B-176133, JUL 14, 1972

B-176133: Jul 14, 1972

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REQUEST WAS MADE BECAUSE OF THE EXISTENCE OF A MISTAKE IN THE BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS BASED. THE PRICE INCREASE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED HERE BECAUSE THE CLAIMED ERROR IS IN THAT PORTION OF THE BID ON WHICH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED AND RECEIVED VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRICE. 960 ON ACCOUNT OF AN ERROR MADE IN COMPUTING THE BID PRICE UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED. WERE RECEIVED BY THE OCTOBER 27. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPRESENTATIVE QUESTIONED THE BID PRICE OF $22 PER LINEAR FOOT FOR FURNISHING AND ERECTING CHAIN LINK FENCE SINCE THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $50 PER LINEAR FOOT AND THE PRICES SUBMITTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS RANGED FROM $35 TO $180 PER LINEAR FOOT.

B-176133, JUL 14, 1972

CONTRACT - MISTAKE IN BID - EFFECT OF VERIFICATION DENIAL OF REQUEST ON BEHALF OF NICK H. GRAY TO INCREASE THE PRICE OF A CONTRACT AWARDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. REQUEST WAS MADE BECAUSE OF THE EXISTENCE OF A MISTAKE IN THE BID UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS BASED. THE PRICE INCREASE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED HERE BECAUSE THE CLAIMED ERROR IS IN THAT PORTION OF THE BID ON WHICH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED AND RECEIVED VERIFICATION OF THE BID PRICE. VERIFICATION OF THE BID RESULTED IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 732, 742 (1968).

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE REFER TO THE LETTER OF MAY 25, 1972, FROM THE ACTING DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, REQUESTING WHETHER THE PRICE OF CONTRACT NO. 14-06 400-5735, AWARDED TO NICK H. GRAY, MAY BE INCREASED BY $3,960 ON ACCOUNT OF AN ERROR MADE IN COMPUTING THE BID PRICE UPON WHICH THE CONTRACT IS BASED.

SPECIFICATIONS NO. 400C-489 SOLICITED BIDS ON MISCELLANEOUS CONSTRUCTION TO BE DONE AT THE MORROW POINT DAM AND POWERPLANT. FIVE BIDS, RANGING FROM $53,858.20 TO $104,367.50, WERE RECEIVED BY THE OCTOBER 27, 1971, BID OPENING DATE. AFTER BID OPENING, THE AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MET WITH THE LOW BIDDER TO DISCUSS THE BID. DURING THE DISCUSSIONS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPRESENTATIVE QUESTIONED THE BID PRICE OF $22 PER LINEAR FOOT FOR FURNISHING AND ERECTING CHAIN LINK FENCE SINCE THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK WAS $50 PER LINEAR FOOT AND THE PRICES SUBMITTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS RANGED FROM $35 TO $180 PER LINEAR FOOT. THE BIDDER CONTACTED THE SUBCONTRACTOR WHO WOULD PERFORM THIS WORK AND, UPON BEING ASSURED THAT THE PRICE WAS CORRECT AND THAT ALL THE NECESSARY METAL WORK WAS COVERED BY THE PRICE, VERIFIED THE BID PRICE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPRESENTATIVE. THE CONTRACT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY AWARDED ON NOVEMBER 3, 1971.

BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1971, THE CONTRACTOR INFORMED THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN THE QUOTED PRICE ON THE CHAIN LINK FENCE. THE SUBCONTRACTOR HAD NEGLECTED TO INCLUDE THE COST OF THE MATERIAL AND THE FABRICATION OF THE ORNAMENTAL WORK ON THE FENCE. THE CONTRACTOR REQUESTS AN INCREASE IN THE CONTRACT PRICE TO COMPENSATE FOR THE OMISSION.

IN OUR OPINION, THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE IN THIS CASE MET ALL THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING BID VERIFICATION. THE LOW BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO VERIFY THAT PORTION OF THE BID IN WHICH THE REPRESENTATIVE BELIEVED AN ERROR MIGHT EXIST. SUCH VERIFICATION WAS FURNISHED. THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE CLEAR AS TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR ORNAMENTAL WORK FOR THE FENCE AND, CONSEQUENTLY, NO REASON EXISTED FOR SUSPECTING OR FOR INFORMING THE BIDDER THAT FAILURE TO CONSIDER THAT ASPECT OF THE WORK MIGHT BE THE CAUSE OF THE LOW BID PRICE. VERIFICATION OF A BID UPON REQUEST OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, OR UPON RECEIPT BY THE BIDDER OF A WARNING FROM ANY RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT OFFICIAL THAT A MISTAKE MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE, RESULTS IN A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT. COMP. GEN. 732, 742 (1968). CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WOULD SUPPORT INCREASING THE PRICE OF THE CONTRACT IN QUESTION.

WE ARE RETURNING THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH THE LETTER OF MAY 25.