B-173559, SEP 30, 1971

B-173559: Sep 30, 1971

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WHICH STATE THAT THE DELAY THE BID ENCOUNTERED WAS THE FAULT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. IT IS THE COMP. GEN.'S VIEW THAT THE BID WAS SIMPLY MAILED TOO LATE TO BE DELIVERED ON TIME UNDER THE NEW SECURITY PROCEDURES RECENTLY ESTABLISHED FOR THE HANDLING OF CERTIFIED AND REGISTERED AIRMAIL. TO GEORGE ZIEGLER COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 29. BIDS IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION WERE SCHEDULED TO BE OPENED AT DPSC 2 P.M. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BID HAD BEEN RECEIVED LATE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE BID WAS LATE BECAUSE OF DELAYS IN THE MAIL. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME THE BID WAS MAILED THE POSTAL CLERK ADVISED THAT IT WOULD LEAVE ON ONE OF THREE DIRECT FLIGHTS TO PHILADELPHIA THAT SAME DAY WHICH WOULD PROVIDE ADEQUATE TIME FOR MORNING SPECIAL DELIVERY.

B-173559, SEP 30, 1971

BID PROTEST - LATE BID - DELAY IN MAILS DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF A LATE BID UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE PERSONNEL SUPPORT CENTER, PHILADELPHIA, PA. WHILE PROTESTANT HAS OBTAINED LETTERS FROM POSTAL OFFICIALS IN BOTH MILWAUKEE, WIS., AND PHILADELPHIA, PA., WHICH STATE THAT THE DELAY THE BID ENCOUNTERED WAS THE FAULT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, IT IS THE COMP. GEN.'S VIEW THAT THE BID WAS SIMPLY MAILED TOO LATE TO BE DELIVERED ON TIME UNDER THE NEW SECURITY PROCEDURES RECENTLY ESTABLISHED FOR THE HANDLING OF CERTIFIED AND REGISTERED AIRMAIL.

TO GEORGE ZIEGLER COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 29, 1971, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY CONGRESSMAN CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI, CONCERNING THE REJECTION OF THE BID YOU SUBMITTED UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) DSA 13H-71-B-0719, ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE PERSONNEL SUPPORT CENTER (DPSC), PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

BIDS IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION WERE SCHEDULED TO BE OPENED AT DPSC 2 P.M., JUNE 22, 1971. YOU DEPOSITED YOUR BID IN THE MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, POST OFFICE ON JUNE 21, 1971, AT 4:45 P.M. WITH INSTRUCTIONS THAT IT BE SENT REGISTERED AIRMAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY. THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY RECEIVED THE BID AT 7:30 A.M. ON JUNE 23, 1971, THE DAY AFTER THE BID OPENING. BY LETTER OF THE SAME DAY, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BID HAD BEEN RECEIVED LATE.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE BID WAS LATE BECAUSE OF DELAYS IN THE MAIL. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME THE BID WAS MAILED THE POSTAL CLERK ADVISED THAT IT WOULD LEAVE ON ONE OF THREE DIRECT FLIGHTS TO PHILADELPHIA THAT SAME DAY WHICH WOULD PROVIDE ADEQUATE TIME FOR MORNING SPECIAL DELIVERY.

PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE "SOLICITATION INSTRUCTIONS AND CONDITIONS" CONCERNING LATE OFFERS STATES, IN PERTINENT PART:

"(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 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 *** ."

SEE, ALSO, ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 2 303.3(A)(I).

IN SUPPORT OF THE CONTENTION THAT THE BID WAS LATE DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS, YOU HAVE OBTAINED LETTERS FROM BOTH MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, AND PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, POSTAL OFFICIALS, WHICH STATE THAT THE DELAY THE BID ENCOUNTERED WAS THE FAULT OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. THE LETTERS ALSO STATE THAT THE DELAY WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO A NEW SYSTEM OF HANDLING REGISTERED MAIL BROUGHT ABOUT BY INCREASED SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS.

WE HAVE INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED FROM A RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE THAT FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS A NEW POSTAL PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EFFECT WHEREBY REGISTERED AND CERTIFIED AIRMAIL LETTERS ARE CONSOLIDATED FOR DISPATCH ON CERTAIN FLIGHTS FOR WHICH GUARD SERVICE IS PROVIDED WHILE THE MAIL IS AT THE TERMINAL. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS PROGRAM WAS INSTITUTED TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF THEFTS OF THIS TYPE OF MAIL WHICH HAVE BEEN OCCURRING AT AIRPORT TERMINALS. WE WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND MANY POSTAL EMPLOYEES HAVE NOT BEEN MADE AWARE OF THIS NEW SECURITY PROGRAM.

IN VIEW OF THIS INFORMATION, WE ARE UNABLE TO AGREE THAT YOUR BID WAS LATE DUE TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS. RATHER IT APPEARS THAT THE BID WAS MAILED TOO LATE TO BE DELIVERED ON TIME UNDER THE SECURITY PROCEDURES RECENTLY ESTABLISHED BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE FOR THE HANDLING OF CERTIFIED AND REGISTERED AIRMAIL. WE, THEREFORE, CONCLUDE THAT THE HANDLING OF THIS CATEGORY OF MAIL UNDER THE NEW SECURITY PROCEDURES, THOUGH NOT OF GENERAL PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, REPRESENTED NORMAL, ROUTINE MAIL SERVICE. HENCE, THERE WAS NOT INVOLVED HERE A DELAY IN THE MAILS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE IFB LATE BID PROVISIONS AND APPLICABLE ASPR REGULATIONS, CITED ABOVE.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE ARE UNABLE TO OBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT YOUR BID WAS INEXCUSABLY LATE AND, HENCE, NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN MAKING AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION.