B-168279(1), DEC. 17, 1969

B-168279(1): Dec 17, 1969

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CERTIFIED MAIL WHERE POSTAGE STAMPS ON LATE BID WERE NOT CANCELED AND ENVELOPE DOES NOT BEAR POSTMARK. UPON SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE OF TIMELY MAILING CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT LATE BID WAS FOR CONSIDERATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SEC. 1-2.303 OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS WAS PROPER AND PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE UNDER REGULATIONS CONSIDERATION MAY ONLY BE GIVEN LATE BID WHEN SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND OFFICIAL DATED POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON ORIGINAL RECEIPT IS SUBMITTED. CONCLUSION THAT BID WAS MAILED AS CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT INDICATES WAS PROPER. HENRY ROEMER MCPHEE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30. NOTHING WAS SAID ABOUT A BID FROM AMPEX. TELEX WERE READ.

B-168279(1), DEC. 17, 1969

BIDS--LATE--MAIL DELAY EVIDENCE--CERTIFIED MAIL WHERE POSTAGE STAMPS ON LATE BID WERE NOT CANCELED AND ENVELOPE DOES NOT BEAR POSTMARK, UPON SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE OF TIMELY MAILING CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT LATE BID WAS FOR CONSIDERATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SEC. 1-2.303 OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS WAS PROPER AND PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE UNDER REGULATIONS CONSIDERATION MAY ONLY BE GIVEN LATE BID WHEN SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND OFFICIAL DATED POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON ORIGINAL RECEIPT IS SUBMITTED, POSTMARK AND TIME ENTRY ON CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT FIXING TIME OF MAILING. CONCLUSION THAT BID WAS MAILED AS CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT INDICATES WAS PROPER, ABSENCE OF OTHER INDICIA OF MAILING, ALTHOUGH UNEXPLAINED, ATTRIBUTABLE TO FAULT OF POST OFFICE, NOT BIDDER.

TO MR. HENRY ROEMER MCPHEE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1969, AND TO EXHIBITS AND AFFIDAVITS SUBSEQUENTLY FURNISHED ON BEHALF OF POTTER INSTRUMENT CO; INC; WITH RESPECT TO ITS PROTEST AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION OF THE LATE BID RECEIVED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA) FROM THE AMPEX CORPORATION UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS MS-1-70.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE OPENED ON OCTOBER 13, 1969, AT 2 P.M. THREE DAYS EARLIER, ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1969, MR. A. G. THORNE, NATIONAL SALES MANAGER OF THE AMPEX CORPORATION, CALLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO DISCUSS CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE INVITATION. DURING THE CONVERSATION, MR. THORNE INQUIRED AND RECEIVED INFORMATION AS TO THE MANNER IN WHICH A BID SHOULD BE SUBMITTED.

MR. RAYMOND J. WATERS, MARKETING MANAGER OF THE EASTERN ZONE OF THE AMPEX CORPORATION, ATTENDED THE BID OPENING ON MONDAY. HE HAD A BRIEF CONVERSATION WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING, BUT NOTHING WAS SAID ABOUT A BID FROM AMPEX.

THE OPENING OF BIDS COMMENCED AT THE TIME DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION. BIDS FROM MAI EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, POTTER INSTRUMENT CO; INC; AND TELEX WERE READ. AFTER THE BIDS WERE READ, MR. WATERS INQUIRED WHETHER A BID HAD BEEN RECEIVED FROM AMPEX. WHEN HE WAS THEN ADVISED THAT A BID HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED, HE TENDERED AN ENVELOPE WHICH HE SAID CONTAINED A SIGNED DUPLICATE OF THE BID WHICH HE SAID HAD BEEN MAILED TO THE VA FROM CALIFORNIA ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REFUSED TO RECEIVE THE ENVELOPE BECAUSE THE TIME SET FOR RECEIPT HAD PASSED.

ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1969, THE CHIEF OF THE VA CENTRAL OFFICE MAIL AND MESSENGER DIVISION ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY TELEPHONE OF THE DISCOVERY OF AN ENVELOPE FROM AMPEX PURPORTING TO CONTAIN A BID FOR INVITATION MS-1-70. THE ENVELOPE WAS THEREAFTER DELIVERED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AS HE REQUESTED.

THE 12-INCH X 9-1/2-INCH ENVELOPE IS GOVERNMENT ISSUE PREADDRESSED AS FOLLOWS:

"VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, CENTRAL OFFICE

DM&S - SUPPLY SERVICE (134C)

PROCUREMENT DIVISION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20420." IN THE UPPER LEFT-HAND CORNER, IT STATES:

"BID FOR SUPPLIES TO BE OPENED 2:00 P.M. EDST OCT. 13,

1969 FROM AMPEX - COMPUTER PRODUCTS DIVISION ADDRESS 3620 - 27TH

ST; SOUTH

ARLINGTON, VA. 22206

INVITATION NO. MS-1-70" THE INFORMATION IN THE LEFT-HAND CORNER WAS TYPEWRITTEN ON THE INVITATION BY THE ISSUING OFFICE. IN THE RIGHT HAND CORNER THERE IS $1.15 IN UNCANCELED POSTAGE STAMPS. IN THE LOWER LEFT- HAND CORNER THERE IS A CERTIFIED MAIL STICKER BEARING NO. 500593. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT WHEN THE ENVELOPE WAS DELIVERED TO HIM ONLY ONE-THIRD OF THIS STICKER WAS STILL ATTACHED TO THE ENVELOPE AND HE GLUED DOWN THE BALANCE OF IT TO PREVENT IT FROM BEING LOST OR TORN. THE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE HAS ALSO BEEN STAMPED IN TWO PLACES WITH A RUBBER STAMP "AIR MAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY." ALSO, THE BACK OF THE ENVELOPE IS TIME -STAMPED "RECEIVED 8:15 OCT 15 1969 CO MAIL & MESSENGER DIV VA BLDG" AND THE FRONT IS TIME-STAMPED "RECEIVED 8:45 OCT 15 1969 CHIEF PROCUREMENT DIVISION." THERE HAS BEEN HANDWRITTEN ON THE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE "MAILED 10/10/69 - 4:05 PM - PCF." THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS STATED THAT HE WROTE THE LATTER NOTATION WHEN THE ENVELOPE WAS OPENED AFTER HE MADE A DETERMINATION THAT IT WAS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE LATE BID PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS.

THE STAMPS ON THE ENVELOPE HAVE NOT BEEN CANCELED AND THE ENVELOPE DOES NOT BEAR A POSTMARK. ALTHOUGH PART OF THE SERVICE CALLED FOR ON THE ENVELOPE IS "SPECIAL DELIVERY," THERE IS NOTHING ON THE ENVELOPE TO SHOW THAT IT WENT THROUGH ANY SPECIAL DELIVERY SECTION IN THE POST OFFICE. FURTHER, THE DELIVERING POST OFFICE ORDINARILY PREPARES A RECEIPT FOR ALL CERTIFIED MAIL DELIVERED AND THERE IS NO RECEIPT SHOWING DELIVERY OF CERTIFIED MAIL NO. 500593.

HOWEVER, AMPEX FURNISHED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL NO. 500593 WHICH STATES THAT IT WAS SENT TO:

"VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL OFFICE

DM&S - SUPPLY SERVICE (134C)

PROCUREMENT DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20420." THIS RECEIPT WAS RUBBER- STAMPED WITH A POSTMARK FROM THE LOS ANGELES WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER BEARING A DATE OF OCTOBER 10, 1969. THERE IS HANDWRITTEN ON THE RECEIPT "4:05 PM" AND THE INITIALS "BL" BELOW IT. AMPEX ALSO SUBMITTED A LETTER TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SIGNED BY S. FEATHERSTONE, FOREMAN, WINDOW SERVICES, WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER, STATING THAT THE INITIALS ON THE RECEIPT ARE THOSE OF POSTAL EMPLOYEE B. LOTT. IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING, AMPEX FURNISHED AFFIDAVITS FROM MR. THORNE AND MR. WATERS. THE AFFIDAVIT FROM MR. THORNE STATED:

"1. THAT ON OCTOBER 10, 1969, I PREPARED TWO IDENTICAL BID PACKAGES FOR TRANSMITTAL TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN RESPONSE TO IFB MS-1 70.

"A. ONE OF THESE PACKAGES WAS SENT IN A PREPRINTED ENVELOPE RECEIVED WITH THE BID PACKAGE AND ADDRESSED TO:

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL OFFICE

DM & S SUPPLY SERVICE (134 C)

PROCUREMENT DIVISION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20420

"B. THE OTHER PACKAGE WAS ADDRESSED ON AN AMPEX ENVELOPE IN THE SAME FASHION AS A. ABOVE BUT WAS SENT IN A SEPARATE ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO MR. RAYMOND WATERS, MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

4901 SEMINARY ROAD

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA 22311

"2. THAT I PERSONALLY HAND CARRIED THESE AND PRESENTED THEM FOR MAILING.

"3. THAT BOTH OF THE ABOVE DOCUMENTS WERE RECEIVED FOR MAILING AT THE SAME TIME AT THE WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER, 5800 WEST CENTURY BOULEVARD, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 90009 ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1969, AT APPROXIMATELY 4:00 P.M. B. LOTT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY S. FEATHERSTONE AS THE PERSON WHO HANDLED THIS TRANSACTION.

"4. THAT THE DOCUMENT SENT DIRECTLY TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WAS SENT AIR MAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY AND CERTIFIED. THE CERTIFIED RECEIPT NUMBER IS 500593 AND SHOWS A TIME STAMP DATED OCTOBER 10, 1969. ADDITION, POSTAL EMPLOYEE B. LOTT MADE A TIME NOTATION IN INK ON THE RECEIPT OF 4:05 P.M. WITH HER INITIALS.

"5. THAT THE DOCUMENT MAILED TO MR. RAYMOND WATERS WAS SENT AIR MAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY."

MR. WATERS, IN HIS AFFIDAVIT, INDICATED THAT ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1969, AROUND NOON, HE RECEIVED THE BID PACKAGE SENT TO HIM. THE BALANCE OF THE AFFIDAVIT RECOUNTS WHAT OCCURRED JUST PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST BID WAS READ.

THE WASHINGTON, D.C; POST OFFICE ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ORALLY THAT AN AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY ENVELOPE POSTED AT 4:05 P.M. ON OCTOBER 10, 1969, AT THE WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE VA MAILROOM AT 7:05 A.M. ON OCTOBER 13, 1969.

BASED ON THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY AMPEX AND THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY THE WASHINGTON POST OFFICE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE LATE BID WAS FOR CONSIDERATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1-2.303 OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS (FPR) DEALING WITH LATE BIDS. HOWEVER, SINCE THE LETTER FROM FEATHERSTONE WAS ON A PLAIN PIECE OF PAPER NOT POST OFFICE STATIONERY, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SUBSEQUENTLY REQUESTED AND RECEIVED A CONFIRMING LETTER FROM WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER ON POSTAL STATIONERY. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO SUBSEQUENTLY OBTAINED WRITTEN CONFIRMATION FROM THE WASHINGTON, D.C; POSTMASTER AS TO WHEN THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECEIVED.

YOU PROTEST THE CONSIDERATION OF THE LATE BID BECAUSE THE INDICIA THAT WOULD ORDINARILY SHOW THAT THE BID WENT THROUGH THE MAILS WERE ABSENT IN THIS CASE, IN VIEW OF WHICH IT IS ESTABLISHED, YOU ALLEGE, THAT THE BID DID NOT GO THROUGH THE MAIL AND THAT ITS LATENESS WAS NOT "DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS," CITING FPR SEC. 1-2.303-3 (A) (1). YOU STATE THAT A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL DOES NOT IN AND OF ITSELF ESTABLISH THAT AN ENVELOPE BEARING THE CERTIFIED MAIL STUB FROM SUCH A RECEIPT DID IN FACT GO THROUGH THE MAIL. IN THAT CONNECTION, YOU HAVE DEMONSTRATED BY TEST MAILINGS THAT SOME POSTAL EMPLOYEES DO NOT VERIFY THE NAME AND ADDRESS ON THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT BEFORE POSTMARKING IT, WITH THE RESULT THAT A RECEIPT CAN BE OBTAINED SHOWING A MAILING TO A DIFFERENT ADDRESSEE THAN THE ONE NAMED ON THE ENVELOPE. YOU HAVE SHOWN THAT A PERSON COULD ADDRESS AN ENVELOPE TO HIMSELF WITH THE CERTIFIED MAIL STICKER ON IT AND PREPARE THE RECEIPT TO SHOW THAT THE ENVELOPE WAS SENT TO THE VA. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT UPON RECEIVING THE ENVELOPE THROUGH THE MAIL, THE PERSON COULD THEN STEAM OFF THE STICKER OR OTHERWISE REMOVE IT AND AFFIX IT TO ANOTHER ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO THE VA. IN THIS WAY, YOU POINT OUT THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT SHOWING THE MAILING OF A BID A NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE BID OPENING WHEN IN FACT THE BIDDER COULD WAIT UNTIL AFTER HAVING THE BENEFIT OF THE OPENING OF OTHER BIDS TO SUBMIT A BID WITH A STEAMED OFF STICKER PASTED ON IT. SINCE THE BIDDER WOULD WANT TO AVOID THE USE OF THE MAIL AT THIS POINT, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT HE MIGHT DROP THE ENVELOPE ON THE FLOOR IN THE BUILDING WHERE THE PROCURING AGENCY IS LOCATED TO BE FOUND BY SOMEONE WHO WOULD INTRODUCE IT INTO THE AGENCY'S DELIVERY SYSTEM OR POSSIBLY PLACE IT IN AN OUTGOING DESK BASKET SOME PLACE IN THE AGENCY FOR DELIVERY TO THE SECTION INDICATED ON THE ENVELOPE.

THE VA INVESTIGATION AND SECURITY SERVICE CONDUCTED AN EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE LATE RECEIPT OF THE AMPEX BID. TWENTY WITNESSES WERE EXAMINED. THE INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED NO EVIDENCE OF AN IMPROPRIETY ON THE PART OF AMPEX IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAILING OF THE BID. MR. THORNE OF AMPEX FURNISHED THE INVESTIGATOR AN AFFIDAVIT IN WHICH HE STATED:

"I PRESENTED THE TWO ENVELOPES AT THE SAME TIME TO THE POSTAL CLERK, AND PURCHASED THE NECESSARY POSTAGE FROM HER. I MAILED MR. WATERS' DOCUMENT FIRST. SHE PLACED THE STAMPS ON THE ENVELOPE AND STAMPED IT 'AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY' AND THREW IT IN A BIN TO THE REAR OF WHERE SHE WAS WORKING AT THE WINDOW. THIS POSTAL CLERK THEN ATTACHED THE STAMPS ON THE ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (PRE ADDRESSED). SHE WAS ADVISED THAT IT WAS DESIRED TO HAVE THIS DOCUMENT CERTIFIED, AND SHE GAVE ME A RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL FORM, WHICH I COMPLETED AND RETURNED TO HER. I INSERTED ON THIS FORM THE SAME INFORMATION REGARDING THE VA ADDRESS AS SHOWN ON THE PRE-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE. THEREAFTER THE POSTAL CLERK STAMPED THE RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL PORTION OF THE FORM, PLACED THE TIME AND HER INITIALS ON IT, AND PLACED THE GUM STICKER PORTION SHOWING THE CERTIFIED MAIL NUMBER ON THE ENVELOPE, AND RETURNED THE RECEIPT PORTION TO ME. I CANNOT RECALL WHETHER I ASKED HER TO SHOW THE HOUR OF RECEIPT AND HER INITIALS ON THE RECEIPT PORTION OR NOT. I RECALL MENTIONING TO HER THERE WAS AN URGENCY INVOLVED AND I WAS ADVISED THAT THE ENVELOPE WOULD BE DELIVERED TO THE VA PRIOR TO 2:00 PM ON MONDAY. THIS POSTAL CLERK DID NOT CANCEL THE STAMPS. I ALSO REMEMBER THAT ANOTHER POSTAL EMPLOYEE HAD COME BY AND REMOVED THE CANVAS BAG IN WHICH SHE HAD PLACED THE ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO MR. WATERS, AT LEAST I THINK IT WAS THAT CANVAS BAG, AND SHE CALLED THIS INDIVIDUAL AND SAID SHE HAD ANOTHER ONE, AND HE CAME BACK AND GOT THE ENVELOPE PRE-ADDRESSED TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AND CARRIED IT TO WHERE THE BAG WAS LOCATED. TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION I ARRIVED AT THE POST OFFICE AT APPROXIMATELY 4:00 PM, OCTOBER 10, 1969, WITH THE TWO ENVELOPES."

MRS. BEATRICE LOTT, THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO RECEIPTED THE CERTIFIED MAILING, FURNISHED THE INVESTIGATOR WITH AN AFFIDAVIT STATING THAT SHE DID NOT RECALL THE ACTUAL MAILING. HOWEVER, SHE TESTIFIED THAT IT WAS HER PRACTICE TO CHECK THE INFORMATION ON THE RECEIPT AGAINST THE ADDRESS ON THE ENVELOPE AND THAT SHE WOULD NEVER RETURN A PIECE OF CERTIFIED MAIL BACK TO A PATRON UNLESS HE RETURNED THE RECEIPT AND SHE REMOVED THE GUMMED STICKER.

