B-153845, APR. 20, 1964

B-153845: Apr 20, 1964

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MARCH 27. FOUR BIDS WERE OPENED. THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS THE SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS. WHOSE BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $40. THAT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION'S ESTIMATE OF COST FOR THIS PROJECT WAS $45. THAT A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED THE LOW BIDDER ON DECEMBER 31. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 4. THAT IN RESPONSE TO REQUESTS THE COMPANY'S WORKSHEET WAS SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF THE MISTAKE AND A BREAK- DOWN OF THE $2. 700 COST OF OMITTED ITEMS WAS FURNISHED. 700 WAS THE SUM OF $1. IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE WORKSHEET FROM SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS. THE REPORT DOES NOT INDICATE WHETHER AN ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY OF THE OTHER BIDDERS WAS MISLED BY THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS.

B-153845, APR. 20, 1964

TO ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MARCH 27, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FORWARDING HERE FOR DETERMINATION UNDER FPR 1-2.406-4 (I), THE REQUEST FOR RELIEF FOR MISTAKE IN BID, ALLEGED AFTER AWARD, BY THE SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, 354 WAXWOOD LANE, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, ON ITS BID SUBMITTED ON PROJECT 50150- 001 FOR AIR CONDITIONING, LIGHTING, ETC., AT THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE, WHARTON, TEXAS.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER AND ENCLOSURES THAT ON DECEMBER 26, 1963, FOUR BIDS WERE OPENED; THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS THE SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, WHOSE BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $40,931; THAT THE REMAINING THREE BIDS RANGED FROM $46,200 TO $69,707; THAT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION'S ESTIMATE OF COST FOR THIS PROJECT WAS $45,400; AND THAT A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED THE LOW BIDDER ON DECEMBER 31, 1963.

IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1964, SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS INFORMED YOUR AGENCY THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN THE PREPARATION OF ITS BID BY OMITTING, IN THE FINAL TABULATION, FIGURES FOR THE WORK COVERED IN SECTIONS 10, 11, AND 25, THERMAL INSULATION, COMPOSITION ROOFING, AND FLOOR SANDING AND FINISHING, RESPECTIVELY; THAT SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS REQUESTED THAT EITHER THE CONTRACT AMOUNT BE INCREASED BY $2,700 TO COVER THE OMITTED ITEMS OR THAT IT BE RELEASED FROM ITS CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS; THAT IN RESPONSE TO REQUESTS THE COMPANY'S WORKSHEET WAS SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF THE MISTAKE AND A BREAK- DOWN OF THE $2,700 COST OF OMITTED ITEMS WAS FURNISHED; THAT THE WORKSHEET SHOWED NO LINE ITEMS OR FIGURES FOR INSULATION, ROOFING OR SANDING; AND THAT THE $2,700 WAS THE SUM OF $1,000 FOR THERMAL INSULATION, $1,380 FOR COMPOSITION ROOFING, AND $320 FOR FLOOR SANDING AND FINISHING.

IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE WORKSHEET FROM SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, YOUR AGENCY RE-EXAMINED ITS OWN ESTIMATES OF COST FOR THE PROJECT AND FOUND THAT INSULATION AND ROOFING COSTS (WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT MATERIAL HERE) HAD BEEN OMITTED, NECESSITATING AN UPWARD REVISION OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE BY $2,535; THAT THE OMISSION IN THE ORIGINAL GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE HAD RESULTED FROM A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE DRAWINGS AND THE SPECIFICATIONS; AND THAT SOUTHWEST MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS HAS NOT SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED THE REASON FOR OMISSION OF THE COSTS OF SANDING AND FINISHING FLOORS. THE REPORT DOES NOT INDICATE WHETHER AN ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY OF THE OTHER BIDDERS WAS MISLED BY THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS.

THAT A DEFINITE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE DRAWINGS AND THE SPECIFICATIONS AS TO THE THERMAL INSULATION AND COMPOSITION ROOFING REQUIRED DID DID EXIST IS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED BY THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CONTRACTOR AND THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATOR. IT IS, OF COURSE, THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OFFICIALS TO SEE THAT ALL REQUIREMENTS ARE CLEARLY AND CONCISELY SET FORTH IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS. FURTHER, IT IS CLEARLY SHOWN THAT THE COMPANY RELIED ON THE DRAWINGS AS TO WORK REQUIRED IN PREPARING ITS BID, IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRADE PRACTICE. SINCE THE MISTAKE, SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE INSULATION AND ROOFING, WAS INDUCED BY THE MISLEADING NATURE OF THE DRAWINGS, THERE WOULD BE LITTLE IF ANY LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR HOLDING THE COMPANY TO THE AMOUNT SET FORTH IN THE CONTRACT. B-137376, SEPTEMBER 29, 1958; B-146279, AUGUST 14, 1961.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE A CONTRACT HAS ALREADY BEEN ENTERED INTO, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO AN AMENDMENT CLARIFYING THE INSULATION AND ROOFING WORK TO BE PERFORMED WITH AN EQUITABLE PRICE ADJUSTMENT. WE NOTE IN THIS REGARD THAT THE AMOUNT OF INCREASE REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTOR IS CONSIDERED TO BE REASONABLE FOR THE THERMAL INSULATION AND COMPOSITION ROOFING OMITTED FROM THE ORIGINAL BID. THE FAILURE TO INCLUDE THE COST OF FLOOR FINISHING AND SANDING WAS THE CONTRACTOR'S ERROR ALONE AND NO PRICE ADJUSTMENT THEREFOR WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT AUTHORIZED HEREIN.

THE PAPERS, CONSISTING OF FINDINGS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF THE ACTING CHIEF, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION DIVISION--- 7PC, DATED MARCH 4, 1964, AND EXHIBITS A THROUGH N ARE RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.