B-95524, JUNE 2, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 491

B-95524: Jun 2, 1950

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EVEN THOUGH THE BID WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE TIME FOR OPENING INADVERTENTLY INDICATED IN THE INVITATION. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 18. WAS SUBMITTED TO 17 CONTRACTORS FOR BIDS TO REPAIR A BOATHOUSE AND FOR GENERAL REHABILITATION OF THE DOCK AREA. THAT THE DATE ESTABLISHED FOR OPENING THE BIDS WAS 11 A.M. AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED DELETING ONE PARAGRAPH IN THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND SUBSTITUTING ANOTHER PARAGRAPH. THE OPENING DATE OF THE BIDS WAS EXTENDED TO 3 P.M. THAT SHORTLY AFTER MAILING AMENDMENT NO. 1 IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE NEW OPENING DATE ESTABLISHED WAS A NON-WORKING DAY. AMENDMENT NO. 2 WAS ISSUED TO CORRECT AMENDMENT NO. 1.

B-95524, JUNE 2, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 491

BIDS - CONSIDERATION - PATENT ERROR IN INVITATION AS TO TIME FOR OPENING THE DESIGNATION, IN AN INVITATION FOR BIDS TO REPAIR A BOATHOUSE AND FOR GENERAL REHABILITATION OF THE DOCK AREA, OF 3 A.M. INSTEAD OF 3 P.M. AS THE TIME FOR OPENING THE BIDS, BEING PATENTLY ERRONEOUS AND IN NOWISE AFFECTING THE BID PRICES OR PREJUDICING THE ONLY OTHER BIDDER, AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR NOT CONSIDERING THE LOW BID RECEIVED IN TIME FOR THE ACTUAL OPENING IN THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, EVEN THOUGH THE BID WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE TIME FOR OPENING INADVERTENTLY INDICATED IN THE INVITATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO LT. COL. JOHN V. GRESSANG, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, JUNE 2, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 18, 1950 (OFFICE SYMBOL JLHMP/1CWS/BW), WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN THE MATTER OF AN ERROR MADE IN CONNECTION WITH INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 108-169-50-36.

YOU STATE THAT ON APRIL 6, 1950, THE INVITATION, TOGETHER WITH SPECIFICATIONS AND A DRAWING, WAS SUBMITTED TO 17 CONTRACTORS FOR BIDS TO REPAIR A BOATHOUSE AND FOR GENERAL REHABILITATION OF THE DOCK AREA; THAT THE DATE ESTABLISHED FOR OPENING THE BIDS WAS 11 A.M., MAY 3, 1950; THAT ON APRIL 27, 1950, AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED DELETING ONE PARAGRAPH IN THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND SUBSTITUTING ANOTHER PARAGRAPH, AND THE OPENING DATE OF THE BIDS WAS EXTENDED TO 3 P.M. E.S.T., MAY 13, 1950; THAT SHORTLY AFTER MAILING AMENDMENT NO. 1 IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE NEW OPENING DATE ESTABLISHED WAS A NON-WORKING DAY, AND AMENDMENT NO. 2 WAS ISSUED TO CORRECT AMENDMENT NO. 1; THAT WHEN AMENDMENT NO. 2 WAS PREPARED THE TIME INDICATED FOR THE OPENING OF THE BIDS WAS INADVERTENTLY INDICATED AS 3 A.M. EST.--- INSTEAD OF 3 P.M. E.S.T.--- MAY 15, 1950; THAT TWO BIDS WERE SUBMITTED, ONE BID, IN THE AMOUNT OF $29,900, WAS RECEIVED AT 4:55 P.M., MAY 14, 1950, THE SECOND BID, IN THE AMOUNT OF $29,141, WAS RECEIVED AT 0:30 A.M. ON MAY 15, 1950; AND THAT THE TWO BIDS WERE OPENED AT 3 P.M. E.S.T., MAY 15, 1950.

THE DESIGNATION IN AMENDMENT NO. 2 OF 3 A.M. E.S.T., WAS PATENTLY ERRONEOUS, AND THE MISTAKE MAY HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE BIDDERS THEMSELVES. IN ANY EVENT, SINCE THE BIDS WERE NOT OPENED UNTIL 3 P.M. E.S.T., MAY 15, 1950, OR AFTER BOTH BIDS HAD BEEN RECEIVED, THERE CAN EXIST NO QUESTION OF FAVORITISM TO THE LATE BIDDER OR THE POSSIBILITY THAT HE MAY HAVE SECURED AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE BY OBTAINING INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO THE TERMS OFFERED BY HIS COMPETITORS. HENCE, TO DENY THE LOW BIDDER THE RIGHT TO HAVE HIS BID CONSIDERED UNDER THE PRESENT INVITATION WOULD BE UNFAIR TO HIM AND ALSO WOULD DENY TO THE UNITED STATES THE BENEFIT OF THE LOWER PRICE.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT, ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS OF RECORDS, NO REASON IS PERCEIVED WHY THE LOW BID SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED IN THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT. CF. A-93932, MAY 26, 1938.