B-151758, AUG. 20, 1963

B-151758: Aug 20, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO T AND T IMPLEMENT COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7. WAS BASED. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON APRIL 24. AWARD WAS MADE TO YOU ON APRIL 26. YOU ALLEGED AN ERROR IN BID IN THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE REFLECTED A PRICE OF $3. THE ONLY QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION HERE IS WHETHER A BINDING AND VALID CONTRACT RESULTED FROM THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID AND NOT WHETHER AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS SUBMITTED AND ACCEPTED. THERE WAS NOTHING IN YOUR BID TO INDICATE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR BID AND THE OTHERS RECEIVED WAS NOT SO SIGNIFICANT AS TO WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF ERROR.

B-151758, AUG. 20, 1963

TO T AND T IMPLEMENT COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1963, REQUESTING RELIEF FROM AN ERROR IN BID ALLEGEDLY MADE IN RESPONDING TO INVITATION TO BID NO. ARS- 173-B-63 UPON WHICH A CONTRACT DATED APRIL 26, 1963, WAS BASED. THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF ONE ROW CROP TRACTOR AND ALLIED EQUIPMENT TO BE DELIVERED TO THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCES, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS.

THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON APRIL 24, 1963, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

BIDDER BID

T AND T IMPLEMENT COMPANY $4160.00

INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER CO. 4573.20

JOHN DEERE CO. 4635.64

SINCE YOUR COMPANY SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID, AWARD WAS MADE TO YOU ON APRIL 26, 1963. BY LETTER DATED MAY 8, 1963, YOU ALLEGED AN ERROR IN BID IN THAT THE BID SHOULD HAVE REFLECTED A PRICE OF $3,450 FOR THE TRACTOR RATHER THAN $2,450 AS INCLUDED IN YOUR TOTAL BID. IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM OF BID ERROR YOU SUBMITTED YOUR TABULATION SHEETS WHICH SHOWED A PRICE OF $3,450 FOR THE TRACTOR. YOU ADVISE, HOWEVER, THAT ADJUSTMENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE TO THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT LOW BID, OR $4,573.20, WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE.

THE ONLY QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION HERE IS WHETHER A BINDING AND VALID CONTRACT RESULTED FROM THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID AND NOT WHETHER AN ERROR WAS MADE IN THE BID AS SUBMITTED AND ACCEPTED. WE AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE THAT SINCE THE PRICE FOR THIS TYPE OF EQUIPMENT VARIES GREATLY, THERE WAS NOTHING IN YOUR BID TO INDICATE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR BID AND THE OTHERS RECEIVED WAS NOT SO SIGNIFICANT AS TO WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF ERROR.

WHILE AFTER AWARD YOU FURNISHED TABULATION SHEETS TO PROVE YOUR INTENDED BID PRICE, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT PRIOR TO AWARD THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTORS USED BY YOU IN COMPUTING YOUR TOTAL BID PRICE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID CONSUMMATED A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT WHICH OBLIGATED YOU TO FURNISH THE TRACTOR AND ALLIED EQUIPMENT FOR AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $4,160. IN THIS SITUATION, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR ANY RELIEF OR FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE CONTRACT PRICE. SEE MASSMAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 102 CT.CL. 699; BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF NATIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL FOR BOYS V. O. D. WILSON COMPANY, 133 F.2D 399; 40 COMP. GEN. 326, 332.