B-148545, APR. 6, 1962

B-148545: Apr 6, 1962

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WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 13. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE L AND M COMPANY. BECAUSE THE L AND M BID WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHERS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED AND CONFIRMATION WAS REQUESTED FROM THE LOW BIDDER. HAD BEEN INADVERTENTLY OMITTED AND THAT THE INTENDED BID WAS $854 HIGHER. THE WORKSHEET CLEARLY SHOWS THAT AN ITEM OF $2 PER GALVANIZING AND DRAYAGE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE UNIT PRICE. WHERE AN ERROR IN A BID IS ALLEGED AFTER OPENING AND BEFORE AWARD. WHERE CORRECTION WILL NOT RESULT IN DISPLACEMENT. THE RULE IS THAT CORRECTION MAY BE PERMITTED PROVIDING THE ERROR AND THE INTENDED BID ARE CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE. 35 COMP.

B-148545, APR. 6, 1962

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

BY LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR --- HELIUM, BUREAU OF MINES, OUR ADVICE HAS BEEN REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE LOW BID SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO ITEM NO. 1 OF INVITATION NO. 662-42, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF MINES, MAY BE CORRECTED.

ITEM NO. 1 OF THE INVITATION CALLED FOR BIDS ON 427 GALVANIZED PIPE POSTS. WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 13, 1962, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE L AND M COMPANY, INC., AT $4,543.28, FOLLOWED BY BIDS OF $6,541.14, $7,088.20, $7,186.41 AND TWO HIGHER BIDS. BECAUSE THE L AND M BID WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHERS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED AND CONFIRMATION WAS REQUESTED FROM THE LOW BIDDER. IN ITS REPLY, THE SAME DAY, L AND M ADVISED THAT AN ITEM OF $2 PER UNIT, REPRESENTING GALVANIZING AND DRAYAGE COSTS, HAD BEEN INADVERTENTLY OMITTED AND THAT THE INTENDED BID WAS $854 HIGHER, OR $5,397.28. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR THE FIRM SUBMITTED A PHOTOTSTATIC COPY OF THE WORKSHEET USED IN COMPUTING ITS BID PRICE ON ITEM 1. THE WORKSHEET CLEARLY SHOWS THAT AN ITEM OF $2 PER GALVANIZING AND DRAYAGE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE UNIT PRICE.

WHERE AN ERROR IN A BID IS ALLEGED AFTER OPENING AND BEFORE AWARD, AND WHERE CORRECTION WILL NOT RESULT IN DISPLACEMENT, THE RULE IS THAT CORRECTION MAY BE PERMITTED PROVIDING THE ERROR AND THE INTENDED BID ARE CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE. 35 COMP. GEN. 279,281. IN THIS INSTANCE IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT UNDER THE CITED RULE CORRECTION MAY BE PERMITTED. ACCORDINGLY OUR OFFICE WOULD INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO THE AWARD TO THE L AND M COMPANY, INC., OF ITEM 1 AT $5,397.28.

THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED WITH THE LETTER OF MARCH 30, ARE RETURNED.