B-149288, JUL. 31, 1962

B-149288: Jul 31, 1962

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ESQUIRE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26. DAVIS COMPANY ADVISING THAT ITS BID ON THIS INVITATION WAS MAILED AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY AT 3:30 P.M. THE REPLY WAS NEGATIVE. THE FIVE BIDS RECEIVED WERE OPENED AT 2:00 P.M. DAVIS COMPANY WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE UNTIL THE 10:30 A.M. THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING THE DAVIS BID SHOWS THAT IT WAS SENT FROM WASHINGTON. POSTMARK ON THE BACK OF THE ENVELOPE SHOWS THAT THE BID WAS RECEIVED AT THE GOLDSBORO POST OFFICE AT 11:30 A.M. THE RECORD SHOWS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOUND THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURES SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICE IS NOT PROVIDED TO MILITARY INSTALLATIONS UNLESS THE MAIL IS IDENTIFIED WITH A SPECIFIC MAILING ADDRESS (STREET.

B-149288, JUL. 31, 1962

TO J. E. BINDEMAN, ESQUIRE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1962, PROTESTING ON BEHALF OF THE JOHN H. DAVIS COMPANY, 616 PORTLAND STREET, S.E., WASHINGTON 20, D.C., THE REJECTION OF ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 31-610-62-67, ISSUED BY THE SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE (SJAFB), NORTH CAROLINA, ON MAY 21, 1962.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS ON MAINTENANCE (PAINTING, ETC.) OF FAMILY HOUSING AT SJAFB AND, AS MODIFIED, PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE PUBLICLY OPENED AT 2 P.M., E.S.T., ON JUNE 14, 1962, IN THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, BUILDING 3634.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JUNE 13, 1962, AT 3:29 P.M., E.S.T., THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, SJAFB, RECEIVED TELEPHONE NOTIFICATION OF A TELEGRAM FROM THE JOHN H. DAVIS COMPANY ADVISING THAT ITS BID ON THIS INVITATION WAS MAILED AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY AT 3:30 P.M., E.D.T., ON JUNE 13, 1962. AT 1:45 P.M., E.S.T., ON JUNE 14, 1962, THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE CHECKED THE MAIL AND DISTRIBUTION SECTION AT SJAFB TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY ADDITIONAL BIDS HAD BEEN RECEIVED. THE REPLY WAS NEGATIVE. THE FIVE BIDS RECEIVED WERE OPENED AT 2:00 P.M., E.S.T., AS SCHEDULED. THE BID FROM THE JOHN H. DAVIS COMPANY WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE UNTIL THE 10:30 A.M., E.S.T., MAIL DELIVERY ON JUNE 15, 1962.

THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING THE DAVIS BID SHOWS THAT IT WAS SENT FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., ON JUNE 13, 1962, AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY. THE WASHINGTON, D.C., POSTMARK (METER) DOES NOT SHOW THE TIME OF MAILING. GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, POSTMARK ON THE BACK OF THE ENVELOPE SHOWS THAT THE BID WAS RECEIVED AT THE GOLDSBORO POST OFFICE AT 11:30 A.M., E.S.T., ON JUNE 14, 1962. THE RECORD SHOWS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOUND THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURES SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICE IS NOT PROVIDED TO MILITARY INSTALLATIONS UNLESS THE MAIL IS IDENTIFIED WITH A SPECIFIC MAILING ADDRESS (STREET, NUMBER, ETC.). OFFICIAL MAIL TO SJAFB IS NORMALLY ADDRESSED TO A SPECIFIC OFFICE AND, IN THE CASE OF BIDS, TO THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE. ACCORDINGLY THE BID INVOLVED WAS SUBJECT TO DELIVERY IN THE NORMAL ROUTINE MANNER. OFFICIAL MAIL TO SJAFB IS TRANSFERRED BY TRUCK TWICE DAILY FROM THE MAIN POST OFFICE IN GOLDSBORO TO THE BRANCH POST OFFICE AT SEYMOUR JOHNSON. IT IS PICKED UP FROM THERE BY AIR FORCE PERSONNEL FROM SJAFB MAIL AND DISTRIBUTION SECTION AT 8:50 A.M., AND 2:15 P.M., E.S.T., AND OFFICIAL INCOMING MAIL IS DISTRIBUTED WITHIN THE SJAFB TO THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE AT 10:30 A.M., AND 3:30 P.M., E.S.T., DAILY.

