B-160433, DEC. 1, 1966

B-160433: Dec 1, 1966

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 18. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED ON AUGUST 24. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON SEPTEMBER 14. THE CORPORATION'S REPRESENTATIVE WAS ADVISED THAT AN IDENTICAL PUMP SHELL FURNISHED BY THE AMSCO DIVISION OF AMERICAN BRAKE SHOE COMPANY WEIGHED 9. 061 WAS BASED ON AN ESTIMATED CASTING WEIGHT OF 5. THAT AFTER RECEIVING THE PATTERNS IT DISCOVERED THAT THE CORRECT CASTING WEIGHT OF THE PUMP SHELL WAS APPROXIMATELY 9. IT IS REPORTED THAT BY USING THE DIAMETER OF THE PUMP SHELL GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS ARRIVED AT AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT WHICH WAS WITHIN 40 POUNDS OF THE CONTRACTOR'S REVISED ESTIMATE OF 9. THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT AN ANALYSIS BY GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS OF THE DATA FURNISHED BY THE CORPORATION PROVES CONCLUSIVELY THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED.

B-160433, DEC. 1, 1966

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE RELIEF SOUGHT BY THOMAS FOUNDRIES, INC., BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, UNDER CONTRACT NO. 14-06-306-329 MAY BE GRANTED.

THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, BLYTHE, CALIFORNIA, BY INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 143 REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING AN ITEM DESCRIBED AS A PUMP SHELL FOR A 20-INCH HYDRAULIC DREDGE. IN RESPONSE THOMAS FOUNDRIES, INC., SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH, F.O.B. DESTINATION, ONE PUMP SHELL COMPLETE WITH STUDS FOR AN AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $4,061. THE BID OF THE CORPORATION WAS ACCEPTED ON AUGUST 24, 1966.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1966, AFTER THE PATTERNS FOR THE PUMP SHELL HAD BEEN RECEIVED BY THOMAS FOUNDRIES, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CORPORATION TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO INQUIRE AS TO WEIGHTS OF SIMILAR CASTINGS PREVIOUSLY DELIVERED TO THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION BY OTHER MANUFACTURERS. THE CORPORATION'S REPRESENTATIVE WAS ADVISED THAT AN IDENTICAL PUMP SHELL FURNISHED BY THE AMSCO DIVISION OF AMERICAN BRAKE SHOE COMPANY WEIGHED 9,110 POUNDS.

BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1966, THE CORPORATION ADVISED THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $4,061 WAS BASED ON AN ESTIMATED CASTING WEIGHT OF 5,900 POUNDS; THAT AFTER RECEIVING THE PATTERNS IT DISCOVERED THAT THE CORRECT CASTING WEIGHT OF THE PUMP SHELL WAS APPROXIMATELY 9,110 POUNDS INSTEAD OF 5,900 POUNDS; AND THAT THE ERROR IN ESTIMATING THE CASTING WEIGHT OF THE PUMP SHELL WOULD RESULT IN A LOSS TO THE CORPORATION OF $1,123.50. THE CORPORATION REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT BE CANCELED OR THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE PUMP SHELL BE INCREASED FROM $4,061 TO $5,184.50. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE CORPORATION BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1966, SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEET WHICH SHOWS THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE CASTING AS 5,900 POUNDS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE ERROR RESULTED FROM THE CORPORATION USING THE RADIUS INSTEAD OF THE DIAMETER OF THE PUMP SHELL IN COMPUTING THE ESTIMATED WEIGHT OF THE CASTING. IT IS REPORTED THAT BY USING THE DIAMETER OF THE PUMP SHELL GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS ARRIVED AT AN ESTIMATED WEIGHT WHICH WAS WITHIN 40 POUNDS OF THE CONTRACTOR'S REVISED ESTIMATE OF 9,360. IN HIS LETTER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1966, THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT AN ANALYSIS BY GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS OF THE DATA FURNISHED BY THE CORPORATION PROVES CONCLUSIVELY THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON THE PUMP SHELL RANGED FROM $5,611.12 TO $8,380. IT IS REPORTED THAT AN IDENTICAL PUMP SHELL WAS PREVIOUSLY PURCHASED FROM ONE OF THE BIDDERS, AMERICAN BRAKE SHOE COMPANY, AT A COST OF $5,864.04. IN VIEW OF THE SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BID OF THOMAS FOUNDRIES IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,061 AND THE OTHER BIDS AND THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR THE IDENTICAL ITEM, WE AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT OF THE ACTING REGIONAL DIRECTOR THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR IN THE CORPORATION'S BID AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING VERIFICATION THEREOF.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THOMAS FOUNDRIES MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THOMAS FOUNDRIES HAS ESTABLISHED ITS INTENDED BID PRICE, CONTRACT NO. 14-06-306-329 MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A PRICE OF $5,184.50 FOR THE PUMP SHELL, AND PAYMENT FOR THE PUMP SHELL IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE ON THAT BASIS. THE BID AS CORRECTED, WILL STILL BE THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED ON THE PUMP SHELL.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE AMENDMENT TO THE CONTRACT.