B-159453, JUL. 20, 1966

B-159453: Jul 20, 1966

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TO AERVALCO COMPANY: YOU HAVE PROTESTED THAT THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS. SHOULD HAVE PERMITTED YOUR COMPANY TO CORRECT THE ERRONEOUS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB -156-283-66 INSTEAD OF MERELY DISREGARDING IT. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: CHART BIDDER UNIT PRICE AERVALCO ENGINEERING CORP. $ 38.00 HYDROMATICS. YOU ADVISED BY TELEGRAM THAT YOUR PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $43.40 WHEREUPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED BY LETTER THAT YOU FURNISH COPIES OF THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS USED IN BID PREPARATION ALONG WITH AN EXPLANATION OF THE ERROR AND HOW IT OCCURRED. YOU SUBSEQUENTLY FURNISHED NOTARIZED STATEMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY STATING THAT THE ERROR OCCURRED WHEN THROUGH OVERSIGHT THE COST OF $4.30 FOR A POPPET ASSEMBLY WAS OMITTED IN THE PREPARATION OF THE BID.

B-159453, JUL. 20, 1966

TO AERVALCO COMPANY:

YOU HAVE PROTESTED THAT THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, PREDECESSOR OF THE NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND, SHOULD HAVE PERMITTED YOUR COMPANY TO CORRECT THE ERRONEOUS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB -156-283-66 INSTEAD OF MERELY DISREGARDING IT.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 606 GLOBE VALVES FOR DELIVERY TO SEVEN DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

BIDDER UNIT PRICE

AERVALCO ENGINEERING CORP. $ 38.00

HYDROMATICS, INC. 47.50

REPUBLIC MANUFACTURING CO. 49.63

ALTON IRON WORKS, INC. 200.00

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, SUSPECTING A MISTAKE BECAUSE OF THE DISPARITY IN BID PRICES, REQUESTED VERIFICATION OF THE LOW BID. YOU ADVISED BY TELEGRAM THAT YOUR PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $43.40 WHEREUPON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED BY LETTER THAT YOU FURNISH COPIES OF THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS USED IN BID PREPARATION ALONG WITH AN EXPLANATION OF THE ERROR AND HOW IT OCCURRED. YOU SUBSEQUENTLY FURNISHED NOTARIZED STATEMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY STATING THAT THE ERROR OCCURRED WHEN THROUGH OVERSIGHT THE COST OF $4.30 FOR A POPPET ASSEMBLY WAS OMITTED IN THE PREPARATION OF THE BID. ACCOMPANYING THE NOTARIZED STATEMENTS, THERE WERE A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEET AND A COPY OF THE WORKSHEET AS CORRECTED TO INCLUDE THE POPPET ASSEMBLY.

WITH RESPECT TO THE WORKSHEETS FURNISHED, PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE FINDINGS OF THE ACTING ASSISTANT CHIEF FOR PURCHASING OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS STATED:

"EXAMINATION OF THE BIDDER'S ORIGINAL WORK SHEET SHOWS THAT SEVENTEEN COMPONENTS PARTS' COSTS WERE ADDED FOR A TOTAL OF $25.45, TO WHICH $12.55 FOR G AND A AND PROFIT COMBINED (49.312 PERCENT) WAS ADDED FOR A TOTAL UNIT PRICE OF $38.00. THE CORRECTED WORK SHEET SHOWS THE SAME COMPONENT PARTS' COSTS, PLUS THE $4.30 COST OF A POPPET ASSEMBLY ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY OMITTED, FOR A TOTAL PARTS COST OF $29.75, TO WHICH $13.65 FOR G AND A AND PROFIT COMBINED (45.882 PERCENT) HAS BEEN ADDED FOR A TOTAL UNIT PRICE OF $43.40.'

FROM ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ACTING ASSISTANT CHIEF DETERMINED THAT THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY SHOULD BE DISREGARDED AS AN ERRONEOUS BID AND NOT CORRECTED. AWARD WAS THEREFORE MADE TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER. UPON BEING ADVISED OF THE ACTION TAKEN, YOU PROTESTED THE AWARD.

FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR MISTAKE IN BID AND YOUR INTENDED BID, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCLUDED THAT A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE AND APPARENTLY VIEWED YOUR CORRECTED WORKSHEET AS A RECALCULATION OF THE ORIGINAL BID SINCE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEET WHICH SHOWED WHAT WAS ACTUALLY INTENDED TO BE BID FOR THE OMITTED ITEM. IT IS APPARENTLY YOUR POSITION THAT THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEET SUBMITTED WAS A MASTER SHEET AND THAT YOU HAD COMPUTED THE COST OF THE POPPET ASSEMBLY AT THE TIME YOU BID BUT HAD FAILED TO INCORPORATE IT INTO THE MASTER SHEET AND YOU COULD HAVE PRODUCED THE WORKSHEET FOR THE POPPET ASSEMBLY IF YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO FURNISH THE BACKUP SHEETS FOR THE MASTER SHEET. HOWEVER, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WOULD HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING THE MECHANICS BY WHICH A PARTICULAR BIDDER COMPUTES ITS BID. THE LETTER REQUESTING EVIDENCE OF THE MISTAKE AND THE INTENDED BID PRICE SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT A COPY OF THE "ORIGINAL WORK SHEETS" USED IN BID PREPARATION BE FURNISHED. IT WAS THEREFORE INCUMBENT UPON YOUR COMPANY TO PRODUCE COPIES OF ALL OF THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS WHICH WERE NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH WHAT YOUR INTENDED PRICE WAS AT THE TIME YOU BID. WE BELIEVE THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE FAILURE TO FURNISH THE WORKSHEET YOU HAD FOR THE POPPET ASSEMBLY WOULD HAVE TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO YOUR COMPANY RATHER THAN TO THE CONTRACTING AGENCY.

IN ANY EVENT, THE AUTHORITY TO CORRECT MISTAKES ALLEGED AFTER OPENING BUT PRIOR TO AWARD IS VESTED IN THE CONTRACTING AGENCY BY REGULATION AND THE WEIGHT TO BE GIVEN EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ANY ALLEGED MISTAKE NECESSARILY DEPENDS UPON HOW CONVINCING IT IS TO THE EVALUATOR OF THE EVIDENCE. FROM THE INFORMATION WHICH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY WAS FURNISHED BY YOUR COMPANY IN SUPPORT OF MISTAKE AND CORRECTION, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THERE WAS NOT A BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION REACHED.

ACCORDINGLY, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS CASE.