Wednesday, July 15, 2009

$9 Million Bid Transposition Error: Airport Staff Recommends No Correction is Permitted

Officials at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California have recommended that the Board of Supervisors for the county not permit contractor Whiting-Turner to correct their bid amount due to a transposition error that resulted in a bid amount some $9 million less than what the contractor said was intended. Airport officials are recommending that Whiting-Turner be relieved of their obligation under their bid bond.

Furthermore, the Board of Supervisors will be considering a recommendation to award the Terminal C construction contract to
McCarthy Building Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $102,309,469.

The recommendations were to have been considered by the Board of Supervisors at their July 14, 2009 meeting, but they have continued the matter until Tuesday, July 21, 2009.

The full airport staff report and recommendations is available online.

In the report, airport officials state that "the law and the facts would not authorize the County to award the subject contract to Whiting-Turner in the changed bid amount of $98,996,795. The bid instructions do not authorize a procedure that would either allow the County to disregard as irrelevant the total lump sum stated by a bidder, or allow a bidder to change its lump sum bid after bid submission for the purpose of correcting arithmetical or computational mistakes."

Based on the bidding documents and instructions for this project, I agree with the recommendations of the airport staff. There is no basis for permitting Whiting-Turner to change their bid amount from $89,996,795 to $98,996,795.

To read my previous blog entries on this subject, click on the dates below:
Bid protests and challenges such as this must be evaluated very carefully by owners based on the specific facts of each case.

No comments: