B-151724, JUL. 15, 1963

B-151724: Jul 15, 1963

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BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 29. A BID BEARING YOUR COMPANY'S NAME WAS THE LOWEST. VICE PRESIDENT" IS TYPED IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR SIGNER'S NAME AND TITLE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONSIDERED THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF A PROPER SIGNATURE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE LACK OF A "PROPER" SIGNATURE ON YOUR LOW BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN WAIVED. - "* * * THE UNSIGNED BID IS ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER MATERIAL INDICATING THE BIDDER'S INTENTION TO BE BOUND BY THE UNSIGNED BID DOCUMENT. THE RULE IS SYNOPSIZED AS FOLLOWS: "THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN A BID WHICH BEARS HIS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE. IS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE HAD BEEN ADOPTED OR AUTHORIZED.

B-151724, JUL. 15, 1963

TO THE PARKER VISE DIVISION, UNION MANUFACTURING COMPANY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1963, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD MADE BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FPNTT-S-50810-A-5-29-63, ISSUED ON MAY 8, 1963.

THE INVITATION COVERED 1680 MACHINISTS VISES, AND BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 29, 1963. A BID BEARING YOUR COMPANY'S NAME WAS THE LOWEST, BUT IT APPEARS THAT WHILE THE BID BEARS YOUR CORPORATE NAME, AND "M. H. CURTIS, VICE PRESIDENT" IS TYPED IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR SIGNER'S NAME AND TITLE, NO SIGNATURE APPEARS IN THE BOX HEADED "SIGNATURE OF PERSON AUTHORIZED TO SIGN BID," OR ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE BID.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONSIDERED THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF A PROPER SIGNATURE, AND HE REPORTS THAT IN VIEW OF AN URGENT REQUIREMENT FOR THE VISES BY THE REQUISITIONING AGENCY (THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY), HE AWARDED THE CONTRACT TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE LACK OF A "PROPER" SIGNATURE ON YOUR LOW BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN WAIVED.

PARAGRAPH 1-2.405/C) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN ITS BID MAY BE CURED OR WAIVED, BUT ONLY IF---

"* * * THE UNSIGNED BID IS ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER MATERIAL INDICATING THE BIDDER'S INTENTION TO BE BOUND BY THE UNSIGNED BID DOCUMENT, SUCH AS A BID GUARANTEE, OR A LETTER SIGNED BY THE BIDDER REFERRING TO AND CLEARLY IDENTIFYING A BID ITSELF. WHERE A FIRM SUBMITTING A BID HAS FORMALLY ADOPTED OR AUTHORIZED, BEFORE THE DATE SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS, THE EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS BY PRINTED OR STAMPED SIGNATURE, IT SHALL BE REGARDED AS DULY SIGNED.'

AT 34 COMP. GEN. 439, THE RULE IS SYNOPSIZED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO SIGN A BID WHICH BEARS HIS TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE, BUT IS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE TYPEWRITTEN SIGNATURE HAD BEEN ADOPTED OR AUTHORIZED, IS A SUBSTANTIVE DEFECT WHICH MAY NOT BE WAIVED AFTER OPENING OF THE BIDS.'

WHEN A BID LACKS A PROPER SIGNATURE, AND THERE IS NO OTHER CLEAR INDICATION IN THE BID SUBMISSION THAT THE PURPORTED BIDDER INTENDED TO SUBMIT THE BID, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CAN NOT BE SURE THAT THE BID WAS SUBMITTED BY SOMEONE WITH AUTHORITY TO BIND THE BIDDER, AND ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH A BID MAY NOT AUTOMATICALLY OBLIGATE THE NAMED BIDDER. SINCE THE RESPONSIVENESS OF A BID MAY NOT BE ESTABLISHED BY MATERIAL FURNISHED BY THE BIDDER AFTER BID OPENING, (SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 819, 821), THE BID IS FATALLY DEFECTIVE. 34 COMP. GEN. 439.

IN THIS CASE, NOWHERE IN THE BID SUBMISSION DO WE FIND PROOF THAT YOUR FIRM AUTHORIZED SUBMISSION OF THE BID. WE THEREFORE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IN REJECTING YOUR BID WAS IMPROPER, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.