B-151683, JUN. 27, 1963

B-151683: Jun 27, 1963

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IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION 6 BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED AT THAT TIME. ATTACHED TO THE ENVELOPE WAS CERTIFIED MAIL LABEL NUMBER 943465. IN THE LOWER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE ENVELOPE WAS A HANDWRITTEN NOTE. THE POSTMASTER OF THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE HAS VERBALLY STATED THAT THIS NOTATION WAS MADE BY THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE. POST OFFICE CANCELLATION INDICATES YOUR BID WAS RECEIVED IN THAT POST OFFICE AT APPROXIMATELY 3:00 P.M. NEW YORK WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE IN ORDER FOR THE BID TO ARRIVE AT WEST POINT. STATES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE DELIVERY FROM THIS POST OFFICE AND THAT SUCH DELIVERY IS MADE AT 9:30 A.M. FROM THESE FACTS IT IS APPARENT THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR YOUR BID TO HAVE ARRIVED AT WEST POINT IN THE 6:50 A.M.

B-151683, JUN. 27, 1963

TO DEE CEE ROOFING COMPANY, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 28, 1963, TO THIS OFFICE PROTESTING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK, IN FAILING TO ACCEPT YOUR LATE BID SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO IFB MA-30-145-63-125, DATED APRIL 17, 1963.

THE ABOVE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR REROOFING 31 SETS, NCO QUARTERS AT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK. THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE OPENED ON FRIDAY, MAY 17, 1963, AT 3:00 P.M., E.D.T. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION 6 BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED AT THAT TIME. ON MONDAY, MAY 21, 1963, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECEIVED A LETTER FROM YOUR CONCERN MARKED "BID FOR IFB MA 30-145-63-125 TO BE OPENED AT 3:00 P.M., E.D.T., MAY 17, 3.' ATTACHED TO THE ENVELOPE WAS CERTIFIED MAIL LABEL NUMBER 943465. IN THE LOWER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE ENVELOPE WAS A HANDWRITTEN NOTE,"ALSO RECEIVED SATURDAY, 5/18/63.' THE POSTMASTER OF THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE HAS VERBALLY STATED THAT THIS NOTATION WAS MADE BY THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE. THE WASHINGTON D.C. POST OFFICE CANCELLATION INDICATES YOUR BID WAS RECEIVED IN THAT POST OFFICE AT APPROXIMATELY 3:00 P.M. ON MAY 16, 1963.

A LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., DATED MAY 21,1963, AND ADDRESSED TO YOUR CONCERN, STATES THAT YOUR CERTIFIED BID MAILED AT 2:30 P.M. ON MAY 16, 1963, WOULD IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF MAIL DELIVERY BE DUE FOR ARRIVAL AT WEST POINT, NEW YORK, AT 6:50 A.M. OR 11:30 A.M. ON MAY 17, 1963. THE LETTER POINTS OUT THAT A CLOSE CONNECTION AT NEWBURGH, NEW YORK WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE IN ORDER FOR THE BID TO ARRIVE AT WEST POINT, NEW YORK AT 6:50 A.M. THIS LETTER ALSO STATES THAT SUCH CONNECTION MAY NOT BE MADE AT ALL TIMES. A LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER AT WEST POINT, NEW YORK, DATED MAY 29, 1963, STATES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE DELIVERY FROM THIS POST OFFICE AND THAT SUCH DELIVERY IS MADE AT 9:30 A.M.

FROM THESE FACTS IT IS APPARENT THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR YOUR BID TO HAVE ARRIVED AT WEST POINT IN THE 6:50 A.M. DELIVERY TO THAT STATION ON MAY 17, 1963, IN ORDER TO BE PART OF THE 9:30 A.M. DELIVERY FROM WEST POINT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THUS TO HAVE BEEN DELIVERED IN THE USUAL COURSE OF THE MAIL BEFORE THE 3:00 P.M. OPENING OF BIDS. IN THIS REGARD IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THERE WAS NO SPECIAL DELIVERY POSTAGE ON YOUR BID.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY 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. BASICALLY THE SAME REQUIREMENTS ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE INSTRUCTION TO BIDDERS WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE INVITATION AND IN ASPR 2-303.2. THE PURPOSE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS IS TO GIVE ALL BIDDERS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, TO PREVENT FRAUD, AND TO PRESERVE THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BID SYSTEM.

IN THIS CASE WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE FAILURE OF YOUR BID TO ARRIVE BEFORE THE OPENING OF BIDS WAS DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE. IT IS TRUE YOUR BID DID NOT ARRIVE AT THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE UNTIL MAY 18, 1963. HOWEVER, EVEN IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF THE MAIL IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT YOUR BID WOULD HAVE ARRIVED AT THE WEST POINT POST OFFICE BY 6:50 A.M. ON MAY 17, 1963; WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ESSENTIAL IN ORDER THAT YOUR BID BE PART OF THE 9:30 A.M. DELIVERY FROM THAT POST OFFICE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST TO THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN FAILING TO CONSIDER YOUR LATE BID IS DENIED.