B-145862, MAY 23, 1961

B-145862: May 23, 1961

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REGION THREE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9. THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED OR FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO SIX ITEMS. THE LOW BID IS THAT SUBMITTED BY MOUNTAIN STATES ELECTRIC COMPANY IN THE TOTAL OF $8. THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK IS $14. ON THE DAY THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF HOUR AFTER THE OPENING. HE STATED THAT A TELEGRAM WAS "ON ITS WAY" RAISING HIS BID BY $2. THE TELEGRAM TO THIS EFFECT WAS RECEIVED LATER AND CARRIES A TRANSMISSION TIME STAMP OF 3:28 P.M. BASSICK WHICH PURPORT TO SHOW THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT AND LABOR WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE BID SUBMITTED. 760 ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN OMITTED IN THE BID ON ECHO BAY PROJECT CONSIST MAINLY OF ONE 45 KVA 3-PHASE TRANSFORMER ($1.

B-145862, MAY 23, 1961

TO MR. J. M. CARPENTER, REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, REGION THREE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1961, FILE D5015, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH REGARD TO THE BID OF MOUNTAIN STATES ELECTRIC COMPANY SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, ECHO BAY AND LAS VEGAS WASH, LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATIONAL AREA, NEVADA.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED ON APRIL 18, 1961--- FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS IN TWO AREAS AS INDICATED ABOVE. THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED OR FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO SIX ITEMS. THE LOW BID IS THAT SUBMITTED BY MOUNTAIN STATES ELECTRIC COMPANY IN THE TOTAL OF $8,986.90. THE OTHER FOUR BIDDERS SUBMITTED BIDS RANGING FROM $17,519.11 TO $23,525. THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK IS $14,588.

ON THE DAY THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF HOUR AFTER THE OPENING, MR. BASSICK, OWNER OF MOUNTAIN STATES ELECTRIC COMPANY TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO INQUIRE AS TO THE OUTCOME OF THE BIDDING. AFTER BEING INFORMED OF THE RESULT OF THE BID OPENING, HE STATED THAT A TELEGRAM WAS "ON ITS WAY" RAISING HIS BID BY $2,100. THE TELEGRAM TO THIS EFFECT WAS RECEIVED LATER AND CARRIES A TRANSMISSION TIME STAMP OF 3:28 P.M., APRIL 18. ON APRIL 24, 1961, THE CONTRACTING OFFICE RECEIVED A STATEMENT OF ERROR AND WORKSHEETS FROM MR. BASSICK WHICH PURPORT TO SHOW THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT AND LABOR WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE BID SUBMITTED. MR. BASSICK STATED THAT THE TOTAL OF HIS BID SHOULD BE RAISED BY $2,943. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, IN AN UNDATED STATEMENT CONCERNING THE ALLEGED MISTAKE, HAS INDICATED THAT HE FELT THAT MR. BASSICK HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN HIS BID. THE GOVERNMENT ENGINEER, IN HIS MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 26, 1961, ALSO INDICATES THAT MR. BASSICK DID MAKE A MISTAKE IN HIS BID. AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID, HOWEVER, THE ITEMS OF LABOR AND MATERIAL TOTALING $1,760 ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN OMITTED IN THE BID ON ECHO BAY PROJECT CONSIST MAINLY OF ONE 45 KVA 3-PHASE TRANSFORMER ($1,000) AND ONE KVA 1-PHASE TRANSFORMER (MATERIALS, $300 AND LABOR, $20). ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO ADMINISTRATIVE VERIFICATION THAT THE ITEMS OMITTED ARE REQUIRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ADVERTISED WORK, NOTHING HAS BEEN FURNISHED WHICH ESTABLISHES DEFINITELY THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID MAY NOT BE CORRECTED. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 76. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN HELD BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE DEGREE OF PROOF REQUIRED TO JUSTIFY WITHDRAWAL OF A BID BEFORE AWARD IS IN NO WAY COMPARABLE TO THAT NECESSARY TO ALLOW CORRECTION OF A BID. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 441.

SINCE MR. BASSICK HAS ALLEGED A MISTAKE IN HIS BID BEFORE AWARD AND SINCE THE EVIDENCE TENDS TO ESTABLISH THAT HE DID IN FACT MAKE A MISTAKE, HIS BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD.