B-149156, JUL. 11, 1962

B-149156: Jul 11, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 11. THE FACTS OF THE CASE ARE REPORTED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: BY INVITATION NO. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE AT A PRICE OF $4. - A BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE SHAFFER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AT A PRICE OF $4. THE CAUSE OF THE DELAY WAS CHECKED WITH THE POST OFFICE. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE BID WAS MAILED AT A TIME EARLY ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN DELIVERED PRIOR TO BID OPENING AND. WAS FOR CONSIDERATION. THIS LOW BID WAS NOT ENTERED ON THE BID TABULATION. AWARD WAS MADE TO THE OTHERWISE LOW BIDDER. THE ERRONEOUS AWARD WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL APRIL 27. OWNER OF THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE WAS ADVISED OF THE SITUATION ON APRIL 30.

B-149156, JUL. 11, 1962

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 11, 1962, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, REQUESTING OUR OPINION WHETHER AN AWARD MADE IN ERROR TO OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BIDDER MAY REMAIN AS AWARDED AND PAYMENT BE MADE IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,896.32 TO PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE, OAK HARBOR, WASHINGTON. THE FACTS OF THE CASE ARE REPORTED TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

BY INVITATION NO. R6-62-115, DATED MARCH 16, 1962, THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE REQUESTED BIDS TO BE OPENED ON APRIL 11, 1962, FOR FURNISHING A CAMPGROUND WATER SYSTEM ON THE SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST, WASHINGTON. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE AT A PRICE OF $4,896.32. AT 3:20 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY--- ONE HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES AFTER THE OFFICIAL BID OPENING--- A BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE SHAFFER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AT A PRICE OF $4,600.00. THE CAUSE OF THE DELAY WAS CHECKED WITH THE POST OFFICE, AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE BID WAS MAILED AT A TIME EARLY ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN DELIVERED PRIOR TO BID OPENING AND, ACCORDINGLY, WAS FOR CONSIDERATION. THROUGH INADVERTENCE, HOWEVER, THIS LOW BID WAS NOT ENTERED ON THE BID TABULATION, AND AWARD WAS MADE TO THE OTHERWISE LOW BIDDER, THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE, ON APRIL 16, 1962, AT A PRICE $296.32 IN EXCESS OF THE LOW BID.

THE ERRONEOUS AWARD WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL APRIL 27, 1962.

MR. ALTON L. NELSON, OWNER OF THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE WAS ADVISED OF THE SITUATION ON APRIL 30, 1962, AT WHICH TIME HE AGREED TO CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT "IF THAT IS THE DECISION," ALTHOUGH HE ADVISED THAT HE HAD PURCHASED A PUMP AND TANK AND IT WAS HIS DESIRE TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT. NEVERTHELESS, HE WAS REQUESTED TO SUSPEND FURTHER ACTION ON THE PROJECT PENDING A DECISION IN THE MATTERS.

MR. ROBERT SHAFFER, OF THE SHAFFER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, ALSO WAS CONTACTED ON THE SAME DATE AND, WHILE HE STATED HE WOULD STILL ACCEPT THE CONTRACT, IT WAS THEN UNDESIRABLE INASMUCH AS HE HAD LOST AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOME RATHER SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS IN FREIGHT CHARGES ON MATERIAL WHICH WOULD BE USED ON THE PROJECT. BY LETTER DATED MAY 4, 1962, HE ADVISED THE FOREST SERVICE HE WAS WAIVING HIS RIGHT OF PROTEST IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO ANOTHER BIDDER.

IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT A WELL HAS BEEN DRILLED AT THE SITE OF THE PROJECT AND THERE IS URGENT NEED TO GET THE WATER SYSTEM INTO OPERATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR THE REASON THAT THE CAMPGROUND'S ONLY SOURCE OF WATER NOW IS THE RIVER WHERE SEWAGE IS DUMPED FROM THE TOWN OF SKYKOMISH, A SHORT DISTANCE UPSTREAM. FURTHERMORE, IT IS STATED THAT THIS YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE CENTURY 21 EXPOSITION, HEAVY DEMANDS UPON THIS FACILITY ARE EXPECTED.

IN VIEW OF THE PECULIAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THIS PARTICULAR CASE, AND SINCE THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE THAT THE AWARD WAS NOT MADE IN GOOD FAITH, WE CANNOT PROPERLY CONCLUDE THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REQUIRE CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT WITH THE PUMP AND MOTOR SERVICE.