B-152856, NOV. 27, 1963

B-152856: Nov 27, 1963

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NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 6. IT IS STATED THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE FIGURES AND THOSE OF THE OTHER BIDDER WAS $497. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT ON THE DAY FOLLOWING THE BID OPENING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS NOTIFIED BY MERANDO. IN THE COPY OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL'S DECISION ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER IT IS STATED THAT ON THE SAME DAY OF THE BID OPENING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD BEEN ADVISED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION THAT THE LOW BID WAS TOO HIGH. THE CONTRACTOR'S ENTIRE PROJECT FILE WAS SUBMITTED FOR EXAMINATION AND A COMPARISON OF THE DETAILED ESTIMATES WITH THE SUMMARY SHEETS SHOWED THAT WHILE THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES FOR CARPENTRY WAS $300.

B-152856, NOV. 27, 1963

TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1963, REQUESTING, FOR THE RECORD, OUR CONFIRMATION OF THE DECISION OF YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL RELATING TO BIDS THE AUTHORITY RECEIVED ON JUNE 20, 1963, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EASTGATE GARDENS, DC-1-38, A PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT, LOCATED ON BENNING ROAD, S.E., BETWEEN F AND G STREETS, WASHINGTON, D.C. THE AUTHORITY RECEIVED ONLY TWO BIDS, THE LOWER BEING THAT OF MERANDO, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,980,000 FOR BASE BID NO. 1, AND $3,950,000FOR BASE BID NO. 2. IT IS STATED THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE FIGURES AND THOSE OF THE OTHER BIDDER WAS $497,000 UNDER BASE BID NO. 1, AND $513,000 FOR BASE BID NO. 2. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT ON THE DAY FOLLOWING THE BID OPENING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS NOTIFIED BY MERANDO, INC., BY TELEGRAM PHONED IN THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $270,000 BY TRANSPOSITION OF ITS CARPENTRY ITEM OF $300,000 AS $30,000 ON ITS SUMMARY SHEET; AND THAT IT REQUESTED CORRECTION OF ITS BID PROPOSAL BY ADDING $270,000 AND A PERSONAL MEETING TO SUBMIT FULL JUSTIFICATION PRIOR TO AWARD.

HOWEVER, IN THE COPY OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL'S DECISION ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER IT IS STATED THAT ON THE SAME DAY OF THE BID OPENING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD BEEN ADVISED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION THAT THE LOW BID WAS TOO HIGH, BEING $243,299 IN EXCESS OF THE BUDGET, AND THAT IT WOULD NOT RECEIVE THEIR APPROVAL FOR AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT.

AT THE MEETING WITH THE CONTRACTOR, HIS ESTIMATOR, AND HIS ATTORNEY, THE CONTRACTOR'S ENTIRE PROJECT FILE WAS SUBMITTED FOR EXAMINATION AND A COMPARISON OF THE DETAILED ESTIMATES WITH THE SUMMARY SHEETS SHOWED THAT WHILE THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES FOR CARPENTRY WAS $300,013 THIS ITEM WAS SHOWN ON THE SUMMARY SHEET AS $30,000. IN ADDITION THE CONTRACTOR WAS INFORMED THAT THE AUTHORITY WAS NOT IN A POSITION TO MAKE AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF HIS BID EVEN IF NO ERROR HAD BEEN MADE, AND THAT NO CORRECTION OF THE BID COULD BE MADE. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE CONTRACTOR RESTUDY THE ENTIRE BID AND IF HE COULD DO THE WORK UNDER THE BID AS SUBMITTED THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WOULD TRY TO GET THE APPROVAL OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. IT WAS FURTHER REQUESTED THAT THE BIDDING DOCUMENTS WITH AFFIDAVITS CERTIFYING THEM AS AUTHENTIC BE SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITY FOR FURTHER STUDY AND DECISION.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 1, 1963, THESE DOCUMENTS WERE SUBMITTED BY MERANDO, INC., WITH A REQUEST THAT ITS BID PROPOSAL BE WITHDRAWN. AFTER STUDY OF THE BIDDING DOCUMENTS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DECIDED THAT MERANDO, INC., MADE AN HONEST ERROR AND RECOMMENDED THAT IT BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID AND THAT THE BID BOND BE RETURNED. THE GENERAL COUNSEL CONFIRMED THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT MERANDO, INC., BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID AND THAT THE BID BOND BE RETURNED, WHICH ACTION WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY TAKEN BY LETTER DATED JULY 15, 1963, TO THE CONTRACTOR.

ON THE RECORD, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE CONTRACTOR HAS SUBSTANTIATED HIS ALLEGATION OF ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD AND, IT FURTHER APPEARING THAT THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND THE MONEY TO AWARD A CONTRACT WERE LACKING, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN PERMITTING THE CONTRACTOR TO WITHDRAW ITS BID WAS PROPERLY TAKEN IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND THIS ..END :