B-151172, APR. 8, 1963

B-151172: Apr 8, 1963

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FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 26. REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 8. 10 BIDS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED RANGING FROM $21. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $40. IT IS REPORTED FURTHER THAT BOTH THE G AND E CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. HAVE ALLEGED ERRORS IN THEIR BIDS AND HAVE REQUESTED WITHDRAWAL THEREOF. THAT NO ALLOWANCE WAS MADE IN ITS BID FOR THE LABOR AND MATERIAL TO APPLY THE SEALER COAT ON THE EXTERIOR AND THE SECOND COAT ON THE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSES. THAT NO ALLOWANCE WAS MADE FOR THE ELECTRIC AND PLUMBING CHECKOUT ON A 1-YEAR WARRANTY.

B-151172, APR. 8, 1963

TO COMMISSIONER, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MARCH 26, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DIRECTOR, GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE BID OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS, CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, UNDER INVITATION NO. 6232.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 8, 1963, BY THE GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION, FOR THE EXTERIOR-INTERIOR REPAIR AND PAINTING OF 50 ADMINISTRATION-OWNED EAST TAMPA AREA HOMES, TAMPA, FLORIDA, 10 BIDS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED RANGING FROM $21,850 TO $55,916 WITH THE SECOND AND THIRD LOW BIDS IN THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $30,785 AND $32,500. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $40,000. IT IS REPORTED FURTHER THAT BOTH THE G AND E CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, WHICH SUBMITTED THE LOW BID OF $21,850, AND COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS, WHICH SUBMITTED THE NEXT LOW BID OF $30,785, HAVE ALLEGED ERRORS IN THEIR BIDS AND HAVE REQUESTED WITHDRAWAL THEREOF. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 14, 1963, COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS ADVISED THE DIRECTOR, GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION, THAT NO ALLOWANCE WAS MADE IN ITS BID FOR THE LABOR AND MATERIAL TO APPLY THE SEALER COAT ON THE EXTERIOR AND THE SECOND COAT ON THE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSES; ALSO, THAT NO ALLOWANCE WAS MADE FOR THE ELECTRIC AND PLUMBING CHECKOUT ON A 1-YEAR WARRANTY. THE COMPANY ADVISED FURTHER, IN EFFECT, THAT ITS BID FOR THESE ITEMS WAS THEREFORE $6,175 LOWER THAN INTENDED. THE DIRECTOR STATES THAT WHILE A FINAL DETERMINATION HAS NOT AS YET BEEN REACHED IT APPEARS THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY WARRANT COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUEST OF THE G AND E CONSTRUCTION COMPANY FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF ITS BID. ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH A WITHDRAWAL MAY BE AUTHORIZED THE QUESTION IS PRESENTED TO US AS TO WHETHER COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS, WHICH THEN WOULD BECOME THE LOW BIDDER, ALSO MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES REPORTED OR WHETHER THAT COMPANY'S BID MUST BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD ALONG WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED.

IN ITS LETTER DATED MARCH 14, 1963, COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS EXPLAINED TO THE DIRECTOR, GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION, THAT ITS ORIGINAL BASE BID WAS COMPUTED ON ONLY ONE COAT OF INTERIOR AND ONE COAT OF EXTERIOR PAINT SINCE THIS WAS THE WAY IT PREVIOUSLY HAD FIGURED MOST FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION HOMES IN THE PAST. WHILE THE RECORD DOES NOT SHOW THAT THE BID OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS OF $30,785 FOR THE WORK WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OVER-ALL PATTERN OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED, IT DOES SHOW THAT THE BID IS OVER $9,000 LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK. MOREOVER, INDIVIDUAL WORKSHEETS FOR EACH HOME WERE FURNISHED BY COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS AND EACH SHEET SHOWS THAT CERTAIN AMOUNTS WERE INCLUDED IN THE COMPANY'S BID FOR THE LABOR AND MATERIAL FOR ONLY ONE COAT OF PAINT FOR EACH HOME. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE BELIEVE IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT AN ERROR WAS, IN FACT, MADE IN THE BID OF THE COMPANY, AS ALLEGED.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ALLEGED PROMPTLY AND BEFORE AN AWARD HAS BEEN MADE, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS WITHDRAWING ITS BID UNDER INVITATION NO. 6232, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE COMPANY.

THE PAPERS FORWARDED WITH THE LETTER DATED MARCH 26, 1963, FROM THE DIRECTOR, GENERAL SERVICES ..END :