B-151253, JUN. 27, 1963

B-151253: Jun 27, 1963

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 5. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER ANY AMOUNT IS DUE HAWKINS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN ADDITION TO THE CONTRACT PRICE OF $18. THE AWARD WAS MADE ON JUNE 22. NOTICE TO PROCEED WAS GIVEN ON JULY 6. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS THAT OF ANDERSON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $24. 406 AND THE NEXT TWO BIDS WERE $31. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $27. IT IS NOTED THAT THE BIDS WERE REVIEWED BY A BOARD OF AWARD AND APPARENTLY NEITHER THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD NOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONSIDERED THE PRICE DIFFERENTIAL TO BE SUCH AS TO WARRANT REQUESTING A VERIFICATION OF THE LOW BID. WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO SAY DEFINITELY THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE SUSPECTED THE EXISTENCE OF AN ERROR.

B-151253, JUN. 27, 1963

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 5, 1963, FROM THE COMMISSIONER, PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER ANY AMOUNT IS DUE HAWKINS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN ADDITION TO THE CONTRACT PRICE OF $18,953 FOR SPACE ALTERATIONS AT 1709 JACKSON STREET, OMAHA, NEBRASKA, UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-06B-7386.

THE AWARD WAS MADE ON JUNE 22, 1962, AND NOTICE TO PROCEED WAS GIVEN ON JULY 6, 1962. ON JULY 16, 1962, PRIOR TO COMMENCING PERFORMANCE, HAWKINS CLAIMED AN ERROR IN BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $12,315 AND HAS SUBMITTED EVIDENCE WHICH APPEARS TO ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE AND NATURE OF THE ERROR. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS THAT OF ANDERSON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,406 AND THE NEXT TWO BIDS WERE $31,695 AND $31,750. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF THE WORK WAS $27,600.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE BIDS WERE REVIEWED BY A BOARD OF AWARD AND APPARENTLY NEITHER THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD NOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONSIDERED THE PRICE DIFFERENTIAL TO BE SUCH AS TO WARRANT REQUESTING A VERIFICATION OF THE LOW BID. WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO SAY DEFINITELY THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE SUSPECTED THE EXISTENCE OF AN ERROR, BUT SINCE THE ORIGINAL GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE WAS $31,525 AND THE FINAL ESTIMATE WAS REVISED DOWNWARD TO $27,600, WHICH IS PRESUMED TO BE REASONABLY ACCURATE, IT IS CONSIDERED PROPER TO GIVE THE CONTRACTOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT AND WE WILL NOT QUESTION THE PROPOSED DETERMINATION OF THE SUCCESSOR CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE MISTAKE IN BID WAS SUFFICIENTLY APPARENT TO CHARGE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH NOTICE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ITS EXISTENCE.

HOWEVER, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF ANY AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE LOWEST CORRECT BID RECEIVED. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 685. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE LOWEST CORRECT BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THE ANDERSON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,406, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO HAWKINS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALREADY PAID AND $24,406.