B-164869, AUG. 6, 1968

B-164869: Aug 6, 1968

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HARRISON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15. WERE DISCOVERED AFTER BID OPENING BUT PRIOR TO CONTRACT AWARD. ALL THE MISTAKES CONCERNING THE DECIMAL POINTS WERE CONFIRMED BY THE RESPECTIVE CONTRACTORS. AS A RESULT SEVERAL BIDDERS HAVE SUBMITTED BIDS ON VARIOUS ITEMS WHICH ARE TEN TIMES GREATER THAN THE ESTABLISHED PRICES IN THE INDUSTRY. WHICH OBVIOUSLY ARE PROPER PRICES PER HUNDRED RATHER THAN PER THOUSAND. YOU ADVISE THAT ALL BIDDERS HAVE CONFIRMED THE ERRORS. THAT CORRECTION OF OTHER BIDS IS ONLY NECESSARY BECAUSE THE LOW BIDDER MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS. MULTIPLE AWARDS ARE THEREFORE NECESSARY TO COVER THAT CONTINGENCY. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE ERRORS MAY PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED .

B-164869, AUG. 6, 1968

TO MR. HARRISON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1968, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER SEVERAL BIDS ON PROGRAM 701-M MAY PROPERLY BE CORRECTED BY STRIKING MISPLACED DECIMAL POINTS AND INSERTING THEM IN THEIR PROPER PLACES.

YOU STATE THAT THE BIDS CONTAINED MISPLACED DECIMAL POINTS IN THE UNIT PRICES AND THESE MISTAKES, BEING OBVIOUS ON THEIR FACE, WERE DISCOVERED AFTER BID OPENING BUT PRIOR TO CONTRACT AWARD. ALL THE MISTAKES CONCERNING THE DECIMAL POINTS WERE CONFIRMED BY THE RESPECTIVE CONTRACTORS. YOU IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF SUCH MISTAKES AS THE CHANGE IN REQUIREMENTS FROM LAST YEAR, I.E., REQUESTING QUOTATIONS FOR FIRST HUNDREDS AND ADDITIONAL HUNDREDS, INSTEAD OF FIRST THOUSANDS AND ADDITIONAL THOUSANDS. AS A RESULT SEVERAL BIDDERS HAVE SUBMITTED BIDS ON VARIOUS ITEMS WHICH ARE TEN TIMES GREATER THAN THE ESTABLISHED PRICES IN THE INDUSTRY, AND WHICH OBVIOUSLY ARE PROPER PRICES PER HUNDRED RATHER THAN PER THOUSAND. YOU ADVISE THAT ALL BIDDERS HAVE CONFIRMED THE ERRORS, AND YOU THEREFORE CONCUR WITH YOUR CONTRACTING OFFICER'S RECOMMENDATION THAT THE MISTAKES SHOULD BE CORRECTED, RESULTING IN SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE NOTE THAT THE LOW BID CONTAINS NO ERRORS, AND THAT CORRECTION OF OTHER BIDS IS ONLY NECESSARY BECAUSE THE LOW BIDDER MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS, AND MULTIPLE AWARDS ARE THEREFORE NECESSARY TO COVER THAT CONTINGENCY.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE ERRORS MAY PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED ,OBVIOUS DECIMAL ERRORS" OF THE TYPE CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 19, 1958, B-134977, WHEREIN WE STATED:

"THE CORRECTION OF SUCH OBVIOUS DECIMAL ERRORS BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED AND REGULARLY PRACTICED FOR AT LEAST TWENTY YEARS PAST. IN 17 COMP. GEN. 339, IT WAS SAID: -* * * WHERE, AS IN THIS CASE, THE ERROR IS APPARENT AT THE TIME OF OPENING OF THE BIDS, IS CONFIRMED BY THE BIDDER BEFORE AN AWARD IS MADE, AND INVOLVES ONLY PLACEMENT OF A DECIMAL POINT, THE CORRECTION MAY BE MADE WITHOUT SUBMITTING THE MATTER TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.- "

BASED ON THE FOREGOING, WE AGREE WITH YOUR RECOMMENDATION THAT THE BIDDERS BE PERMITTED TO CORRECT THEIR BID PRICES, AND THAT THE BIDS BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD AS CORRECTED.