B-176316, AUG 14, 1972

B-176316: Aug 14, 1972

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SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT ERROR AS THE BID WAS IN LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE. RELIEF IS DENIED. SECRETARY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER 6320 CONTRACTING DATED JUNE 20. A. HICKOK & ASSOCIATES TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH CONTRACT NO. 01-2520 WAS BASED. R9-72-521 REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING A DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM WHICH WILL MEASURE AND RECORD THREE DIMENSIONAL STRAINS. THE BID WAS ACCEPTED ON APRIL 26. HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN PREPARING ITS QUOTATION TO HICKOK WHICH WAS USED IN COMPUTING THE BID PRICE IN THAT PILOT HAD ERRONEOUSLY INTERPRETED THE QUOTATION IT RECEIVED FROM ITS SUPPLIER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT ERROR SINCE HICKOK'S BID WAS THE ONLY BID RECEIVED AND IT WAS IN LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF $83.

B-176316, AUG 14, 1972

CONTRACTS - ERROR IN BIDDING - RELIEF DENIED DECISION DENYING REQUEST OF E. A. HICKOK & ASSOCIATES FOR AN INCREASE IN ITS CONTRACT PRICE BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN BID. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT ERROR AS THE BID WAS IN LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, RELIEF IS DENIED.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER 6320 CONTRACTING DATED JUNE 20, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE ACTING CHIEF OF PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT, FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR ALLEGED BY E. A. HICKOK & ASSOCIATES TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID UPON WHICH CONTRACT NO. 01-2520 WAS BASED.

THE FOREST SERVICE-EASTERN REGION, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, BY INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. R9-72-521 REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING A DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM WHICH WILL MEASURE AND RECORD THREE DIMENSIONAL STRAINS, BOTH DYNAMIC AND LONG TERM, AND TEMPERATURE VARIATION IN THE STRUCTURAL SECTION OF A BITUMINOUS STABILIZED ROAD. IN RESPONSE, E. A. HICKOK & ASSOCIATES SUBMITTED THE ONLY BID RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNT OF $78,957. THE BID WAS ACCEPTED ON APRIL 26, 1972.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 24, 1972, HICKOK ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT ITS SUPPLIER, PILOT INDUSTRIAL CONTROLS, INC., HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN PREPARING ITS QUOTATION TO HICKOK WHICH WAS USED IN COMPUTING THE BID PRICE IN THAT PILOT HAD ERRONEOUSLY INTERPRETED THE QUOTATION IT RECEIVED FROM ITS SUPPLIER, HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, ON THE TAPE RECORDER AS $56.80 INSTEAD OF $5,680. HICKOK REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE BE INCREASED BY $5,623. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, HICKOK SUBMITTED EVIDENCE TENDING TO ESTABLISH THE BONA FIDES OF THE ERROR. HOWEVER, WE FIND NO BASIS TO INCREASE THE CONTRACT PRICE AS REQUESTED SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MADE AWARD WITHOUT NOTICE OF POSSIBLE ERROR. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT ERROR SINCE HICKOK'S BID WAS THE ONLY BID RECEIVED AND IT WAS IN LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF $83,000.

ACCORDINGLY, HICKOK'S REQUEST FOR AN INCREASE IN ITS CONTRACT PRICE MUST BE DENIED.