B-180871, APR 22, 1974

B-180871: Apr 22, 1974

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CONTRACT AWARDED IN FACE OF SUSPECTED ERROR IN BID BECAUSE BID ON BASIS OF PERFORMING ALL WORK WAS MORE THAN TOTAL OF INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF WORK MAY BE REFORMED TO AWARD ON BASIS OF BID FOR WHOLE JOB AS REQUESTED BY CONTRACTOR. SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID. CONTRACTOR HAS FURNISHED DOCUMENTATION INDICATING THAT TOTAL OF BIDS FOR INDIVIDUAL PARTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER THAN BID FOR WHOLE JOB. THE CONSTRUCTION WORK WAS DIVIDED INTO THREE SCHEDULES. WINSLOW WAS THE LOW BIDDER ON EACH SCHEDULE. B AND C WAS $877. THE WINSLOW BID ON SCHEDULE D WAS $898. SINCE THE BID FOR SCHEDULE D WAS MORE THAN THE BID FOR SCHEDULES A.

B-180871, APR 22, 1974

CONTRACT AWARDED IN FACE OF SUSPECTED ERROR IN BID BECAUSE BID ON BASIS OF PERFORMING ALL WORK WAS MORE THAN TOTAL OF INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF WORK MAY BE REFORMED TO AWARD ON BASIS OF BID FOR WHOLE JOB AS REQUESTED BY CONTRACTOR, SINCE NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF ERROR AND NEGLECTED TO VERIFY BID, AND CONTRACTOR HAS FURNISHED DOCUMENTATION INDICATING THAT TOTAL OF BIDS FOR INDIVIDUAL PARTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER THAN BID FOR WHOLE JOB.

TO WINSLOW CONSTRUCTION CO.:

BY LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1974, THE GENERAL COUNSEL, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REQUESTED A DECISION IN REGARD TO A MISTAKE IN BID ALLEGED BY THE WINSLOW CONSTRUCTION COMPANY (WINSLOW) AFTER AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION NO. DACA45-74-B-0014, ISSUED BY THE OMAHA DISTRICT, UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.

THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF BITUMINOUS CIRCULATION AND CAMP LOOP ROADS, AND PARKING LOTS IN AND AROUND CHATFIELD LAKE, COLORADO. THE CONSTRUCTION WORK WAS DIVIDED INTO THREE SCHEDULES, A, B, C. A FOURTH SCHEDULE, D, SOLICITED A BID FOR ALL THE WORK IN A, B AND C.

WINSLOW WAS THE LOW BIDDER ON EACH SCHEDULE. THE TOTAL OF THE WINSLOW BIDS ON SCHEDULES A, B AND C WAS $877,241.45. THE WINSLOW BID ON SCHEDULE D WAS $898,575.30. SINCE THE BID FOR SCHEDULE D WAS MORE THAN THE BID FOR SCHEDULES A, B AND C, IT WAS SUSPECTED THAT THERE MIGHT BE A CLERICAL ERROR IN THE SEPARATE ITEMS COMPRISING SCHEDULES A, B AND C. A REVIEW WAS MADE OF THE ITEMS. NO ERROR WAS DETECTED. HOWEVER, RATHER THAN REQUEST WINSLOW TO VERIFY THE BID, IT WAS DECIDED THAT NO INQUIRY WOULD BE MADE BECAUSE THE $21,333.85 DISCREPANCY BETWEEN SCHEDULE D AND THE TOTAL OF SCHEDULES A, B AND C WAS CONSIDERED TO BE RELATIVELY INSIGNIFICANT IN COMPARISON TO THE $877,241.45 AWARD THAT WAS CONTEMPLATED FOR WINSLOW.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS APPARENT THAT AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED IN THE WINSLOW BID AND NO OPPORTUNITY WAS PROVIDED THE BIDDER TO VERIFY THE BID. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT NO VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT IS CONSUMMATED WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR, BUT NEGLECTED TO TAKE PROPER STEPS TO VERIFY THE BID. B-179266, AUGUST 20, 1973. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE WINSLOW HAS PRESENTED DOCUMENTATION WHICH CLEARLY INDICATES THAT A MISTAKE IN THE AMOUNT OF $22,717.20 WAS MADE AS A RESULT OF TRANSPOSING AN ITEM PRICE FROM THE WORKSHEET TO SCHEDULE A, WHICH AMOUNT WOULD INCREASE THE TOTAL FOR SCHEDULES A, B AND C TO $899,958.65, $1383.35 MORE THAN THE BID FOR SCHEDULE D, OUR OFFICE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO REFORMATION OF THE CONTRACT TO AN AWARD ON THE BASIS OF SCHEDULE D IN THE AMOUNT OF $898,575.30 AS REQUESTED BY THE CONTRACTOR AND AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL, CORPS OF ENGINEERS. THE ACTION RECOMMENDED WOULD NOT CAUSE WINSLOW'S BID TO BE OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID.