B-148859, MAY 14, 1962

B-148859: May 14, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON THE SCHEDULED DATE AND IT APPEARS THAT GIBB SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $104. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE ADVERTISED WORK WAS $126. YOU ADVISE THAT SINCE THE GIBB BID WAS SIGNIFICANTLY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER SIX BIDS RECEIVED. GIBB WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM DATED MAY 2. POSSIBLY THAT WE WERE NOT ON THE ORIGINAL LIST OF BIDDERS. THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF SCRAMBLING FOR PRICES. "THE SITE WAS VISITED APRIL 25. IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LEAVE TOWN SATURDAY NOON APRIL 28 TO ATTEND THE NORTH DAKOTA PLUMBING CONTRACTORS CONVENTION AT BISMARK. AS OUR OFFICE IS NOT OPEN ON SATURDAY. "AS THE TIME WAS SHORT. AS WE HAVE NOT DONE AN INSTALLATION OF THIS EXACT NATURE BEFORE.

B-148859, MAY 14, 1962

TO CHIEF, BRANCH OF PLANT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS:

BY LETTER OF MAY 7, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER ROBERT GIBB AND SONS, INC., MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS, SERIAL NO. BIA-0150-62- 56, AS AMENDED, BECAUSE OF ERROR IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT THEREOF.

THE INVITATION, DATED MARCH 29, 1962, REQUESTED BIDS FOR SEWER AND WATER IMPROVEMENTS AT BELCOURT, NORTH DAKOTA. THE WORK CONTEMPLATED, IN GENERAL, THE REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING SEWER LINES; NEW INTAKE AND WATER LINES; NEW SEWAGE OUTFALL LINES; AND TWO NEW SEWAGE LAGOONS. SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON THE SCHEDULED DATE AND IT APPEARS THAT GIBB SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $104,660. OTHER BIDS RANGED FROM THE NEXT LOW BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $133,000 TO THE HIGH BID OF $197,000. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE ADVERTISED WORK WAS $126,000. YOU ADVISE THAT SINCE THE GIBB BID WAS SIGNIFICANTLY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER SIX BIDS RECEIVED, ESPECIALLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE RELATIVELY CLOSE GROUPING OF THREE OF THE BIDS, GIBB WAS REQUESTED BY TELEGRAM DATED MAY 2, 1962, TO VERIFY ITS BID BECAUSE OF ITS DISPARITY TO OTHER BIDS RECEIVED. GIBB REPLIED ON THE SAME DAY ALLEGING ERROR IN BID AND REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF ITS BID. BY LETTER DATED MAY 4, 1962, GIBB DESCRIBED HOW THE ERROR OCCURRED, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE UNDERSIGNED (ROBERT GIBB) DOES MOST OF THE UNDERGROUND WORK ESTIMATING ASSISTED AT TIMES BY HIS BROTHER GEORGE GIBB. FOR SOME REASON, POSSIBLY THAT WE WERE NOT ON THE ORIGINAL LIST OF BIDDERS, WE RECEIVED NO QUOTATIONS ON THE ABOVE JOB. AS A RESULT, THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF SCRAMBLING FOR PRICES.

"THE SITE WAS VISITED APRIL 25, AND WORK SHEETS PREPARED ON APRIL 26 AND 27. IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LEAVE TOWN SATURDAY NOON APRIL 28 TO ATTEND THE NORTH DAKOTA PLUMBING CONTRACTORS CONVENTION AT BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA. AS OUR OFFICE IS NOT OPEN ON SATURDAY, I SPENT THE MORNING CHECKING THE MAIL FOR ANY QUOTATIONS AND HASTILY TRIED TO GET SOME FIGURES TOGETHER BEFORE I LEFT. ALSO ADDENDA NO. 1 ARRIVED IN THE MAIL SATURDAY MORNING, AND I USED WHAT LITTLE TIME I HAD CHECKING THIS OUT.

"AS THE TIME WAS SHORT, I HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THE CHANGE IN THE INTAKE STRUCTURE WITH ANYONE AND FIGURED $25,000.00 SHOULD COVER COSTS OF INSTALLATION. AS WE HAVE NOT DONE AN INSTALLATION OF THIS EXACT NATURE BEFORE, I WANTED TO MAKE PRICE HIGH ENOUGH TO COVER ANY NECESSARY COFFER DAMS AND DREDGING.

"BEFORE I LEFT, I CALLED GEORGE AND ASKED HIM TO HOLD THE BID UNTIL MONDAY, AS THERE PROBABLY WOULD BE SOME QUOTATIONS AT THAT TIME. WHEN THE MAIL CAME ON MONDAY HE WAS TO CHECK BID OVER AND FILL IN PROPER AMOUNT IN BID FORM AND MAIL ON SAME DAY TO ALLOW BID TO ARRIVE IN ALBUQUERQUE ON TIME.

"GEORGE ASSUMED MY FIGURES WERE CORRECT AND MAILED THE BID. IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN SUPERVISORY CAPACITY IN THE SHOP ON MONDAY AND MANY THINGS OCCUPIED HIM AT THAT TIME.

"I HAD EXPECTED A DEWATERING PRICE FOR THE INTAKE STRUCTURE INSTALLATION, WHICH DID NOT COME, SO THERE IS NOTHING IN OUR BID FOR THIS ITEM.

"I RETURNED TO FARGO FROM THE CONVENTION ON TUESDAY EVENING, AND AS GEORGE HAD OTHER THINGS TO ATTEND TO, I HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO CHECK WITH HIM REGARDING BID. THE ERROR WAS DISCOVERED WHEN OUR COMPETITORS CALLED TO COMPARE PRICES AFTER LETTING ON WEDNESDAY EVENING MAY 2.

"SPECIFICALLY THE MAIN ERROR IN OUR BID IS IN THE ADDITION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF THE INTAKE STRUCTURE AND THE DELETION OF PRICE FOR THE DEWATERING. WE ALSO FEEL THAT WE DID NOT GET THE CORRECT AMOUNT FOR THE MATERIALS FOR THE INTAKE MANHOLE, BUT AS IT WAS NOT A FORMAL QUOTATION, WE FEEL THAT IT IS INCIDENTAL.

"OUR WORK SHEETS ARE ENCLOSED FOR VERIFICATION. ACCORDING TO THE BID WE SENT IN, OUR COST FOR THE INTAKE MANHOLE AND STRUCTURE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT $7,200.00.

"ON RECHECKING OUR FIGURES WE BELIEVE IF OUR CORRECT BID WAS SUBMITTED, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN EXCESS OF $140,000.00.'

WHILE THE INTENDED BID HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED, THE RECORD, AS SUPPORTED BY GIBB'S WORKSHEETS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ADDUCED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR OFFICE, REASONABLY ESTABLISHES THAT GIBB ERRONEOUSLY COMPUTED ITS LUMP-SUM BID AS ALLEGED IN THAT NO COST WAS INCLUDED FOR A DEWATERING ITEM FOR THE INTAKE STRUCTURE AND ALSO THATA COMPUTATION ERROR WAS MADE IN ENTERING ON AN ADDING MACHINE THE FIGURE OF $2,500 RATHER THAN $25,000.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOU HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE BID OF GIBB MIGHT BE ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED SATISFACTORILY BY GIBB PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID SHOULD BE DISREGARDED--- THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE CASE NOT BEING SUCH AS TO WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE BASIC RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER OPENING. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. ..END :