B-169845, JUN. 23, 1970

B-169845: Jun 23, 1970

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IS NEVERTHELESS LATE BID REQUIRING REJECTION UNDER NASA REGULATION 2.303-5. SINCE IT IS RESPONSIBILITY OF BIDDER SUBMITTING HAND-CARRIED BID TO SEE IT IS DELIVERED TO PLACE STATED FOR DELIVERY IN INVITATION FOR BID BEFORE BID OPENING. WHERE CONTRACTOR'S REPRESENTATIVE RELIES ON RECEPTIONIST BECAUSE HE WAS NOT PROPERLY INSTRUCTED INITIALLY. DELAY IS ATTRIBUTED TO BIDDER RATHER THAN TO GOVERNMENT. MLASOSSKY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF MAY 19. AN ENVELOPE PURPORTING TO CONTAIN A BID FROM YOUR FIRM WAS HAND-DELIVERED TO THE DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING BUILDING RECEPTIONIST. BID OPENING TIME AND DATE AND THAT IT WAS FOR R. DIRECTED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE WHO WAS DELIVERING THE BID TO THE BID DEPOSITORY IN ROOM 1301 OF THAT BUILDING.

B-169845, JUN. 23, 1970

BIDS--LATE--HAND-CARRIED DELAY BIDDER WHO SUBMITTED LATE HAND-CARRIED BID BECAUSE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION RECEPTIONIST MISTOOK IT TO BE FOR OPENING ELSEWHERE AND DIRECTED BIDDER'S REPRESENTATIVE TO ROOM OTHER THAN ONE SPECIFIED IN INVITATION, IS NEVERTHELESS LATE BID REQUIRING REJECTION UNDER NASA REGULATION 2.303-5, SINCE IT IS RESPONSIBILITY OF BIDDER SUBMITTING HAND-CARRIED BID TO SEE IT IS DELIVERED TO PLACE STATED FOR DELIVERY IN INVITATION FOR BID BEFORE BID OPENING, AND WHERE CONTRACTOR'S REPRESENTATIVE RELIES ON RECEPTIONIST BECAUSE HE WAS NOT PROPERLY INSTRUCTED INITIALLY, OR DISREGARDED INSTRUCTIONS, DELAY IS ATTRIBUTED TO BIDDER RATHER THAN TO GOVERNMENT. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MR. J. C. MLASOSSKY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF MAY 19, 1970, PROTESTING THE REFUSAL OF THE CONTRACTING ACTIVITY TO CONSIDER THE BID SUBMITTED BY YOUR FIRM UNDER NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) INVITATION FOR BIDS C-452609 PB.

THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, AS AMENDED, PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE OPENED AT 2 P.M. ON MAY 15, 1970. THE INVITATION SPECIFIED THAT MAILED BIDS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO:

"NASA, LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER, 21000 BROOKPARK ROAD, CLEVELAND, OHIO 44135, MAIL STOP 21-7" AND THAT HAND-CARRIED BIDS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO:

"BID DEPOSITORY, ROOM 104, ENGINEERING SERVICES BUILDING."

AT ABOUT 12:30 P.M; ON THE BID OPENING DAY, AN ENVELOPE PURPORTING TO CONTAIN A BID FROM YOUR FIRM WAS HAND-DELIVERED TO THE DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING BUILDING RECEPTIONIST. THE ENVELOPE IDENTIFIED THE INVITATION FOR BID NUMBER, BID OPENING TIME AND DATE AND THAT IT WAS FOR R. W. BOUMAN MAIL STOP 21-7. THE RECEPTIONIST MISTOOK THE BID TO BE FOR AN OPENING IN THE DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING BUILDING AT 3 P.M. AND DIRECTED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE WHO WAS DELIVERING THE BID TO THE BID DEPOSITORY IN ROOM 1301 OF THAT BUILDING. THE PERSON WHO OPENED THE BID DEPOSITORY FOR THE 3 P.M. BID OPENING DISCOVERED FROM THE INFORMATION ON THE ENVELOPE THAT THE BID WAS NOT FOR THAT OPENING AND RETURNED IT TO THE RECEPTIONIST WHO THEN DIRECTED A SECURITY GUARD TO DELIVER IT TO THE CORRECT PLACE. THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED ABOUT 3:30 P.M; WHICH WAS AN HOUR AND A HALF AFTER THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING FOR INVITATION C-452609 PB.

NASA PROCUREMENT REGULATION 2.303-1 PROVIDES:

"BIDS RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AFTER THE EXACT TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS ARE 'LATE BIDS.' LATE BIDS SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED IN THIS PARAGRAPH 2.303." PARAGRAPH 2.303 PROVIDES FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN MAILED AND TELEGRAPHIC BIDS RECEIVED LATE BUT, WITH RESPECT TO HAND-CARRIED BIDS, PARAGRAPH 2.303-5 STATES:

"A LATE HAND-CARRIED BID, OR ANY OTHER LATE BID NOT SUBMITTED BY MAIL OR TELEGRAPH, SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD."

SINCE YOUR BID DID NOT ARRIVE AT THE PLACE DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION FOR THE RECEIPT OF HAND-CARRIED BIDS BY THE SPECIFIED TIME, IT IS REQUIRED TO BE REJECTED UNDER THE FOREGOING REGULATION.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE FIRM'S REPRESENTATIVE DELIVERING THE BID WAS MISDIRECTED BY THE NASA RECEPTIONIST. HOWEVER, THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS SPECIFIC AS TO THE PLACE FOR THE DELIVERY OF HAND-CARRIED BIDS. THE CONDUCT OF THE RECEPTIONIST CANNOT BE VIEWED AS CHANGING THE INVITATION REQUIREMENTS. 47 COMP. GEN. 784 (1968). FURTHER, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A BIDDER SUBMITTING A HAND-CARRIED BID TO SEE THAT IT IS DELIVERED TO THE PLACE DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION PRIOR TO THE TIME FOR THE OPENING OF BIDS. 38 COMP. GEN. 234 (1958). SEE, ALSO, B 158448, MARCH 10, 1966, UPHOLDING THE REJECTION OF A BID THAT ARRIVED LATE BECAUSE IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE WRONG DEPOSITORY WHEN THE INVITATION WAS SPECIFIC AS TO THE DEPOSITORY TO WHICH THE BID WAS TO BE DELIVERED. SEE, ALSO, 20 COMP. GEN. 530 (1941) WHERE IT WAS HELD THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LATE RECEIPT OF THE BID NOTWITHSTANDING IT WAS SUBMITTED IN A GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED ENVELOPE INCORRECTLY MARKED, SINCE THE INVITATION PROVIDED THE CORRECT IDENTIFICATION.

IT APPEARS THAT THE INDIVIDUAL DELIVERING YOUR FIRM'S BID EITHER WAS NOT PROPERLY INFORMED AS TO THE ROOM WHERE IT WAS TO BE DELIVERED OR, IF PROPERLY INSTRUCTED, DISREGARDED THE INSTRUCTIONS AND RELIED UPON THE RECEPTIONIST'S DIRECTIONS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE DELAY IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE BIDDER RATHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT.

ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE THAT THE LATE BID FROM YOUR COMPANY IS LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED TIMELY, IT IS A RULE OF LONG STANDING THAT ADHERENCE TO THE RULES OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING IS INFINITELY MORE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST THAN OBTAINING A PECUNIARY ADVANTAGE IN A PARTICULAR CASE BY VIOLATION OF SUCH RULES. 17 COMP. GEN. 554, 558-559 (1938).

FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, OUR OFFICE CONCURS IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECOMMENDATION THAT THE BID FROM YOUR COMPANY SHOULD NOT BE OPENED AND CONSIDERED FOR AWARD. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.