B-149876, SEP. 13, 1962

B-149876: Sep 13, 1962

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TO FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 10. THE RECORDS SUBMITTED BY YOU SHOW THAT INVITATIONS FOR BIDS ON THE PROJECT (WHICH CONSISTS OF A TWO-LANE BITUMINOUS SURFACED HIGHWAY CONNECTING THE CITY OF PHNOM PENH WITH THE PORT OF SIHANOUKVILLE) WERE ISSUED BY YOUR BUREAU ON JUNE 30. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON AUGUST 14. WAS $7. A FORMAL WRITTEN REQUEST FOR CORRECTION WAS RECEIVED BY THE BUREAU ON AUGUST 23. BIDS WERE REQUIRED ON MORE THAN 40 INDIVIDUAL ITEMS. WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE REQUEST HAS SINCE BEEN WITHDRAWN AS TO THAT ITEM. WHICH IS THE UNIT NORMALLY USED IN ESTIMATING ON SUCH MATERIAL. THE FACTOR OF 1.857 IS IN FACT THE NUMBER OF TONS PER CUBIC YARD FOR THE KIND OF MATERIAL INVOLVED.

B-149876, SEP. 13, 1962

TO FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 1962, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY YOU ON THE CLAIM OF ERROR BY THE VINNELL CORPORATION IN ITS BID SUBMITTED ON THE KHMER AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP HIGHWAY (CAMBODIA PROJECT 4-1).

THE RECORDS SUBMITTED BY YOU SHOW THAT INVITATIONS FOR BIDS ON THE PROJECT (WHICH CONSISTS OF A TWO-LANE BITUMINOUS SURFACED HIGHWAY CONNECTING THE CITY OF PHNOM PENH WITH THE PORT OF SIHANOUKVILLE) WERE ISSUED BY YOUR BUREAU ON JUNE 30, 1962. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON AUGUST 14, AS FOLLOWS:

VINNELL CORPORATION $ 5,845,230.00

GROVE, SHEPARD, WILSON AND KRUGE, INC. $ 8,764,000.00

OMAN, FRANSWORTH, WRIGHT AND JONES $12,877,642.17

THE BUREAU ENGINEERS' ESTIMATED COST, ADJUSTED FOR OFFSHORE PROCUREMENT OF MATERIALS AS PROPOSED BY THE TWO LOWER BIDDERS, WAS $7,490,400.

FOLLOWING TELEPHONE REQUESTS BY VINNELL'S WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE FOR TIME TO CHECK THEIR BID, VINNELL ON AUGUST 21 NOTIFIED THE BUREAU OF ERRORS IN THREE ITEMS OF THE BID, AND A FORMAL WRITTEN REQUEST FOR CORRECTION WAS RECEIVED BY THE BUREAU ON AUGUST 23.

BIDS WERE REQUIRED ON MORE THAN 40 INDIVIDUAL ITEMS, MOST OF WHICH REQUIRED QUOTATION OF UNIT PRICES TO BE APPLIED TO ESTIMATED QUANTITIES STATED IN THE INVITATION.

THE VINNELL CORPORATION CLAIMS ERROR IN THE PRICES QUOTED IN ITS BID ON TWO SPECIFIC ITEMS. ITS ORIGINAL REQUEST FOR CORRECTION ALSO INCLUDED A REQUEST FOR THE ADDITION OF AN ITEM FOR COST OF INSURANCE ON CERTAIN GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY, BUT WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE REQUEST HAS SINCE BEEN WITHDRAWN AS TO THAT ITEM.

