B-151927, JUL. 18, 1963

B-151927: Jul 18, 1963

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GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 26. IS TO BE PERFORMED AT 175 PROPERTIES TWICE EACH MONTH THROUGH OCTOBER 31. TO THE ADMINISTRATION THAT AT THE TIME HE PREPARED THE BID HE WAS NOT AWARE OF THE SCOPE OF THE WORK. HIS PRICE OF $2.25 A YARD IS SUBSTANTIALLY OUT OF LINE WITH THE EIGHT OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE WORK WHICH RANGED FROM $3.40 TO $7.45 A YARD. WHICH WOULD INDICATE THAT SOME MISTAKE WAS MADE IN PREPARING HIS QUOTATION. THE GOVERNMENT IN EFFECT UNDERTAKES THE BURDEN OF PROVING EITHER THAT THERE WAS NO ERROR OR THAT THE BIDDER'S CLAIM WAS NOT MADE IN GOOD FAITH. IS RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.

B-151927, JUL. 18, 1963

TO MR. OSBORNE KOERNER, DIRECTOR, GENERAL SERVICES DIVISION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER MR. PERRY BOWMAN, LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA, MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW THE BID WHICH HE SUBMITTED UNDER INVITATION NO. 6317, DATED MAY 3, 1963.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, MR BOWMAN SUBMITTED HIS BID OFFERING TO PERFORM CERTAIN LAWN MAINTENANCE SERVICE AT THE LAKE CHARLES AREA NO. 1 HOMES, LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA, FOR $2.25 A YARD. THE SERVICE REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS CONSISTS OF THE MOWING OF LAWNS, TRIMMING AROUND TREES, SHRUBS AND THE FOUNDATION OF HOUSES, EDGING ALL SIDEWALKS AND DRIVEWAYS AND REMOVING ALL DEBRIS AND CUTTINGS, AND IS TO BE PERFORMED AT 175 PROPERTIES TWICE EACH MONTH THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1963. BY LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1963, MR. BOWMAN REQUESTED PERMISSION FROM THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION TO WITHDRAW HIS BID AND EXPLAINED IN A SUBSEQUENT LETTER DATED JUNE 20, 1963, TO THE ADMINISTRATION THAT AT THE TIME HE PREPARED THE BID HE WAS NOT AWARE OF THE SCOPE OF THE WORK, THE EXPENSE NECESSARY TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS, OR THE COST OF THE LIABILITY INSURANCE INVOLVED AND, THEREFORE, THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO PERFORM THE WORK AT THE BID PRICE OF $2.25 A YARD.

WHILE THE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH PRECISELY IN WHAT RESPECT THE BIDDER MADE AN ERROR IN HIS BID, HIS PRICE OF $2.25 A YARD IS SUBSTANTIALLY OUT OF LINE WITH THE EIGHT OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE WORK WHICH RANGED FROM $3.40 TO $7.45 A YARD, WHICH WOULD INDICATE THAT SOME MISTAKE WAS MADE IN PREPARING HIS QUOTATION. AND SINCE BY ACCEPTING A BID WITH NOTICE OF A CLAIM OF ERROR BY A BIDDER, THE GOVERNMENT IN EFFECT UNDERTAKES THE BURDEN OF PROVING EITHER THAT THERE WAS NO ERROR OR THAT THE BIDDER'S CLAIM WAS NOT MADE IN GOOD FAITH, 36 COMP. GEN. 441, 444, IT WOULD APPEAR PROPER TO PERMIT WITHDRAWAL, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, OF MR. BOWMAN'S BID UNDER INVITATION NO. 6317 WITHOUT OBLIGATION TO HIM.

A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1963, TOGETHER WITH THE ENCLOSURES, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.