B-146549, SEP. 1, 1961

B-146549: Sep 1, 1961

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V. CARLSON COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27. THAT YOU WERE THE SECOND LOW BIDDER. IT WAS STATED FURTHER IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOU UNDERSTOOD THE LOW BIDDER HAD ALLEGED ERROR AND WISHED TO NEGOTIATE TO A HIGHER PRICE. D. STEELE COMPANY WAS FOUND TO BE THE LOW BIDDER. THE WORK PAPERS OF THE STEEL COMPANY WERE REVIEWED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AND HE CONCLUDED THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE AND THAT THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ALSO OF THE VIEW THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID PRICE SUBMITTED BY THE STEELE COMPANY AND THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE WAS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED HIM ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR. REPORTED THAT AFTER THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE STEELE COMPANY BID YOUR COMPANY WAS AWARDED THE CONTRACT AS THE NEXT LOW BIDDER.

B-146549, SEP. 1, 1961

TO C. V. CARLSON COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1961, ADVISING THAT UNDER DATE OF JUNE 23, 1961, YOUR COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. S-342, ISSUED BY THE GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, AND THAT YOU WERE THE SECOND LOW BIDDER. IT WAS STATED FURTHER IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOU UNDERSTOOD THE LOW BIDDER HAD ALLEGED ERROR AND WISHED TO NEGOTIATE TO A HIGHER PRICE, AND YOU SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE AN UNFAIR PRACTICE TO PERMIT THIS TO BE DONE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT AT THE BID OPENING ON JUNE 23, 1961, THE J. D. STEELE COMPANY WAS FOUND TO BE THE LOW BIDDER. HOWEVER, BY A TELEGRAM ON JUNE 26, 1961, AND A REGISTERED LETTER DATED JUNE 27, 1961, THAT CONCERN ALLEGED THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND REQUESTED THAT IT BE ALLOWED TO WITHDRAW THE SAME. THE WORK PAPERS OF THE STEEL COMPANY WERE REVIEWED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AND HE CONCLUDED THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE AND THAT THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ALSO OF THE VIEW THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID PRICE SUBMITTED BY THE STEELE COMPANY AND THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE WAS SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED HIM ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR.

BY A LETTER DATED AUGUST 24, 1961, THE DIRECTOR, PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, REPORTED THAT AFTER THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE STEELE COMPANY BID YOUR COMPANY WAS AWARDED THE CONTRACT AS THE NEXT LOW BIDDER.

RESPECTING YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS NEGOTIATING FOR A HIGHER PRICE, THE DIRECTOR, PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY, REPORTS THAT THIS ALLEGATION IS COMPLETELY WITHOUT FOUNDATION, SINCE THE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE LOW BIDDER WERE LIMITED TO ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE ALLEGED ERROR.