B-400728, Sector One Security Solution, December 10, 2008
Protesterís contention that the agency improperly refused to consider its proposal is denied where there is no evidence that the agency received the proposal by the solicitation due date or that improper government action caused the failure of the postal service to make timely delivery, and where the record shows that the protester failed to follow the delivery instructions in the solicitation.
Sector One Security Solution,
The RFP was published in FedBizOpps on
U.S. Department of State
ATTN: Michael Larson
Office of Acquisition Management
P.O. Box 9115
Arlington, VA 22219
Hand-Carried to (offeror must pre-coordinate drop-off with the Contracting Officer):
1701 N. Ft. Myer Drive (Rosslyn Station), SA-6
Arlington, VA 22209
RFP sect. L.15, RFP amend. 6, at 1.
The RFP also incorporated Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) sect. 52.215-1, which provides that late proposals generally will not be considered for award if they do not reach the designiated government office by the time specified in the solicition.
Sector One used USPS Express Mail to send its proposal to the address in the RFP for hand-carried submissions. The agency reports that the USPS does not deliver mail to office annex buildings of the DOS, such as the one in which the Office of Acquisition is located. Agency Report (AR) at 5. For this reason, the RFP provided a post office box address for mailing and required that any hand-carried proposal be coordinated with the contracting officer.
Oneís proposal was returned to it unopened with a notation that it was refused;
the protester subsequently contacted the agency and claims it was advised that the
proposal was returned because it had been misaddressed. However, the agency reports that it never
received Sector Oneís proposal. AR, Tab
9, Contract Specialist
Sector One asserts that it sent its proposal by express mail to the address in the RFP for hand-delivery or courier. The protester has provided the USPS Express Mail label from the package indicating that it had the correct hand-carried address provided by the RFP and that USPS made two attempts to deliver the package, one of which was after the date and time for submission of proposals. The protester argues that express mail is delivered by courier and that someone at the agency marked ďrefusedĒ in the employee signature box.
It is the
responsibility of each firm to deliver its proposal to the proper place at the
proper time, and late delivery generally requires rejection of the
submission. Sencland CDC Enters.,
As an initial matter, the agency denies receiving or rejecting the Sector One proposal submission that was the subject of the alleged delivery attempt by the USPS carrier. As explained above, since USPS does not deliver mail to the building where the Office of Acquisition is located, the RFP contained a P.O. box for mailed proposals, and allowed for hand-carried proposals provided delivery was coordinated with the contracting officer. By its own admission, the protester did not follow the instructions in the RFP for submission of its proposal in that it made no arrangements with the contracting officer for hand-carried delivery.
In our view, the evidence submitted by the protester does not establish that the agency actually received the protesterís submission or that there was an attempt to deliver the proposals to the agency before the closing time established in the solicitation. As explained above, the record here, at best, only demonstrates that the USPS carrier attempted to deliver the protesterís submission to some DOS location and does not specifically demonstrate whether anyone at DOS refused to accept delivery. The record shows that the paramount reason for the nonreceipt of the protesterís submission is the protesterís failure to follow the solicitation instructions to either mail its proposal to the designated P.O. box number or make the proper arrangements for hand-carried delivery. In short, there is nothing in the record showing that any affirmative government action deprived the protester of the ability to make a proper delivery of its proposal.
The protest is denied.
Gary L. Kepplinger