BASED UPON THE ABOVE FACTS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT A BID ARRIVING IN THE MAIN POST OFFICE, GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, AT 11:30 A.M., E.S.T. (PLACE AND TIME OF MAILING FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., NOT SHOWN), WAS NOT MAILED IN TIME TO HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE SJAFB, PRIOR TO THE TIME OF OPENING.

YOU PROTEST SUCH DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS THAT, SINCE THE BID WAS SENT AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY AND IT WAS NOT HANDLED BY SPECIAL DELIVERY BY THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES IN GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, THE DELAY WAS DUE SOLELY TO MISHANDLING BY THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES FOR WHICH THE BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE.

IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT IT IS THE BIDDER'S ABSOLUTE RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT HIS BID IS RECEIVED AT THE PLACE OF THE OPENING ON OR BEFORE THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION. THE ONLY EXCEPTION PERMITTED IS IN SITUATIONS WHERE BIDS SENT BY MAIL ARE RECEIVED PRIOR TO AWARD AND IT IS DETERMINED BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE FAILURE TO ARRIVE ON TIME WAS DUE SOLELY TO DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH THE BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE. THE FACT THAT THERE MAY NOT BE AS GOOD MAIL SERVICE TO A PARTICULAR PLACE AS SOME MIGHT DESIRE WILL NOT RELIEVE THE BIDDER OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAILING HIS BID IN TIME TO BE RECEIVED PRIOR TO THE OPENING. B-144419, JANUARY 12, 1961.

ALL MAIL WHICH ONE MAY MARK AND ON WHICH HE MAY PAY THE FEE FOR SPECIAL DELIVERY IS NOT IN FACT DELIVERED SPECIALLY. SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE IS LOCATED THREE HIGHWAY MILES BEYOND THE CITY LIMITS OF GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA. PART 166 OF THE POSTAL MANUAL, WHICH SETS FORTH THE TYPE OF SERVICE FURNISHED UPON THE PAYMENT OF THE PRESCRIBED FEE FOR SPECIAL DELIVERY, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

".11 POINTS OF DELIVERY. SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL IS GIVEN IMMEDIATE DELIVERY AT THE OFFICE OF ADDRESS DURING PRESCRIBED HOURS TO:

A. POINTS WITHIN A RADIUS OF 1 MILE OF ANY POST OFFICE, STATION, OR BRANCH (EXCEPT CONTRACT STATION OR BRANCH AND RURAL STATION).

B. POINTS WITHIN THE DELIVERY LIMITS OF ANY POST OFFICE HAVING LETTER CARRIER SERVICE.

C. POINTS WITHIN ONE-HALF MILE OF A RURAL ROUTE BY RURAL CARRIER ON HIS REGULAR TRIP, IF THERE IS A PASSABLE ROAD LEADING TO THE ADDRESSEE'S DWELLING OR PLACE OF BUSINESS.

".12 TRANSPORTING AND DELIVERING. SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL IS HANDLED AND TRANSPORTED IN THE SAME MANNER AND WITH THE SAME EXPEDITION AS FIRST-CLASS MAIL. * * *"

".45 MILITARY POSTS AND CAMPS. NO SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICE IS PROVIDED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL AT MILITARY POSTS AND CAMPS. SPECIAL DELIVERY BY MESSENGER IS MADE ONLY TO ADDRESSES SUCH AS OFFICERS' HOMES, HEADQUARTERS, HOSPITALS, AND OTHER PLACES WHERE IT IS DEFINITELY KNOWN THAT DELIVERY CAN BE MADE.'

IT IS GENERAL KNOWLEDGE THAT MAIL ADDRESSED TO MILITARY INSTALLATIONS OR TO ADDRESSEES LOCATED BEYOND CITY LIMITS MAY NOT BE DELIVERED IN THE SAME MANNER AS LIKE MAIL ADDRESSED TO ADDRESSEES WITHIN CITIES, AND PARTICULARLY WITHIN THE BUSINESS AREAS. IN THE INSTANT CASE THE BIDDER HIMSELF APPARENTLY HAD SOME DOUBT WHETHER THE BID WAS TIMELY MAILED, OTHERWISE THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO REASON FOR NOTIFYING THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEGRAM THAT HE WAS MAILING THE BID. SUCH NOTICE, OF COURSE, WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE SUFFICIENT REASON FOR ACCEPTING A LATE MAILED BID.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS WE MUST AGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT IS NOT SHOWN THE BID INVOLVED WAS MAILED IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN NORMAL COURSE AT THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE AT, OR PRIOR TO, THE TIME FIXED FOR THE OPENING OF THE BIDS.