WE FURNISHED YOU WITH A COMPLETE COPY OF THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT AND EXHIBITS. THEREAFTER, POTTER REPRESENTATIVES CONDUCTED TEST MAILINGS WITH MRS. LOTT AT THE WORLDWAY POSTAL CENTER. YOU FURNISHED US THOSE TEST MAILINGS WHICH INVOLVED SITUATIONS WHERE THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPTS DID NOT AGREE WITH THE ADDRESSES ON THE ENVELOPES, YET MRS. LOTT POSTMARKED AND MADE TIME ENTRIES ON THEM.

ONE OF THE CONDITIONS PROVIDED IN THE LATE BID REGULATIONS FOR CONSIDERATION OF A LATE BID IS THAT IT BE SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL FOR WHICH AN OFFICIAL DATED POST OFFICE STAMP (POSTMARK) ON THE ORIGINAL RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL HAS BEEN OBTAINED. FPR SEC. 1-2.303-3 (A) (1). THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE FURTHER THAT THE TIME OF MAILING OF A LATE BID MAILED BY CERTIFIED MAIL FOR WHICH A POSTMARKED RECEIPT WAS OBTAINED SHALL BE THE TIME SHOWN IN THE ENTRY THEREON BY THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE. FPR SEC. 1-2.303- 3 (C) (2).

THUS, UNDER THE LATE BID REGULATIONS THE POSTMARK AND TIME ENTRY ON THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT FIX THE TIME OF MAILING. ALTHOUGH YOU HAVE FURNISHED EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATING WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED AT THE TIME OF MAILING, THE AFFIDAVIT OF MR. THORNE, THE MAILER, IS TO THE CONTRARY. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE ADDUCED BY EITHER YOU OR THE VA INVESTIGATOR TO ESTABLISH THAT WHAT YOU HAVE DEMONSTRATED DID IN FACT HAPPEN. SEE CHARLSON REALTY COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 384 F. 2D 434, 444- 445 (1967). WE THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THE BID WAS MAILED AS THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT INDICATES AND THE ABSENCE OF OTHER INDICIA OF MAILING, ALTHOUGH UNEXPLAINED, MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE FAULT OF THE POST OFFICE RATHER THAN TO THE FAULT OF THE BIDDER. IN VIEW THEREOF, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE BID IS PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE DEMONSTRATION YOU HAVE MADE SHOWING THAT RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL CAN BE OBTAINED IMPROPERLY, WE ARE BY SEPARATE LETTERS OF TODAY TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES AND THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RECOMMENDING THAT CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO THE PROBLEM AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS.

IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING, YOU HAVE POINTED OUT THAT MR. WATERS OF AMPEX IN AN AFFIDAVIT FURNISHED TO THE VA INVESTIGATOR INDICATED THAT PRIOR TO THE OPENING OF THE LATE BID HE FURNISHED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRICING INFORMATION FROM THE DUPLICATE BID IN HIS POSSESSION. YOU CONTEND THAT THE RECEIPT OF SUCH INFORMATION PRIOR TO THE OPENING OF THE LATE BID WAS IMPROPER, SINCE THE LATE BID REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE BID FOR AWARD ONLY AFTER IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT IT WAS TIMELY SENT. HOWEVER, REGARDLESS OF WHAT INFORMATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MAY HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT THE BID PRIOR TO ITS OPENING, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT OPEN THE LATE BID UNTIL HE RECEIVED EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THE TIMELY MAILING. MOREOVER, WE ASSUME THAT IF THE EVIDENCE WOULD NOT HAVE ESTABLISHED TIMELY MAILING, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WOULD NOT HAVE CONSIDERED THE LATE BID FOR AWARD. THUS, SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE INFORMATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MAY HAVE RECEIVED BEFORE THE BID WAS OPENED, THE FACT REMAINS THAT IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED FOR AWARD UNTIL AFTER THE EVIDENCE OF TIMELY MAILING WAS RECEIVED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE PROTEST AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION OF THE LATE AMPEX BID IS DENIED.