B-168503, MAR. 10, 1970

B-168503: Mar 10, 1970

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BID IS CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN MAILED LAST MINUTE OF DATE SHOWN IN POSTMARK 11:59 P.M. WOULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED ON TIME. BID WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL SEVERAL DAYS LATER AND COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MAILED AT TIME CONTENDED. SCHEVEN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25. THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING TIME WAS 2 P.M. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR BID MAILED VIA CERTIFIED AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY WAS DELIVERED TO THE AIR FORCE BASE POST OFFICE AT 8:30 A.M. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED AS A LATE BID. YOU SUGGEST THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REJECTED SINCE WHEN YOU MAILED IT ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 6. YOU WERE ASSURED AT THE FORT SAM HOUSTON. TWELVE DAYS LATER A COPY OF THE RECEIPT WAS FURNISHED BY YOU WHICH BORE A STAMPED POSTMARK DATED NOVEMBER 6.

B-168503, MAR. 10, 1970

BIDS--LATE MAIL DELAY EVIDENCE--CERTIFIED MAIL WHEN CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT FAILED TO PROPERLY SHOW INK ENTRY OF BID MAILING TIME AND INITIALS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEE RECEIVING ITEM FOR MAILING AS REQUIRED BY PAR. 2-303.3 (B) OF ARMED SERVICE PROCUREMENT REG; INITIALS ON RECEIPT NOT BEING THOSE OF POSTAL EMPLOYEE RECEIVING BID FOR MAILING NOR AFFIXED AT TIME OF MAILING, BID IS CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN MAILED LAST MINUTE OF DATE SHOWN IN POSTMARK 11:59 P.M. AND WOULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED ON TIME. ALTHOUGH POST OFFICE ASSURED DELIVERY BEFORE BID OPENING, BID WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL SEVERAL DAYS LATER AND COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MAILED AT TIME CONTENDED, MAILING TIME NOT VERIFIED AS REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MR. FREDERICK C. SCHEVEN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1969, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID SUBMITTED UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE INVITATION FOR BIDS F03601-70-B-0279.

THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING TIME WAS 2 P.M; NOVEMBER 7, 1969. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR BID MAILED VIA CERTIFIED AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY WAS DELIVERED TO THE AIR FORCE BASE POST OFFICE AT 8:30 A.M. ON NOVEMBER 10, 1969, AND TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ABOUT 11:30 A.M. THE SAME DAY. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED AS A LATE BID. YOU SUGGEST THAT THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REJECTED SINCE WHEN YOU MAILED IT ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 6, 1969, YOU WERE ASSURED AT THE FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS, POST OFFICE THAT IT WOULD BE DELIVERED THE NEXT MORNING.

YOU ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON NOVEMBER 7, 1969, THAT YOUR CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT DID NOT INDICATE THE TIME OF MAILING. TWELVE DAYS LATER A COPY OF THE RECEIPT WAS FURNISHED BY YOU WHICH BORE A STAMPED POSTMARK DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1969, AND THE FIGURE "0845" AND INITIALS "UPM." ACCORDING TO INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE POSTMASTER OF THE SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, POST OFFICE, THE INITIALS ON THE RECEIPT WERE AFFIXED 12 DAYS AFTER THE RECEIPT WAS ISSUED AND WERE NOT THOSE OF THE EMPLOYEE WHO ORIGINALLY STAMPED THE RECEIPT. THE POSTMASTER HAS STATED, "THE EMPLOYEE THAT HAD CONDUCTED THE INITIAL TRANSACTION WAS ON LEAVE AT THE TIME AND ANOTHER EMPLOYEE INITIALED THE DATE ON THE CERTIFICATION RECEIPT, AT THE MAILER'S REQUEST, TO VERIFY DATE OF MAILING." FROM THE POSTMASTER'S STATEMENT, IT IS NOT APPARENT THAT THE "0845" TIME WAS ON THE RECEIPT AT THE TIME IT WAS INITIALED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR THAT IT WAS WRITTEN BY THE EMPLOYEE INITIALING THE RECEIPT. EVEN IF THE TIME WAS ON THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT WHEN THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE INITIALED THE SAME OR WAS ADDED BY THE EMPLOYEE, THE INITIALS WERE NOT THOSE OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO RECEIVED THE BID FOR MAILING.

