B-181345, JUN 13, 1974

B-181345: Jun 13, 1974

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BIDDER WHO ESTABLISHES THAT BID IS ERRONEOUS BECAUSE IT FAILED TO INCLUDE LABOR COSTS FOR PHASE 2 OF JOB AS IT DID FOR PHASE 1 IS NOT ENTITLED TO CORRECTION OF BID NOTWITHSTANDING NOTE ON WORKSHEET THAT "PHASE 2 LARGER. " SINCE WORKSHEET IS VAGUE THAT IT WAS INTENDED THAT LABOR COSTS ON PHASE 2 WOULD DUPLICATE PHASE 1. INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 7493 WAS ISSUED BY THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL FOR REPAIRS TO TERRAZZO FLOORS IN THE WEST BASEMENT CORRIDOR OF THE LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING. WAS ORALLY REQUESTED ON THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING. THE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE CORPORATION STATES THAT THE ERROR IN THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS THE RESULT OF WORKING UP THE LABOR COSTS BASED ON THE PHASE 1 WORK.

B-181345, JUN 13, 1974

BIDDER WHO ESTABLISHES THAT BID IS ERRONEOUS BECAUSE IT FAILED TO INCLUDE LABOR COSTS FOR PHASE 2 OF JOB AS IT DID FOR PHASE 1 IS NOT ENTITLED TO CORRECTION OF BID NOTWITHSTANDING NOTE ON WORKSHEET THAT "PHASE 2 LARGER, BUT BASICALLY SAME," SINCE WORKSHEET IS VAGUE THAT IT WAS INTENDED THAT LABOR COSTS ON PHASE 2 WOULD DUPLICATE PHASE 1; HOWEVER, BID MAY BE WITHDRAWN.

TO BOATMAN AND MAGNANI INC.; STANDARD ART, MARBLE & TILE CO., INC.:

ON APRIL 12, 1974, INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 7493 WAS ISSUED BY THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL FOR REPAIRS TO TERRAZZO FLOORS IN THE WEST BASEMENT CORRIDOR OF THE LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C. DUE TO THE REQUIREMENT OF KEEPING THE CORRIDOR OPEN TO PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THAT THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN TWO PHASES. IN RESPONSE, BOATMAN AND MAGNANI INC. (BOATMAN) OFFERED TO PERFORM THE REPAIR WORK FOR $8,339. THE ONLY OTHER BIDDER ON THE PROJECT, STANDARD ART, MARBLE & TILE CO., INC., OFFERED TO PERFORM THE REPAIR WORK FOR $14,990.

IN VIEW OF THE DISPARITY BETWEEN BOATMAN'S BID AND THE ONLY OTHER BID ON THE REPAIR WORK, MR. BOATMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE CORPORATION, WAS ORALLY REQUESTED ON THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING, MAY 3, 1974, TO VERIFY HIS CORPORATION'S BID. ON MAY 9, 1974, MR. BOATMAN ORALLY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT HE HAD FAILED TO INCLUDE IN THE CORPORATION'S BID PRICE APPROXIMATELY $5,000 OF LABOR COSTS TO COVER THE PHASE 2 WORK OF THE PROJECT.

IN A LETTER-AFFIDAVIT DATED MAY 7, 1974, THE SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE CORPORATION STATES THAT THE ERROR IN THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS THE RESULT OF WORKING UP THE LABOR COSTS BASED ON THE PHASE 1 WORK; THAT PHASE 2 WORK REQUIRED THE SAME AMOUNT OF LABOR BUT THAT IN PUTTING ITS BID TOGETHER THE CORPORATION FAILED TO DOUBLE THE PHASE 1 LABOR; AND THAT AS A RESULT OF THIS OMISSION, THE REQUIRED LABOR FOR THE JOB WAS UNDERSTATED BY 50 PERCENT. THE CORPORATION REQUESTED THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE WORK BE INCREASED FROM $8,339 TO $13,277 - A DIFFERENCE OF $4,938. IF THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE WORK IS INCREASED TO $13,277, AS REQUESTED BY THE CORPORATION, SUCH PRICE WILL STILL BE THE LOWEST PRICE ON THE WORK INVOLVED. IF CORRECTION OF ITS BID PRICE IS NOT PERMITTED, THE CORPORATION HAS REQUESTED THAT IT BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID ON THE PROJECT. IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, THE CORPORATION SUBMITTED ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEETS AND ON ONE OF THESE SHEETS THE CORPORATION INDICATED THE "CORRECTED FIGURES AS THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED."

THE ONLY OTHER BIDDER, STANDARD ART, MARBLE & TILE CO., INC., HAS PROTESTED AGAINST ANY CORRECTION OF BOATMAN'S BID.

IN REGARD TO AN ALLEGED ERROR IN BID, OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT TO PERMIT CORRECTION PRIOR TO AWARD, A BIDDER MUST SUBMIT CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT AN ERROR HAS BEEN MADE, THE MANNER IN WHICH THE ERROR OCCURRED, AND THE INTENDED BID PRICE. SEE 49 COMP. GEN. 480, 482 (1970); 51 ID. 503 (1972).

IT APPEARS FROM BOATMAN'S WORKSHEETS THAT IN COMPUTING ITS BID PRICE, THE CORPORATION ESTIMATED THAT 8 TEAM-DAYS AND 36 HELPER-DAYS WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR THE PHASE 1 WORK. UNDER THIS TABULATION OF WORK DAYS FOR PHASE 1, THE CORPORATION INSERTED THE NOTATION "PHASE 2 LARGER, BUT BASICALLY SAME." BOATMAN CLAIMS THAT IT INTENDED TO DUPLICATE ITS LABOR COST ESTIMATE FOR PHASE 1 IN THE CASE OF PHASE 2 OF THE WORK, BUT INADVERTENTLY OMITTED THE LABOR COST FOR PHASE 2 ALTOGETHER UPON ADDING UP ALL ELEMENTS OF ITS BID.

HOWEVER, THE NOTATION AS TO PHASE 2 ON THE WORKSHEET IS TOO VAGUE TO BE ACCEPTED AS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE CORPORATION INTENDED IN ARRIVING AT THE LABOR COST OF PHASE 2 WORK TO DUPLICATE THE LABOR COST ESTIMATED FOR PHASE 1. WE BELIEVE THAT WHILE BOATMAN HAS ESTABLISHED THAT IT FAILED TO INCLUDE THE LABOR COST FOR THE PHASE 2 WORK IN ITS BID PRICE, IT HAS NOT BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE ESTABLISHED ITS INTENDED BID PRICE OF $13,277 FOR THE PROJECT.

FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, WE DO NOT FIND THAT THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD JUSTIFIES CORRECTION OF BOATMAN'S BID. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE FIND A SUFFICIENT BASIS TO ALLOW WITHDRAWAL OF THE BID. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THE DEGREE OF PROOF REQUIRED TO JUSTIFY WITHDRAWAL OF A BID BEFORE AWARD ON THE BASIS OF MISTAKE IS IN NO WAY COMPARABLE TO THAT NECESSARY FOR CORRECTION. 36 COMP. GEN. 441, 444 (1956). ACCORDINGLY, THE BID MAY BE WITHDRAWN FROM CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD.