Request for Increase in Price of Contract Because of Alleged Mistake in Bid by Subcontractor

B-192752: Aug 6, 1979

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Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

A prime contractor and a subcontractor requested reconsideration of a decision in which GAO declined to review the subcontractor's request for correction of a mistake in its bid submitted to the prime contractor for subcontract work under a contract funded by a federal grant. A mistake in bid claim had not been filed with GAO by the prime contractor, and the contract award was accepted at its original price without complaint or reservation. The subcontractor requested the reconsideration because it contended that the original request was made with the consent and approval and in cooperation with the prime contractor to benefit the prime contractor. In addition, the prime contractor asserted it was not advised that it could reserve its right to declare a bid mistake and obtain correction after the award. The record disclosed that the prime contractor accepted the contract at its original price without complaint or reservation of any right to obtain correction even though it had acknowledged the mathematical error in the subcontractor's bid prior to the award. Since a contractor may be held to have agreed to absorb an error by accepting an award at a mistaken bid price without reservation, neither the prime contractor nor the subcontractor is entitled to relief from the grantee. The protesters' request for an informal conference to reconstruct the circumstances of the bid submittal was denied, because GAO believes such a conference would serve no useful purpose in the face of both parties' agreement that the prime contractor accepted the award at a mistaken bid price without reservation.