B-147855, JAN. 18, 1962

B-147855: Jan 18, 1962

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BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 22. BOTH ITEM 5 AND ITEM 6 ARE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS 4-DOOR. THE VEHICLE DESCRIBED IN ITEM 5 IS WRECKED AND HAS A VALUE OF $272. THE BID OF GRAHAM AND MORRIS IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $500 FOR ITEM 5 IS SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN THE NEXT HIGHEST ACCEPTABLE BID OF $283 AND IS MORE IN LINE WITH THE ESTIMATED VALUE AND OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 6. THE BIDDER WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH ANY DIRECT EVIDENCE OF HIS ERROR. WE BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE IN ENTERING A BID OF $500 FOR A WRECKED AUTOMOBILE. THE CONDITION OF THE VEHICLE SETS AN ABSOLUTE LIMIT ON ITS VALUE AND THE BID OF $500 IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN THE APPRAISED VALUE AND THE NEXT HIGHEST BID THAT THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IS IMMEDIATELY APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID WITHOUT REFERENCE TO ANY EXTERNAL EVIDENCE.

B-147855, JAN. 18, 1962

TO MR. ROBERT H. SCHOENHUT, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 22, 1961, RELATIVE TO THE REQUEST OF GRAHAM AND MORRIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON, THAT ITS BID BE DISREGARDED ON ITEM 5 OF INVITATION NO. 511 23S-12-12, DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1961.

THE BIDDER BASED THE REQUEST FOR RELIEF ON AN ALLEGATION PRIOR TO AWARD THAT HE INTENDED TO SUBMIT A BID ON ITEM 6 BUT ERRONEOUSLY ENTERED THE BID PRICE ON ITEM 5 INSTEAD. BOTH ITEM 5 AND ITEM 6 ARE DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS 4-DOOR, 6-CYLINDER, 1958 CHEVROLET SEDANS, BUT THE VEHICLE DESCRIBED IN ITEM 5 IS WRECKED AND HAS A VALUE OF $272, AS APPRAISED BY THE BOARD OF SURVEY. THE BID OF GRAHAM AND MORRIS IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $500 FOR ITEM 5 IS SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN THE NEXT HIGHEST ACCEPTABLE BID OF $283 AND IS MORE IN LINE WITH THE ESTIMATED VALUE AND OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 6.

THE BIDDER WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH ANY DIRECT EVIDENCE OF HIS ERROR, BUT WE BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION THAT A BONA FIDE ERROR WAS MADE IN ENTERING A BID OF $500 FOR A WRECKED AUTOMOBILE. THE CONDITION OF THE VEHICLE SETS AN ABSOLUTE LIMIT ON ITS VALUE AND THE BID OF $500 IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN THE APPRAISED VALUE AND THE NEXT HIGHEST BID THAT THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IS IMMEDIATELY APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID WITHOUT REFERENCE TO ANY EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT ACCEPTANCE OF A BID WITH KNOWLEDGE OF ERROR THEREIN DOES NOT CONSUMMATE A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. SEE NASON COAL COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 64 CT.CL. 526; ALTA ELECTRIC AND MECHANICAL COMPANY, INC. V. UNITED STATES, 90 CT.CL. 466; KEMP V. UNITED STATES 38 F.SUPP. 568. IN OUR OPINION THE FACTS IN THIS CASE FALL WITHIN THIS RULE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF GRAHAM AND MORRIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY ON ITEM 5 SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR RECOMMENDATION.