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR DETERMINATION. THE CONTRACTOR HAS PROCEEDED WITH PERFORMANCE UNDER THE CONTRACT.

THE CONTRACTOR HAS FURNISHED EVIDENCE THAT IT MISTAKENLY BELIEVED THAT THE SUBBID OF HEAD COVERED WORK WHICH IT DID NOT IN FACT COVER AND IT HAS REASON TO PRESUME THAT IF THE TRUE FACT IN THE MATTER HAD BEEN KNOWN THE CONTRACTOR WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE BID OF HILL AND THEREBY INCREASED HIS BID BY $5,200. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY PROVEN PRIOR TO AWARD, HAVING BEEN MADE SUBJECT TO CORRECTION BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO INCREASE THE PRICE BY $5,200, IT APPEARING THAT THE AMENDED PRICE STILL WILL BE LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT TO BE ATTACHED TO THE CONTRACT.