B-147817, JAN. 4, 1962

B-147817: Jan 4, 1962

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MARITIME ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19. THE FOUR OTHER BIDS WERE IN AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $785 TO $1. IT IS REPORTED THAT PRESENT AT THE BID OPENING WERE MR. WAS READ. YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE PRICE BID BY THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY. THAT HE FELT THAT SINCE THE BID PRICE WAS READ. THE FIGURE STATED WAS THE PRICE HE HAD ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AND THAT FOR THIS REASON. BERMAN WAS NOT REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THE BID PRICE. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED ON NOVEMBER 15. BERMAN POINTED OUT THAT THE PRICE PER SHIP WAS GIVEN ON THE SECOND PAGE AND HIS SIGNATURE APPEARED ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BID.

B-147817, JAN. 4, 1962

TO ADMINISTRATOR, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1961, FILE REFERENCE A7- 6:524, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THERE MAY BE GRANTED THE RELIEF SOUGHT BY THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., UNDER CONTRACT NO. MA2- 3202.

THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FUMIGATING 1 TO 10 VESSELS, EC2 TYPE, AT THE PORT OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. IN RESPONSE THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., NEW YORK, NEW YORK, SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FUMIGATE THE VESSELS AT A PRICE OF $465 PER VESSEL. THE FOUR OTHER BIDS WERE IN AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $785 TO $1,000 PER VESSEL.

IT IS REPORTED THAT PRESENT AT THE BID OPENING WERE MR. DAVID BERMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., AND MR. LOUIS MELIADO, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE MARITIME EXTERMINATING COMPANY, THE NEXT LOWEST BIDDER AND THAT WHEN THE BID PRICE OF THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., WAS READ, MR. MELIADO REQUESTED THAT THE PRICE BE REPEATED. YOU STATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR IN THE PRICE BID BY THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., BUT THAT HE FELT THAT SINCE THE BID PRICE WAS READ, QUESTIONED AND RE-READ IN THE PRESENCE OF MR. BERMAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE CORPORATION, AND THE SIGNER OF THE BID, WITHOUT HIS MAKING ANY COMMENT, THE FIGURE STATED WAS THE PRICE HE HAD ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AND THAT FOR THIS REASON, MR. BERMAN WAS NOT REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THE BID PRICE. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED ON NOVEMBER 15, 1961, THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING.

IN AN AFFIDAVIT DATED NOVEMBER 20, 1961, MR. BERMAN OF THE EASTERN FUMIGATING COMPANY, INC., ALLEGED THAT HIS SECRETARY, IN TYPING OUT THE CORPORATION'S BID, DID TRANSPOSE HIS FIGURE FROM $645 PER SHIP TO $465 PER SHIP AND THAT IN HIS HASTE TO TAKE THE BID TO THE OPENING, HE DID NOT NOTICE THIS CHANGE OF FIGURE WHEN HE SIGNED THE BID. MR. BERMAN POINTED OUT THAT THE PRICE PER SHIP WAS GIVEN ON THE SECOND PAGE AND HIS SIGNATURE APPEARED ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BID. IN SUPPORT OF HIS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, MR. BERMAN SUBMITTED HIS WORKSHEET, WHICH SHOWS THE PRICES FOR VARIOUS ITEMS OF COST WHICH TOTAL $659.38. BELOW THE TOTAL OF $659.38 APPEARS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION: "CHARLOTTE: MAKE THE PRICE $645.00.'

YOU STATE THAT IN A CONTRACT FOR THE SAME SERVICE, WHICH RECENTLY EXPIRED, THE CONTRACT PRICE WAS $789 PER SHIP. IN VIEW OF LASTYEAR'S CONTRACT PRICE AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CORPORATION'S BID PRICE AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT MR. BERMAN'S SILENCE AT THE BID OPENING SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AS BEING TANTAMOUNT TO A CONFIRMATION OF THE CORPORATION'S BID PRICE AND THAT, THEREFORE, MR. BERMAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THE CORPORATION'S BID PRIOR TO ITS ACCEPTANCE.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED, AND IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CORPORATION INTENDED TO QUOTE A PRICE OF $645 PER VESSEL FOR THE WORK INVOLVED. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE CORPORATION HAS FUMIGATED ONE VESSEL. ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. MA2-3202 MAY BE AMENDED TO REFLECT A UNIT PRICE OF $645 PER VESSEL, WHICH IS STILL LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID, AND PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE ON THAT BASIS FOR THE WORK PERFORMED AND TO BE PERFORMED UNDER THE CONTRACT.