B-151844, AUG. 6, 1963

B-151844: Aug 6, 1963

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 20. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH CONTRACT NO. GS-06B-7886 WAS AWARDED. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 7. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNTS OF $3. 650 AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $2. THE BID OF THE WRIGHT COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 25. ON A COMPARATIVE BID BASIS IT IS NOTED THAT IN ADDITION TO THE FACT THAT THE BID OF THE WRIGHT AIR CONDITIONING. PLUMBING AND HEATING COMPANY WAS $924 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOWEST BID. THERE ALSO WAS A MERE DIFFERENCE OF ONLY $464 SEPARATING THE OTHER THREE BIDS RECEIVED. WHICH ALSO WAS $238 LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK.

B-151844, AUG. 6, 1963

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 20, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE COMMISSIONER, PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE WRIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, PLUMBING AND HEATING COMPANY, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH CONTRACT NO. GS-06B-7886 WAS AWARDED.

IN RESPONSE TO AN INVITATION, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 7, 1963, BY THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, THE WRIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, PLUMBING AND HEATING COMPANY, SUBMITTED A BID DATED MARCH 12, 1963, OFFERING TO FURNISH AND INSTALL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS, DRAWINGS, ETC., FOUR GAS METERS IN CERTAIN BUILDINGS AT THE FORBES AIR FORCE BASE, TOPEKA, KANSAS, FOR $2,262. THREE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNTS OF $3,186, $3,250, AND $3,650 AND THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $2,500. THE BID OF THE WRIGHT COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED ON MARCH 25, 1963, THEREBY CONSUMMATING CONTRACT NO. GS-06B-7886. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 1, 1963, THE WRIGHT COMPANY ADVISED THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT ITS SUPPLIER HAD QUOTED A PRICE FOR ONLY TWO GAS METERS INSTEAD OF THE FOUR METERS REQUIRED. IN VIEW OF THE ERROR, THE COMPANY REQUESTS PERMISSION TO BE ALLOWED TO WITHDRAW FROM THE CONTRACT.

ON A COMPARATIVE BID BASIS IT IS NOTED THAT IN ADDITION TO THE FACT THAT THE BID OF THE WRIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, PLUMBING AND HEATING COMPANY WAS $924 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOWEST BID, THERE ALSO WAS A MERE DIFFERENCE OF ONLY $464 SEPARATING THE OTHER THREE BIDS RECEIVED. WE BELIEVE THAT SUCH COMPARATIVE PRICES, WITHOUT MORE, ESTABLISHES CLEARLY THE FACT THAT THE BID OF THE WRIGHT COMPANY OF $2,262, WHICH ALSO WAS $238 LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK, WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED AND, THEREFORE, THE COMPANY SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, TO VERIFY ITS BID PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE. MOREOVER, WHILE IT VERY WELL MAY BE THAT THE BID OF $1,486, WHICH THE WRIGHT COMPANY ALLEGES IT RECEIVED FROM ITS SUPPLIER, MAY APPEAR EXORBITANT ON THE BASIS OF OTHER SUPPLIER QUOTATIONS RECEIVED FOR ONLY TWO GAS METERS, IT IS EVEN MORE OBVIOUS THAT SUCH AN AMOUNT WOULD BE TOO SMALL A BID FOR FURNISHING THE FOUR GAS METERS REQUIRED. THUS, WE BELIEVE THAT THIS FACT ALONE REASONABLY MAY BE ACCEPTED AS PROOF THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE BY THE WRIGHT COMPANY IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED.

ACCORDINGLY, WE WILL HAVE NO OBJECTION TO A CANCELLATION OF CONTRACT NO. GS-06B-7886, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, WITHOUT OBLIGATION TO THE WRIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, PLUMBING AND HEATING COMPANY.

A COPY OF THE COMMISSIONER'S LETTER DATED JUNE 20, 1963, AND THE ENCLOSURES, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FINDINGS AND DETERMINATIONS DATED MAY 10, 1963, AND HIS MEMORANDUM DATED MAY 22, 1963, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, AS REQUESTED.