ON ITEM 322 (6), HOT BITUMINOUS CONCRETE PAVEMENT, GRADING A-1, ESTIMATED QUANTITY 170,000 CUBIC METERS, VINNELL BID A UNIT PRICE OF $10.00. ALLEGES, AND ITS WORK PAPERS CLEARLY ESTABLISH, THAT IN COMPUTING THIS PRICE IT FIRST UNDERTOOK TO CONVERT THE ESTIMATED QUANTITY TO TONS, WHICH IS THE UNIT NORMALLY USED IN ESTIMATING ON SUCH MATERIAL. IN DOING SO, HOWEVER, IT USED A FACTOR OF 1.857, RESULTING IN THE QUANTITY OF 315,700 TONS. THE FACTOR OF 1.857 IS IN FACT THE NUMBER OF TONS PER CUBIC YARD FOR THE KIND OF MATERIAL INVOLVED, AS SHOWN IN STANDARD CONVERSION TABLES AND CONFIRMED BY YOUR ENGINEERS. SINCE ONE CUBIC METER IS SLIGHTLY OVER 1.3 CUBIC YARDS, USE OF THE CORRECT FACTOR WOULD HAVE PRODUCED A UNIT PRICE OF AT LEAST $13.00 PER CUBIC METER, INSTEAD OF THE $10.00 QUOTED, OR AN AGGREGATE OF $2,210,000 INSTEAD OF $1,700,000 FOR THE QUANTITY STATED.

IT IS STATED BY THE BUREAU THAT THE ITEM WAS SHOWN IN UNITS OF VOLUME RATHER THAN OF WEIGHT BECAUSE OF A LACK OF LARGE CAPACITY SCALES IN CAMBODIA. PRESUMABLY THE CUBIC METER RATHER THAN THE CUBIC YARD WAS USED BECAUSE THE METRIC SYSTEM IS STANDARD IN THAT COUNTRY.

THE OTHER SPECIFIC ITEM ON WHICH ERROR IS ALLEGED--- ITEM 300 (7/-- CONSISTS OF SUPPLYING AND PLACING AGGREGATE SURFACE COURSE, GRADING A, B, C, D OR E, 110,000 CUBIC METERS. VINNELL QUOTED A PRICE OF FIFTY CENTS PER CUBIC METER ON THIS ITEM, AGAINST $6.65 AND $4,90 QUOTED BY THE OTHER TWO BIDDERS AND $3.00 ESTIMATED BY THE BUREAU ENGINEERS. TWO MISTAKES ARE CLAIMED: FIRST, IN INADVERTENTLY OMITTING THE COST OF PRODUCING THE AGGREGATE; AND SECOND, IN COMPUTING THE COST OF HAULING, BY CALCULATING ON THE BASIS OF USING FIVE TRUCKS BUT FAILING TO MULTIPLY THE SINGLE TRUCK OPERATING COST BY FIVE. THE BIDDER REFERS TO ITS WORK SHEETS SHOWING ITS COMPUTATION OF THE COST OF PRODUCING SIMILAR MATERIAL UNDER ITEM 200 (3/-- - CRUSHED AGGREGATE BASE, GRADING B1 OR C1--- AS ESTABLISHING THE UNIT COST WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN ITEM 300 (7). EXCEPT FOR AN INSIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE RESULTING FROM THE ROUNDING OUT OF SOME FIGURES, THE BUREAU HAS CONFIRMED THE BIDDER'S COMPUTATIONS AND AGREES THAT THE PRICE FOR ITEM 300 (7) SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED THE COST REFERRED TO. THE BUREAU ALSO REPORTS THAT THE ERROR CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN COMPUTING THE HAULING COST IS CLEARLY SHOWN BY THE ORIGINAL WORK SHEETS SUBMITTED BY THE BIDDER. CORRECTION OF THE COMPUTATIONS IN BOTH RESPECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BIDDER'S FIGURES RESULTS IN UNIT PRICE OF $2.891.

SINCE IT HAS BEEN CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THAT THE PRICES QUOTED ON THE ITEMS REFERRED TO WERE ERRONEOUS, AND SINCE THE BIDDER ALLEGED ERROR PROMPTLY AND HAS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED THE CORRECT AMOUNTS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN BID BUT FOR THE ERRORS SHOWN, CORRECTION OF THE UNIT PRICES ON ITEM 322 (6) TO $13.00 PER CUBIC METER, AND ON ITEM 300 (7) TO $2.891 PER CUBIC METER MAY BE PERMITTED, AND THE BID AS SO CORRECTED CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.