B-148614, APR. 19, 1962

B-148614: Apr 19, 1962

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TO THE BUREAU OF SPORT FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 6. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON MARCH 28. SFW8-38 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING AND INSTALLING LABORATORY FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT IN A BIOCHEMISTRY WILDLIFE PATHOLOGY LABORATORY BUILDING AT THE PATUXENT WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER NEAR LAUREL. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT WAS $75. AS FOLLOWS: "THE BASIC ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL BID MADE BY BORROUGHS WERE AS FOLLOWS: "1. - YOU WILL SEE WHERE WE MADE A MISTAKE IN MULTIPLICATION OF $450.

B-148614, APR. 19, 1962

TO THE BUREAU OF SPORT FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 6, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON MARCH 28, 1962.

BY INVITATION NO. SFW8-38 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING AND INSTALLING LABORATORY FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT IN A BIOCHEMISTRY WILDLIFE PATHOLOGY LABORATORY BUILDING AT THE PATUXENT WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER NEAR LAUREL, MARYLAND. IN RESPONSE THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED MARCH 26, 1962, OFFERING TO FURNISH AND INSTALL THE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $44,364.79. THE LIST OF BIDDERS SHOWS THAT THE NINE OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICES RANGING FROM $61,200 TO $78,420. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT WAS $75,000.

UPON BEING REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM DATED MARCH 29, 1962, TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE, THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY ADVISED BY LETTER DATED APRIL 4, 1962, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE BASIC ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL BID MADE BY BORROUGHS WERE AS FOLLOWS:

"1--- SEE PAGE 32 OF EXHIBIT B--- YOU WILL SEE WHERE WE MADE A MISTAKE IN MULTIPLICATION OF $450. IN ADDITION TO THAT WE DID NOT INCLUDE IN OUR COSTS THE LOCKS THAT HAD TO BE PROVIDED ON THE JOB.

"--- THE ERRORS IN THIS DOCUMENT WERE RECHECKED THOROUGHLY BY ENGINEERING AND ESTIMATING, AND BORROUGHS' NEW COST ON THE CORRECTED LIST SHOWS IN EXHIBIT I AS BEING A TOTAL OF $790.42 SHOWS AS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLUMN 3 AND COLUMN 2.

"2--- THE SECOND MAJOR ERROR SHOWS ON EXHIBIT G--- SHEET F--- 2 OF 4 ON THE BLUE PRINT WHERE BORROUGHS FAILED TO INCLUDE THE WORK AND COST OF THE 8 AIR EXHAUST CONNECTIONS THRU THE ROOF. IN ADDITION TO THAT WE DID NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE AIR INTAKE CONNECTION.

"3--- THE MAJOR ERROR MADE BY BORROUGHS WAS THE FACT THAT WE DID NOT INCLUDE MATERIAL AND LABOR TO INSTALL ALL SERVICE LINE PIPING, CONDUIT AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY TO CONNECT PROPERLY THE FIXTURES, SINKS, AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND ALSO TO FURNISH AND INSTALL THE INTAKE AND VENT PIPING AND CONNECTIONS FROM THE FUME HOOD BLOWERS THRU THE ROOF AND CORNICE SOFFITS.'

THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT ITS BID PRICE FOR THE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT BE INCREASED BY $15,940.42 TO $60,305.21 TO COVER THE COST OF THE OMITTED MATERIALS AND WORK. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND ITS REVISED BID PRICE, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED ITS WORKSHEETS AND A COPY OF A QUOTATION DATED APRIL 3, 1962, WHICH SHOWS THAT THE COMPANY WAS QUOTED A PRICE OF $15,150 FOR FURNISHING THE MATERIALS AND LABOR TO INSTALL ALL SERVICE LINE PIPING, CONDUIT AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY TO CONNECT PROPERLY THE FIXTURES, SINKS, AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND ALSO TO FURNISH AND INSTALL THE INTAKE AND VENT PIPING AND CONNECTIONS FROM THE FUME HOOD BLOWERS THROUGH THE ROOF AND CORNICE SOFFITS.

THE BASIC RULE IS THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. THE EXCEPTION TO SUCH RULE, WHICH PERMITS CORRECTION OF A BID UPON SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THAT THE BIDDER ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BID AN AMOUNT OTHER THAN THAT SET FORTH IN THE BID, WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS ON NOTICE OF PROBABLE ERROR PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE, DOES NOT EXTEND TO PERMITTING A BIDDER TO RECALCULATE AND CHANGE HIS BID TO INCLUDE FACTORS WHICH HE DID NOT HAVE IN MIND WHEN HIS BID WAS SUBMITTED, OR AS TO WHICH HE HAS SINCE CHANGED HIS MIND. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575, 577. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE COMPANY DOES NOT SEEK TO HAVE ITS BID CORRECTED SO AS TO INCLUDE THEREIN A PREVIOUSLY CALCULATED ITEM WHICH IT ACTUALLY INTENDED TO INCLUDE, BUT WHICH WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM THE AMOUNT OF ITS ORIGINAL BID. RATHER IT PROPOSES TO CHANGE AND INCREASE ITS BID BY THE AMOUNT WHICH IT NOW CONSIDERS NECESSARY TO COVER THE COST OF REQUIRED ITEMS WHICH IT OVERLOOKED IN MAKING THE BID.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID OF THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY MAY NOT BE CORRECTED. HOWEVER, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED BY THE COMPANY PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE BORROUGHS MANUFACTURING COMPANY MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.