Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest denied.
A bidder’s failure to precisely follow instructions in invitation for bids for construction project with respect to how to enter bid prices for deductive bid items can be corrected as an obvious clerical mistake where the intended bid is evident from the face of the bid.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
SDV contends that the agency improperly permitted JRS to correct its bid from its alternate #2 bid amount of $1,055,750 to the award price of $8,104,376. GAO states that under FAR sect. 14.407-2, the contracting officer may correct apparent clerical mistakes in bids, so long as the contracting officer obtains from the bidder a verification of the bid intended. GAO has recognized that a bidder’s failure to follow IFB instructions precisely with respect to how to enter bid prices for deductive bid items is an obvious clerical mistake that can be corrected where the intended bid is evident from the face of the bid.
Here, it is clear from the face of JRS’s bid that it mistakenly inserted the amount that it intended to deduct from the base bid in the deduct alternate items on the bidding sheet rather than inserting the net amount after the deduction. As noted, the agency verified the intended bid with JRS. While SDV notes that the agency initially determined that this was a minor informality that was waivable under FAR sect. 14.405 instead of a clerical error correctable under FAR sect. 14.407-2, the record here demonstrates that the error was a correctable clerical error and that the agency complied with FAR sect. 14.407-2 in correcting the bid. The protest is denied.