B-142418, MAY 5, 1960

B-142418: May 5, 1960

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INC.: WE HAVE RECEIVED A REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON THE PROTEST MADE IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 28. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT A BID RECEIVED AFTER THE EXACT TIME SPECIFIED FOR THE OPENING OF BIDS WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS IT WAS RECEIVED BEFORE THE AWARD WAS MADE AND THE GOVERNMENT DETERMINED THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE EITHER TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH THE BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE OR TO MISHANDLING BY THE GOVERNMENT AFTER RECEIPT OF THE BID AT THE GOVERNMENT INSTALLATION. SPECIAL DELIVERY ENVELOPE CONTAINING THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY WAS RECEIVED ON MARCH 7. POST OFFICE DATE STAMP WAS BLURRED. THE TIME OF MAILING WAS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS TO HAVE BEEN AT MIDNIGHT.

B-142418, MAY 5, 1960

TO MR. WILLIAM AUSLANDER, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, INC.:

WE HAVE RECEIVED A REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON THE PROTEST MADE IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 28, 1960, AGAINST THE REFUSAL OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT THE REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO CONSIDER THE LATE BID SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. IDP-X-ORD-01- 120-60-10251, ISSUED FEBRUARY 5, 1960, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TWO ITEMS OF CABLE ASSEMBLIES.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE RECEIVED UNTIL 2 P.M., CENTRAL STANDARD TIME, MARCH 4, 1960, AND AT THAT TIME PUBLICLY OPENED. ALSO, BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN THE INVITATION THAT A BID RECEIVED AFTER THE EXACT TIME SPECIFIED FOR THE OPENING OF BIDS WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS IT WAS RECEIVED BEFORE THE AWARD WAS MADE AND THE GOVERNMENT DETERMINED THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE EITHER TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH THE BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE OR TO MISHANDLING BY THE GOVERNMENT AFTER RECEIPT OF THE BID AT THE GOVERNMENT INSTALLATION.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS REPORTED THAT THE AIRMAIL, SPECIAL DELIVERY ENVELOPE CONTAINING THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY WAS RECEIVED ON MARCH 7, 1960, AND THAT, SINCE THE BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (ADELPHI BRANCH), POST OFFICE DATE STAMP WAS BLURRED, THE TIME OF MAILING WAS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS TO HAVE BEEN AT MIDNIGHT, MARCH 3, 1960. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BID WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD UNLESS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE WERE SUBMITTED PROMPTLY, SHOWING THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE. IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 11, 1960, YOU ALLEGED THAT THE ENVELOPE HAD BEEN MAILED ON MARCH 3 AT 10 A.M., AND THAT ALL FLIGHTS FROM AIRPORTS IN AND ADJOINING THE CITY OF NEW YORK WERE CANCELED ON MARCH 3 DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS.

ON THE BASIS OF CONSIDERING THAT THE BID WAS MAILED AT MIDNIGHT, MARCH 3, IT WAS THEN ASCERTAINED FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT OF MAILS OF THE HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, POST OFFICE THAT, REGARDLESS OF WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE BID HAD NOT BEEN MAILED IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO HAVE REACHED THE REDSTONE ARSENAL PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED TIME FOR THE OPENING OF BIDS, IN THAT BIDS MAILED SPECIAL DELIVERY, REGISTERED, OR BY CERTIFIED MAIL, MUST BE ALLOWED AN ADDITIONAL 24 HOURS WHEN MAILED TO GOVERNMENT INSTALLATIONS, DUE TO ADMINISTRATIVE HANDLING REQUIRED BY POSTAL AUTHORITIES. ON MARCH 15 CONTRACTS WERE AWARDED TO THE FIRMS WHICH HAD SUBMITTED THE LOWEST TIMELY BIDS ON THE TWO ITEMS OF THE INVITATION, AND YOU WERE ADVISED OF THE ACTION TAKEN.

IN REGARD TO YOUR PROTEST IN THE MATTER, AN EXAMINATION OF THE DATE STAMP OF THE BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (ADELPHI BRANCH), POST OFFICE WOULD REASONABLY APPEAR TO WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE ENVELOPE WAS MAILED AT 11 A.M., MARCH 3, 1960. THIS FEATURE OF THE CASE WAS DISCUSSED BETWEEN A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF MAILS, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, AND IN A LETTER DATED APRIL 6, 1960, FROM THE POSTMASTER, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WAS ADVISED THAT, IF THE ENVELOPE HAD BEEN POSTMARKED AT 11 A.M., MARCH 3, 1960, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, AT 12:38 P.M., MARCH 4, UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS. THE FILE OF THE CASE ALSO INCLUDES A LETTER DATED APRIL 6, 1960, FROM THE HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, POST OFFICE, STATING THAT, WITH RESPECT TO THE DELIVERY OF AIRMAIL ARRIVING AT THE HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT AT 12:38 P.M., SUCH MAIL WOULD BE DELIVERED TO THE REDSTONE ARSENAL BRANCH POST OFFICE AT APPROXIMATELY 4:30 P.M.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS APPARENT THAT YOUR BID COULD NOT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT THE REDSTONE ARSENAL IN SUFFICIENT TIME FOR ITS CONSIDERATION