B-145893, MAY 29, 1961

B-145893: May 29, 1961

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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15. THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED OR FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO 14 ITEMS. THE LOW BID IS THAT SUBMITTED BY DEARDEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN THE TOTAL OF $20. DURING THE OPENING OF THE BIDS IT WAS NOTED THAT DEARDEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PROBABLY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID. IT WAS VERBALLY AFFIRMED BY TWO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMPANY WHO WERE PRESENT AT THE OPENING OF BIDS. 900 BUT THIS TOTAL WAS SHOWN ON THE BID SHEET AS $1. IT IS ALLEGED THAT THERE WERE OMITTED FROM THIS ITEM. THIS ITEM SHOULD THEREFORE HAVE BEEN SHOWN AS $4. IF THE BID WERE CORRECTED. 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.

B-145893, MAY 29, 1961

TO MR. LEMUEL A. GARRISON, SUPERINTENDENT, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15, 1961, FILE D22, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH REGARD TO THE BID OF DEARDEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS AT TOWER JUNCTION, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED ON MAY 4, 1961--- FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS AS INDICATED ABOVE. THE SCHEDULE OF THE WORK AND MATERIALS REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED OR FURNISHED WAS DIVIDED INTO 14 ITEMS. THE LOW BID IS THAT SUBMITTED BY DEARDEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN THE TOTAL OF $20,672.50. THE OTHER NINE BIDDERS SUBMITTED BIDS RANGING FROM $30,672.50 TO $45,980.

DURING THE OPENING OF THE BIDS IT WAS NOTED THAT DEARDEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PROBABLY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID. IT WAS VERBALLY AFFIRMED BY TWO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMPANY WHO WERE PRESENT AT THE OPENING OF BIDS. THEREAFTER, IN A LETTER DATED MAY 11, 1961, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IT EXPLAINED THAT IT MADE TWO ERRORS IN ITS BID ON THE SEWER SYSTEM. AS TO ITEM 5, COVERING ONE 15,000 GALLON SEPTIC TANK, THE WORKSHEETS SUBMITTED WITH THE LETTER SHOW THAT THE BREAKDOWN FIGURES TOTALED $7,900 BUT THIS TOTAL WAS SHOWN ON THE BID SHEET AS $1,900. AS TO ITEM 6, COVERING A DISTRIBUTION BOX, 450 LINEAL FEET, LEACHING LINES, THE BID SHOWS A UNIT PRICE OF $2.50 OR A TOTAL OF $1,125. IT IS ALLEGED THAT THERE WERE OMITTED FROM THIS ITEM, MATERIAL IN THE AMOUNT OF $130, CRUSHED ROCK AND CONCRETE IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,500, HALF ROUND PIPE AT $900, AND BOND, OVERHEAD AND PROFIT AT $400 OR A TOTAL OF $2,930. THIS ITEM SHOULD THEREFORE HAVE BEEN SHOWN AS $4,055 INSTEAD OF $1,125. IF THE BID WERE CORRECTED, THE BID OF DEARDEN WOULD BE $29,602.50.

THE EVIDENCE IN CONNECTION WITH THE MISTAKE IN BID ON ITEM 5 (SEPTIC TANK) MAY BE REGARDED AS SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. AS TO ITEM 6, HOWEVER, NOTHING HAS BEEN FURNISHED WHICH DEFINITELY ESTABLISHES THE AMOUNT OF THE INTENDED BID. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 76. 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 THE LOW BIDDER HAS ALLEGED A MISTAKE IN ITS BID BEFORE AWARD AND SINCE THE EVIDENCE TENDS TO ESTABLISH THAT IT DID IN FACT MAKE A MISTAKE, ITS BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD.