B-173268, SEP 22, 1971

B-173268: Sep 22, 1971

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AS BID WAS NOT SENT EITHER BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL. BIDDER - WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSURING BIDS TIMELY RECEIPT - WAIVED RIGHT TO RELY ON DELAY IN MAILS AS A VALID JUSTIFICATION FOR LATENESS. TO VICTORY CONTAINER CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR MAIL GRAM AND LETTER DATED JUNE 11. WAS NOT RECEIVED AT FORT HOLABIRD UNTIL JUNE 9. THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING YOUR BID WAS STAMPED "THIRD CLASS" MAIL. YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD SINCE IT WAS MAILED IN PLENTY OF TIME PRIOR TO THE OPENING DATE OF JUNE 7. DELAY IN RECEIPT OF THE BID WAS SOLELY THE FAULT OF THE POST OFFICE SYSTEM. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ASSURING THAT A BID ARRIVES IN TIME FOR A SCHEDULED BID OPENING IS UPON THE BIDDER. 35 COMP.

B-173268, SEP 22, 1971

BID PROTEST - LATE BID - DELAY IN MAIL DECISION DENYING PROTEST OF VICTORY CONTAINER CORPORATION AGAINST REJECTION OF THEIR BID UNDER IFB ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, FORT HOLABIRD, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, FOR FOLDING CORRUGATED BOXES. BID RECEIVED JUNE 9, 1971, TWO DAYS AFTER OPENING, POSTMARKED JUNE 1, 1971, AND STAMPED "THIRD CLASS" MAIL. UNDER ASPR 2-303, AS BID WAS NOT SENT EITHER BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL, BIDDER - WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSURING BIDS TIMELY RECEIPT - WAIVED RIGHT TO RELY ON DELAY IN MAILS AS A VALID JUSTIFICATION FOR LATENESS.

TO VICTORY CONTAINER CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR MAIL GRAM AND LETTER DATED JUNE 11, 1971, PROTESTING AGAINST THE ACTION OF HEADQUARTERS, FORT HOLABIRD, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, FORT HOLABIRD, MARYLAND, IN REJECTING YOUR LATE BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. DABB09-71-B-0018, FOR FOLDING CORRUGATED BOXES.

THE INVITATION SCHEDULED BIDS TO BE OPENED AT 11:00 A.M., JUNE 7, 1971. HOWEVER, YOUR BID, AS SHOWN BY THE DATE AND TIME STAMP ON THE BID ENVELOPE, WAS NOT RECEIVED AT FORT HOLABIRD UNTIL JUNE 9, 1971. ADDITIONALLY, THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING YOUR BID WAS STAMPED "THIRD CLASS" MAIL, POSTMARKED JUNE 1, 1971, AND DID NOT SHOW THE BID NUMBER OR OTHERWISE IDENTIFY ITS CONTENTS AS A BID. THE BID HAD NOT BEEN SENT BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL.

YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD SINCE IT WAS MAILED IN PLENTY OF TIME PRIOR TO THE OPENING DATE OF JUNE 7, 1971, AND DELAY IN RECEIPT OF THE BID WAS SOLELY THE FAULT OF THE POST OFFICE SYSTEM.

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ASSURING THAT A BID ARRIVES IN TIME FOR A SCHEDULED BID OPENING IS UPON THE BIDDER. 35 COMP. GEN. 432, 433 (1956). LATE RECEIPT OF A BID WILL RESULT IN ITS REJECTION UNLESS SPECIFIC CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 2 -303 ARE MET. THE INVITATION IN THE INSTANT CASE INCORPORATED THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR 2-303, WHICH CAUTIONED, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

"(A) 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 ***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; OR (3) IF SUBMITTED BY MAIL *** IT IS DETERMINED BY THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE LATE RECEIPT WAS DUE SOLELY TO MISHANDLING BY THE GOVERNMENT AFTER RECEIPT AT THE GOVERNMENT INSTALLATION *** ."

YOUR BID DID NOT ARRIVE AT FORT HOLABIRD PRIOR TO BID OPENING, AND THEREFORE MAY ONLY BE CONSIDERED IF IT WAS FORWARDED BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL. WE HAVE HELD THAT THE LANGUAGE IN THE SUBJECT SOLICITATION CONCERNING LATE BIDS IS DEFINITE AND ALL BIDDERS MUST BE HELD TO ITS TERMS. 42 COMP. GEN. 255, 257 (1962). BY POSTING YOUR BID BY REGULAR MAIL RATHER THAN BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL, YOU WAIVED YOUR RIGHT TO RELY UPON A DELAY IN THE MAILS AS A VALID JUSTIFICATION FOR THE LATENESS OF YOUR BID.

ALTHOUGH REJECTION OF YOUR BID MAY CAUSE THE GOVERNMENT TO FORFEIT THE BENEFIT OF A LOWER BID, WE CONSIDER SUCH ACTION NECESSARY, NOT ONLY TO THE ORDERLY AND TIMELY PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES BY THE GOVERNMENT, BUT TO ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM AS WELL. SEE B-172715, JULY 8, 1971; B-165617, MARCH 3, 1969.

ACCORDINGLY YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.