POSTAL REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THE CERTIFIED MAIL IS PRESENTED FOR MAILING WILL INK THE TIME ON THE RECEIPT AND INITIAL IT AT THE TIME OF MAILING IF REQUESTED TO DO SO BY THE SENDER. SEE POSTAL MANUAL PARTS 168.44D AND 362.12E.

BOTH PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS WHICH WAS A PART OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND PARAGRAPH 2-303.3 (B) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) PROVIDE THAT THE TIME OF MAILING A LATE BID BY CERTIFIED MAIL FOR WHICH A POSTMARKED RECEIPT FOR CERTIFIED MAIL WAS OBTAINED SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE THE LAST MINUTE OF THE DATE SHOWN IN THE POSTMARK ON SUCH RECEIPT, EXCEPT WHERE THE RECEIPT IDENTIFIES THE POST OFFICE STATION OF MAILING AND THE BIDDER FURNISHES EVIDENCE FROM SUCH STATION THAT THE BUSINESS DAY OF THE STATION ENDED AT AN EARLIER TIME. THE FORMER CASE THE TIME OF MAILING IS DEEMED TO BE THE LAST MINUTE OF THE BUSINESS DAY OF THE STATION. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT WHERE AN ENTRY IN INK ON THE RECEIPT SHOWING THE TIME OF MAILING AND THE INITIALS OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE RECEIVING THE ITEM AND MAKING THE ENTRY IS APPROPRIATELY VERIFIED IN WRITING BY THE POST OFFICE STATION OF MAILING, THE TIME OF MAILING SHALL BE THE TIME SHOWN ON THE ENTRY.

IT DOES NOT APPEAR HERE THAT THE INITIALS APPEARING ON THE RECEIPT WERE AFFIXED AT THE TIME OF MAILING OR WERE THOSE OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEE RECEIVING THE BID FOR MAILING. ACCORDINGLY, THE TIME ENTRY ON THE CERTIFIED MAIL RECEIPT WAS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE REGULATIONS OR THE PROVISIONS OF THE INVITATION. THE BID COULD ONLY BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN MAILED THE LAST MINUTE OF THE DAY OF THE POSTMARK UNLESS AN EARLIER CLOSING TIME WAS PROVED BY THE BIDDER. NO EVIDENCE OF AN EARLIER CLOSING WAS FURNISHED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BY YOU AND ACCORDING TO INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE POST OFFICE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, IF THE BID WAS MAILED 11:59 P.M. ON NOVEMBER 6, 1969, IT WOULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED ON TIME.

ALTHOUGH YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED ASSURANCES BY THE POST OFFICE AT THE TIME OF MAILING THE BID THAT IT WOULD BE DELIVERED BEFORE BID OPENING, THE BID WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL SEVERAL DAYS AFTER THE BID OPENING AND IT COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MAILED AT THE TIME CONTENDED BY YOU BECAUSE THE TIME OF MAILING WAS NOT VERIFIED AS REQUIRED BY REGULATION. 46 COMP. GEN. 85 (1966). EVEN WHERE BIDDERS ESTABLISHED THAT LATE BIDS WERE POSTED IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO REACH THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE BEFORE BID OPENING, OUR OFFICE HAS UPHELD THE REJECTION OF LATE BIDS WHEN THE EVIDENCE WAS NOT OF THE CHARACTER REQUIRED BY THE BIDDING INSTRUCTIONS AND REGULATIONS. COMP. GEN. 255 (1962); 46 ID. 85 (1966); AND B-166853, JUNE 24, 1969. ALTHOUGH ADHERENCE TO THE REGULATIONS SOMETIMES RESULTS IN THE FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF LOWER PRICES, APPLICATION OF THE REGULATIONS HAS BEEN HELD TO BE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORDERLY AND TIMELY PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES BY THE GOVERNMENT. B-158791, MAY 17, 1966, AND B-166853, SUPRA. ..END :