B-182917, MAR 6, 1975

B-182917: Mar 6, 1975

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CONTRACTOR WHO SUBMITTED THE ONLY BID RECEIVED IS ENTITLED TO ADJUSTMENT IN CONTRACT PRICE FOR ERROR IN BIDDING $550 ON ITEM CALLING FOR CLEANING AIR DUCTS 4 TIMES DURING YEAR WHERE BID WAS INTENDED TO BE $550 PER CLEANING OR A TOTAL OF $2. 200 SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THE PRIOR YEAR'S CONTRACT FOR ITEM WAS $539 PER CLEANING. CRATER POWER - VAC INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) 692-6-75 WAS ISSUED ON JULY 30. V692P-375 WAS AWARDED TO CRATER POWER - VAC ON SEPTEMBER 11. CRATER POWER - VAC INDICATED THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM 8 WHICH READ ONE JOB AT $550 RATHER THAN $2. A MISTAKE IN BID IS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL AFTER AWARD.

B-182917, MAR 6, 1975

CONTRACTOR WHO SUBMITTED THE ONLY BID RECEIVED IS ENTITLED TO ADJUSTMENT IN CONTRACT PRICE FOR ERROR IN BIDDING $550 ON ITEM CALLING FOR CLEANING AIR DUCTS 4 TIMES DURING YEAR WHERE BID WAS INTENDED TO BE $550 PER CLEANING OR A TOTAL OF $2,200 SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THE PRIOR YEAR'S CONTRACT FOR ITEM WAS $539 PER CLEANING.

CRATER POWER - VAC

INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) 692-6-75 WAS ISSUED ON JULY 30, 1974, BY THE CHIEF, SUPPLY DIVISION, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DOMICILIARY, WHITE CITY, OREGON, FOR CLEANING AIR DUCTS. ON THE DATE SET FOR BID OPENING, SEPTEMBER 3, 1974, THE SOLE BIDDER, CRATER POWER - VAC, BID $5,000 FOR THE SERVICES WHICH REQUIRED THE BIDDER TO FURNISH ALL NECESSARY MATERIALS, LABOR, EQUIPMENT, AND SUPERVISION FOR CLEANING AIR DUCTS AT THE LOCATIONS INDICATED AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE IFB. THE IFB REQUIRED BIDDERS TO BID ON EACH JOB INDIVIDUALLY. CRATER POWER - VAC SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING BID:

"1. BUILDING 201, DENTAL SECTION.

SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $ 300.00 A

"2. BUILDING 209, 1ST FLOOR SOUTH,

PHYSICAL THERAPY AREA.

SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $ 300.00 A

"3. BUILDING 209, 1ST AND 2ND

FLOOR NORTH, SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $ 600.00 A

"4. BUILDING 219, 1ST FLOOR CANTEEN

RETAIL, BARBERSHIP AND CAFETERIA

AREAS. SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $ 750.00 A

"5. BUILDING 220, THEATER STAGE

RETURN AIR DUCTS. SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $ 500.00 A

"6. BUILDING 223, FORCED AIR DUCTS.

SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $1000.00 A

"7. BUILDING 224, FORCED AIR DUCTS.

SEPT. 1974 1 JOB $1000.00 A

"8. BUILDINGS 219 AND 236. CLEAN

EXHAUST DUCTS IN SEPTEMBER

1974, DECEMBER 1974, MARCH

1975, AND JUNE 1975. 1 JOB $ 550.00 A

SEE AGGREGATE AWARDS CLAUSE, DISCOUNTED OFFER: TOTAL - $5000.00 A "

CONTRACT NO. V692P-375 WAS AWARDED TO CRATER POWER - VAC ON SEPTEMBER 11, 1974, IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000.

IN A LETTER TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 14, 1974, CRATER POWER - VAC INDICATED THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM 8 WHICH READ ONE JOB AT $550 RATHER THAN $2,200 AS INTENDED. ITEM 8 CALLED FOR CLEANING THE AIR DUCTS 4 TIMES WHEREAS ITEMS 1 THROUGH 7 CALLED FOR CLEANING THE AIR DUCTS ONLY ONCE. CRATER POWER - VAC STATES THAT IT INTENDED TO BID $550 PER CLEANING EACH QUARTER OR 4 TIMES THE BID PRICE FOR A TOTAL OF $2,200.

WHERE, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, A MISTAKE IN BID IS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL AFTER AWARD, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE BIDDER MUST BEAR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS MISTAKES UNLESS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE MISTAKE AT THE TIME THE BID WAS ACCEPTED. SEE 48 COMP. GEN. 672 (1969); MATTER OF TITAN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS, INC., B-180329, OCTOBER 1, 1974. CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE IS SAID TO EXIST WHEN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, CONSIDERING ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF A CASE, SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ERROR. 53 COMP. GEN. 30, 31 (1973).

ORDINARILY, WHERE AS HERE, ONLY ONE BID IS RECEIVED, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON OF BIDS AND THERE IS NOTHING TO PLACE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT IN FISCAL YEAR 1974 THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR ITEM 8 WAS $539 FOR EACH QUARTER AND IN VIEW OF THIS FACT STATES THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF A MISTAKE IN THE BID OF CRATER POWER - VAC. ON THE BASIS OF THIS INFORMATION, WE BELIEVE THE MISTAKE WAS SO APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ERROR AND THAT VERIFICATION OF THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BEFORE AWARD. SEE B-174049, NOVEMBER 4, 1971.

ACCORDINGLY, WE AGREE WITH THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE DIRECTOR, SUPPLY SERVICE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, THAT ITEM 8 SHOULD BE CORRECTED TO READ $2,200 IN LIEU OF $550 AND THAT THE TOTAL AGGREGATE AMOUNT SHOULD BE INCREASED FROM $5,000 TO $6,650.