B-167288, JUL. 17, 1969

B-167288: Jul 17, 1969

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WHERE A LATE BID WAS SENT AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND ENVELOPE CONTAINS POSTAGE METER STAMP SHOWING DATE BUT CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT DOES NOT SHOW AN OFFICIAL DATED POSTMARK. ASSOCIATE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF THE LATE BID RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS 6916. BIDS WERE SCHEDULED FOR OPENING AT 2 P.M. ALL THAT WAS RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY WAS A PACKAGE CONTAINING A SAMPLE REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THE BID FROM YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. THE POST OFFICE HAS INDICATED THAT THE LATE DELIVERY OF THE BID MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO A DELAY IN THE MAIL.

B-167288, JUL. 17, 1969

BID PROTEST - LATE BID DECISION TO ANTONIO MARIS AND ASSOCIATES AGAINST REJECTION OF LATE BID UNDER A CENSUS BUREAU INVITATION. WHERE A LATE BID WAS SENT AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND ENVELOPE CONTAINS POSTAGE METER STAMP SHOWING DATE BUT CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT DOES NOT SHOW AN OFFICIAL DATED POSTMARK, SUCH BID UNDER FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS 1-2.303-3 AND THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION REQUIRING DATED RECEIPT MUST BE REJECTED.

TO MR. DAVID B. MARIS, ASSOCIATE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF THE LATE BID RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS 6916.

BIDS WERE SCHEDULED FOR OPENING AT 2 P.M. ON MAY 20, 1969. BY THAT TIME, ALL THAT WAS RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY WAS A PACKAGE CONTAINING A SAMPLE REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THE BID FROM YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL THE NEXT DAY, MAY 21, 1969, AT 8:16 A.M. THE BID HAD BEEN SENT AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY BY CERTIFIED MAIL. THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING THE BID HAS A POSTAGE METER STAMP BEARING THE LEGEND "PHOENIX ARIZ., MAY 17, 1969.' THE ENVELOPE ALSO HAS A POST OFFICE CANCELLATION STAMP STATING "PHOENIX, ARIZ., MAY 18, P.M., 1969.' THE POST OFFICE HAS INDICATED THAT THE LATE DELIVERY OF THE BID MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO A DELAY IN THE MAIL.

THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT FURNISHED BY YOUR COMPANY DOES NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL DATED POSTMARK. IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR A POSTMARK ON THE RECEIPT THERE IS WRITTEN "5/17/69.' SUCH ENTRY WAS ADMITTEDLY MADE BY A SECRETARY EMPLOYED BY YOUR COMPANY WHO STATED THAT SHE PERSONALLY DROPPED THE ENVELOPE IN A MAIL DROP AT THE POST OFFICE AROUND 9:30 P.M. ON MAY 17, 1969, BECAUSE THE POST OFFICE WAS CLOSED.

WITH RESPECT TO LATE BIDS, THE INVITATION FOR BIDS PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART:

"/A)OFFERS AND MODIFICATIONS OF OFFERS * * * RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE DESIGNATED IN THE SOLICITATION AFTER THE EXACT HOUR AND DATE SPECIFIED FOR RECEIPT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS: (1) THEY ARE RECEIVED BEFORE AWARD IS MADE; AND EITHER (2) THEY ARE SENT BY REGISTERED MAIL, OR BY CERTIFIED MAIL FOR WHICH AN OFFICIAL DATED POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON THE ORIGINAL RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL HAS BEEN OBTAINED AND IT IS DETERMINED BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE SOLELY TO DELAY IN THE MAILS, FOR WHICH THE OFFEROR WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE * * *.

"/B) OFFERORS USING CERTIFIED MAIL ARE CAUTIONED TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL SHOWING A LEGIBLE, DATED POSTMARK AND TO RETAIN SUCH RECEIPT AGAINST THE CHANCE THAT IT WILL BE REQUIRED AS EVIDENCE THAT A LATE OFFER WAS TIMELY MAILED.'

IN ADDITION, SECTION 1-2.303-3 OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS (FPR) PROVIDES:

"/A) CIRCUMSTANCES PERMITTING CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD OF A LATE MAILED BID RECEIVED BEFORE AWARD MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD ONLY IF:

"/1) IT WAS SENT BY REGISTERED MAIL OR BY CERTIFIED MAIL FOR WHICH AN OFFICIAL DATED POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON THE ORIGINAL RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL HAS BEEN OBTAINED * * *.'

IN B-154875, AUGUST 10, 1964, OUR OFFICE HELD THAT, WHERE AN INVITATION AND THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) CONTAINED PROVISIONS SIMILAR TO THE FOREGOING INVITATION AND FPR TERMS, A BID WHICH WAS SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL, BUT WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL PROPERLY STAMPED, COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS AN ACCEPTABLE LATE BID EVEN THOUGH IT BORE A POSTMARK EVIDENCING THAT IT WAS MAILED IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BEFORE BID OPENING. IN THAT DECISION, IT WAS STATED:

"WHILE THESE PROVISIONS OF ASPR CAN RESULT IN THE FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF A LOWER BID WHICH, SOLELY BECAUSE OF DELAY IN THE MAILS, IS RECEIVED AFTER BID OPENING, THEIR ADOPTION HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY TO THE ORDERLY AND TIMELY PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND TO MAINTENANCE OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM. YOUR DECISION NOT TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO CERTIFIED MAIL AS SET OUT IN BOTH THE REGULATIONS AND THE INVITATION MUST THEREFORE BE CONSTRUED AS AN ELECTION TO ACCEPT THE LIKELIHOOD OF REJECTION OF YOUR BID IF NOT DELIVERED TO THE PROPER PROCUREMENT OFFICE PRIOR TO BID OPENING. SUCH PROVISIONS MAKE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT PROPER AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF THE DATE OF MAILING OF CERTIFIED MAIL MAY BE ESTABLISHED, FOR PURPOSED OF DETERMINING THE ACCEPTABILITY OF A LATE BID, ONLY UPON PRODUCTION OF A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL SHOWING AN OFFICIAL, LEGIBLE, AND DATED POST OFFICE STAMP. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH EVIDENCE YOUR BID DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE ENTITLED TO CONSIDERATION, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT IT WAS SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL. 42 COMP. GEN. 508, 514.' ALSO, AS RECENTLY AS JUNE 16, 1969, IN B- 166573, OUR OFFICE UPHELD THE REJECTION OF ANOTHER LATE BID SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL WITHOUT A SUPPORTING OFFICIAL POST OFFICE RECEIPT. 154875, SUPRA, WAS RELIED UPON IN SUSTAINING THE REJECTION.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE REJECTION OF YOUR COMPANY'S BID WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER. YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.