B-152141, SEP. 23, 1963

B-152141: Sep 23, 1963

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SCIENCE METRICS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25. IT WAS RECEIVED LATER THE SAME DAY. THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE ADVISED YOUR FIRM THAT YOUR BID WHICH WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD UNLESS YOU SUBMITTED EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAIL FOR WHICH YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE. ADDRESSED TO YOUR CONCERN STATES AS FOLLOWS: "THIS LETTER IS IN REPLY TO YOUR REQUEST TO OBTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING THE AIR MAIL SCHEDULE TO PHILADELPHIA. 1963 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED OVER AMERICAN FLIGHT NUMBER 20 DEPARTING LOVE FIELD AT 5:05 P.M. "SINCE THE CERTIFIED RECEIPT DOES NOT SHOW THE ARTICLE WAS ACTUALLY MAILED AT NOON.

B-152141, SEP. 23, 1963

TO THE ELECTRONIC DESIGNS DIVISION, SCIENCE METRICS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE ACTION OF THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, IN REJECTING YOUR LATE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 383-1047-63, COVERING THE FURNISHING OF A PULSE GENERATOR.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS TO BE OPENED AT 10 A.M. ON JUNE 14, 1963. AT THE TIME OF THE OPENING YOUR BID HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED. IT WAS RECEIVED LATER THE SAME DAY. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 14, 1963, THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE ADVISED YOUR FIRM THAT YOUR BID WHICH WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD UNLESS YOU SUBMITTED EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAIL FOR WHICH YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE.

A LETTER FROM THE POSTMASTER, DALLAS, TEXAS, DATED JUNE 20, 1963, ADDRESSED TO YOUR CONCERN STATES AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS LETTER IS IN REPLY TO YOUR REQUEST TO OBTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING THE AIR MAIL SCHEDULE TO PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

"YOUR CERTIFIED LETTER NUMBER 199828 MAILED AT OUR INDUSTRIAL STATION AT NOON ON JUNE 13, 1963 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED OVER AMERICAN FLIGHT NUMBER 20 DEPARTING LOVE FIELD AT 5:05 P.M. AND DUE TO ARRIVE AT PHILADELPHIA AT 10:35 P.M.

"SINCE THE CERTIFIED RECEIPT DOES NOT SHOW THE ARTICLE WAS ACTUALLY MAILED AT NOON, I BELIEVE IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO ASSUME THAT THE ARTICLE WOULD HAVE BEEN MAILED AT 5:30 P.M. WHICH IS THE CLOSING TIME OF OUR INDUSTRIAL STATION. WITH THIS IN MIND THE ARTICLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED OVER AMERICAN FLIGHT NUMBER 690 DEPARTING LOVE FIELD AT 11:25 P.M. AND WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN PHILADELPHIA AT 6:50 A.M.'

"IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE ARTICLE SHOULD HAVE REACHED THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE, 700 ROBBINS AVENUE, PHILADELPHIA IN TIME FOR THE 10:00 A.M. BID OPENING ON JUNE 14, 1963.'

IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1963, TO OUR OFFICE YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR BID WAS MAILED AT THE INDUSTRIAL STATION, U.S. POST OFFICE, DALLAS, TEXAS, BY CERTIFIED MAIL ON JUNE 13, 1963, PRIOR TO 10 A.M. IN SUPPORT OF SUCH CONTENTION, YOU SUBMITTED A LETTER DATED JULY 1, 1963, FROM THE DALLAS POSTMASTER WHICH STATES THAT THE POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE WHO ACCEPTED THE BID IN QUESTION RECALLS THAT IT WAS MAILED PRIOR TO NOON ON JUNE 13, 1963.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR 2-303.3 THE HOUR OF MAILING A BID SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL MUST BE CONSIDERED AS THE LAST MINUTE OF THE DAY OF MAILING OR THE LAST MINUTE OF THE BUSINESS DAY OF THE POST OFFICE STATION OF MAILING, UNLESS THE POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON THE ORIGINAL RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL SHOWS THE HOUR OF MAILING. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE POSTMARK ON THE COPY OF THE RECEIPT WHICH YOU HAVE FURNISHED TO THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE SHOWS THE DATE OF MAILING TO BE JUNE 13, 1963, BUT DOES NOT SHOW THE HOUR OF MAILING. SINCE THE STATEMENT OF THE DALLAS POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE TO THE EFFECT THAT HE RECALLS THAT YOUR BID WAS MAILED PRIOR TO NOON ON JUNE 13, 1963, MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BY OUR OFFICE AS ESTABLISHING THAT YOUR BID WAS MAILED AT THE STATED TIME, THE HOUR OF MAILING OF YOUR BID MUST BE REGARDED AS 5:30 P.M., WHICH IS THE HOUR OF CLOSING OF THE POST OFFICE STATION AT WHICH THE BID WAS MAILED.

AFTER RECEIPT OF YOUR BID, THE PROCURING ACTIVITY TELEPHONED THE POSTMASTER AT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND REQUESTED INFORMATION ON WHICH TO BASE A DETERMINATION CONCERNING YOUR LATE BID WHICH UNDER ASPR 2- 303.3 MUST BE ASSUMED TO HAVE BEEN MAILED AT 5:30 P.M., AT THE INDUSTRIAL STATION, U.S. POST OFFICE, DALLAS, TEXAS. THE POSTMASTER ADVISED THE PROCURING ACTIVITY BY LETTER DATED JUNE 27, 1963, AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS REFERS TO TELEPHONE CONVERSATION OF JUNE 26, 1963--- AMERICAN FLIGHT 690 IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE A.M.F. (AIR-MAIL FACILITY) DALLAS, TEXAS, 11:25 P.M., DUE A.M.F., WASHINGTON, D.C., 4:55 A.M. FLIGHT AM 1 40 (UNITED) LEAVES A.M.F., WASHINGTON, D.C. 6:00 A.M., DUE A.M.F., PHILADELPHIA, PA. 6:50 A.M.

"THE NEXT VEHICLE SERVICE TRIP LEAVES A.M.F. PHILADELPHIA, PA. 7:30 A.M., DUE MAIN POST OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PA. 7:55 A.M., AND THE NEXT VEHICLE SERVICE DISPATCH LEAVES THE MAIN POST OFFICE 1:40 A.M. AND IS DUE FOX CHASE STATION 12:35 P.M.'

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT IT IS THE BIDDER'S ABSOLUTE RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT HIS BID IS RECEIVED AT THE PLACE OF 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 MAIL FOR WHICH THE BIDDER IS 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 ITS BID IN TIME TO BE RECEIVED PRIOR TO THE OPENING. B-144419, JANUARY 12, 1961.

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 MAIL FOR WHICH YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE. WHILE THE DALLAS POSTMASTER HAS STATED IN HIS LETTER TO YOU THAT A LETTER MAILED AT 5:30 P.M., ON JUNE 13, 1963, FROM THE DALLAS INDUSTRIAL STATION, WOULD ARRIVE AT THE AIRMAIL FACILITY IN PHILADELPHIA AT 6:50 A.M. ON JUNE 14, 1963, AND THAT SUCH LETTER SHOULD REACH THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE IN PHILADELPHIA IN TIME FOR THE 10 A.M. BID OPENING ON JUNE 14, 1963, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT HE WAS AWARE AT THAT TIME OF THE INFREQUENT VEHICLE DISPATCH SERVICE BETWEEN THE MAIN POST OFFICE IN PHILADELPHIA AND THE FOX CHASE STATION, THE POST OFFICE SERVING THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE.

SINCE THE RECORD FAILS TO ESTABLISH CONCLUSIVELY THAT THE BID WAS TIMELY MAILED WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT IT COULD NOT PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED.