B-151654, JUNE 27, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 746

B-151654: Jun 27, 1963

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BY A BIDDER WHOSE TOTAL FOR THE ITEMS DID NOT EQUAL THE CORRECT ARITHMETICAL SUM OF THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS WAS PROPERLY EVALUATED AS A SEPARATE BID ON THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT AND. AFTER HIS BID WAS OPENED AND BEFORE ANY OTHER BIDS WERE READ. THE BID IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED AN ERRONEOUS BID NOR IS THE BIDDER UNDER ANY NECESSITY TO SHOW THE SPECIFIC REDUCTION FROM THE TOTAL ON ALL THREE ITEMS. AWARD ON THE BASIS OF SUCH LOW AGGREGATE BID IS PROPER. BIDS WERE REQUESTED UNDER THREE ITEMS ON A UNIT PRICE BASIS FOR EACH DESIGNATED BUILDING. SPACE WAS PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE FOR THE INSERTION OF THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF "TOTAL BID ITEMS 1. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED ON PAGE 3 OF SCHEDULE "C" THAT: AWARD WILL BE MADE ON TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ITEM 1 OR TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ITEMS 2 AND 3 OR AN AGGREGATE AWARD WILL BE MADE ON ITEMS 1.

B-151654, JUNE 27, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 746

BIDS - EVALUATION - AGGREGATE V. SEPARABLE ITEMS, PRICES, ETC. - TOTAL V. EXTENSION DIFFERENCES A LOW BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION, WHICH PERMITTED AN AGGREGATE AWARD OF THREE ITEMS, IF MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, BY A BIDDER WHOSE TOTAL FOR THE ITEMS DID NOT EQUAL THE CORRECT ARITHMETICAL SUM OF THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS WAS PROPERLY EVALUATED AS A SEPARATE BID ON THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT AND, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE AGGREGATE BID PRICE REPRESENTED A QUANTITY DISCOUNT FROM THE TOTAL ON ALL ITEMS AND THAT THE BIDDER, AFTER HIS BID WAS OPENED AND BEFORE ANY OTHER BIDS WERE READ, ALLEGED THAT HE HAD NOT MADE ANY ERROR IN ADDITION, THE BID IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED AN ERRONEOUS BID NOR IS THE BIDDER UNDER ANY NECESSITY TO SHOW THE SPECIFIC REDUCTION FROM THE TOTAL ON ALL THREE ITEMS; THEREFORE, AWARD ON THE BASIS OF SUCH LOW AGGREGATE BID IS PROPER.

TO WARREN PAINTING COMPANY, INC., JUNE 27, 1963:

BY LETTER DATED MAY 23, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT TO CLARK'S PAINTING AND DECORATING COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 65-501-63-67.

THE INVITATION DATED MAY 2, 1963, REQUESTED BIDS FOR SUPPLYING ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS TO PERFORM ALL OPERATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE EXTERIOR PAINTING OF BUILDINGS AT ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE. BIDS WERE REQUESTED UNDER THREE ITEMS ON A UNIT PRICE BASIS FOR EACH DESIGNATED BUILDING. ITEM 1 PROVIDED FOR A TOTAL BID AND ITEM 3 PROVIDED FOR A TOTAL BID ON ITEMS 2 AND 3. ALSO, SPACE WAS PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE FOR THE INSERTION OF THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF "TOTAL BID ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3.' BIDDERS WERE ADVISED ON PAGE 3 OF SCHEDULE "C" THAT:

AWARD WILL BE MADE ON TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ITEM 1 OR TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ITEMS 2 AND 3 OR AN AGGREGATE AWARD WILL BE MADE ON ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3, WHICHEVER IS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED WERE ABSTRACTED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

CLARK WARREN TOTAL BID FOR ITEM 1- - - - - - - - - - - - - $25,072 $25,005 TOTAL BID FOR ITEMS 2 AND 3 - - - - - - - - - 26,729

32,189 TOTAL BID FOR ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3- - - - - - - - 49,211 54,907*

* 4 PERCENT DISCOUNT IF AWARDED ALL ITEMS

WHILE CLARK TOTALED THE SUBITEMS IN EACH GROUP OF ITEMS AND ARRIVED AT SEPARATE CORRECT ITEM TOTALS FOR ITEM 1 AND ITEMS 2 AND 3, THE CORRECT ARITHMETICAL ITEM TOTAL OF ALL ITEMS IS $51,801 AND NOT $49,211 AS INDICATED ABOVE. IN VIEW THEREOF, YOU CONTEND THAT AWARD MAY NOT BE MADE TO CLARK SINCE THAT BIDDER FAILED TO EXPLAIN IN ITS BID THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ITS TOTAL BID FOR ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3 AND THE ACTUAL ARITHMETIC SUM OF THE TOTAL PRICES BID FOR THESE ITEMS.

WE HAVE HELD THAT BIDS ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS MUST BE ACCEPTED IF THEY OFFER THE LOWEST AGGREGATE PRICE. 35 COMP. GEN. 383, 37 ID. 814; 38 ID. 550. HERE, THE INVITATION CLEARLY CONTEMPLATED THAT AN AGGREGATE AWARD ON ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3 WOULD BE MADE IF MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE LOW BID OF CLARK IN THE AMOUNT OF $49,211 IN THE AGGREGATE, WHILE NOT REPRESENTING THE CORRECT TOTAL OF THE AMOUNTS BID ON THE THREE ITEMS, IS IN EFFECT A SEPARATE BID IN THE AGGREGATE ONLY FOR ALL THESE ITEMS. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT IN THE INVITATION THAT THE AGGREGATE BID ON ITEMS 1, 2 AND 3 MUST EQUAL THE TOTAL OF THOSE ITEMS. ON THE CONTRARY, THE AGGREGATE BID OF CLARK WAS DISTINCT FROM HIS TOTAL BID PRICES ON EACH ITEM, AND PROPERLY MAY BE EVALUATED AS SUCH UNDER THE INVITATION LANGUAGE QUOTED ABOVE.

NEITHER DO WE FEEL THAT CLARK MADE AN ERROR IN ARRIVING AT HIS TOTAL AGGREGATE BID PRICE. IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT A MISTAKE COULD HAVE BEEN MADE WHERE SUCH BIDDER'S AGGREGATE BID REPRESENTED AN AMOUNT WHICH REFLECTED A 5 PERCENT QUANTITY DISCOUNT FROM THE TOTAL OF HIS BIDS ON ALL ITEMS. ALSO, WE NOTE FROM THE RECORD THAT CLARK'S BID WAS READ FIRST AT OPENING AND, BEFORE ANY OTHER BID WAS OPENED AND READ, A REPRESENTATIVE OF CLARK REMARKED THAT SINCE HIS AGGREGATE BID OF $49,211 WAS A SEPARATE BID FOR ALL ITEMS, THERE WAS NO ERROR IN ADDITION NOR ANY NECESSITY TO SHOW IN THE BID ANY SPECIFIC PERCENTAGE OF REDUCTION FROM THE TOTAL AMOUNT BID ON ALL THREE ITEMS.

CONCERNING CLARK'S RESPONSIBILITY AS A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR, THE FILE CONTAINS A COPY OF A LETTER DATED JUNE 18, 1963, FROM THE AIR FORCE TO CLARK REMOVING THE SUSPENSION THERETOFORE PLACED AGAINST IT. HENCE, NO PRESENT IMPEDIMENT EXISTS WITH RESPECT TO AN AWARD TO CLARK.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS TO OBJECT TO AN AWARD IN THE AGGREGATE TO CLARK AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER UNDER THE INVITATION.