B-181033, JUN 21, 1974

B-181033: Jun 21, 1974

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TIME STAMPED ON BID ENVELOPE AT GOVERNMENT AGENCY MAILROOM IS PERSUASIVE AS TO TIME OF RECEIPT OVER INFERENCE OF GOVERNMENT MISHANDLING FROM UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE STATEMENT THAT NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS WOULD HAVE DELIVERED BID TIMELY. THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) HELD AN "AS IS" SALE OF MANGANESE DIOXIDE. RECEIPT OF BIDS WAS REQUIRED AT BID ROOM 1701. THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE (USPS) ADVISES THAT FIRST-CLASS MAIL DEPOSITED DURING THAT HOUR SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON. THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE GSA MAILROOM BY THE MORNING OF MARCH 20. GSA SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED ITS BID WHICH SOLVENT ALLEGES WOULD HAVE BEEN HIGH. " STATES IN PERTINENT PART: "(A) BIDS *** RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AFTER THE EXACT TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS: (1) THEY ARE RECEIVED BEFORE AWARD IS MADE.

B-181033, JUN 21, 1974

IN ABSENCE OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, TIME STAMPED ON BID ENVELOPE AT GOVERNMENT AGENCY MAILROOM IS PERSUASIVE AS TO TIME OF RECEIPT OVER INFERENCE OF GOVERNMENT MISHANDLING FROM UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE STATEMENT THAT NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS WOULD HAVE DELIVERED BID TIMELY.

TO SOLVENT CHEMICAL COMPANY, INC.:

PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. ORES-212, DATED MARCH 1, 1974, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) HELD AN "AS IS" SALE OF MANGANESE DIOXIDE, BATTERY GRADE, SYNTHETIC, ELECTROLYTIC. RECEIPT OF BIDS WAS REQUIRED AT BID ROOM 1701, GSA REGIONAL OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D. C., BY 3:00 P.M., MARCH 21, 1974.

SOLVENT CHEMICAL COMPANY, INCORPORATED (SOLVENT) STATES THAT IT SENT ITS BID BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL BETWEEN 5 AND 6 P.M. ON MARCH 18, 1974, FROM THE MAIN POST OFFICE BUILDING, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE (USPS) ADVISES THAT FIRST-CLASS MAIL DEPOSITED DURING THAT HOUR SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, D. C., ON THE MORNING OF MARCH 19, 1974. AT THE LATEST, THE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE GSA MAILROOM BY THE MORNING OF MARCH 20, 1974. HOWEVER, THE BID DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL 9:00 A.M., MARCH 22, 1974, AS EVIDENCED BY THE GSA MAILROOM STAMP RECEIPT. THEREFORE, GSA DID NOT CONSIDER THE BID AND RETURNED IT UNOPENED TO SOLVENT.

SOLVENT CONTENDS THAT THE LATE ARRIVAL DID NOT RESULT FROM ANY FAULT ON ITS PART. THEREFORE, GSA SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED ITS BID WHICH SOLVENT ALLEGES WOULD HAVE BEEN HIGH.

SECTION 19 OF GSA STANDARD FORM 2042, "GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE SALE OF STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MATERIALS," STATES IN PERTINENT PART:

"(A) BIDS *** RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE DESIGNATED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AFTER THE EXACT TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS 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 BIDDER 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. PROVIDED, THAT TIMELY RECEIPT AT SUCH INSTALLATION IS ESTABLISHED UPON EXAMINATION OF AN APPROPRIATE DATE OR TIME STAMP (IF ANY) OF SUCH INSTALLATION, OR OF OTHER DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF RECEIPT (IF READILY AVAILABLE) WITHIN THE CONTROL OF SUCH INSTALLATION OR OF THE POST OFFICE SERVING IT. ***"

IT IS THE BIDDER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSURE THAT ITS BID ARRIVES IN TIME FOR A SCHEDULED BID OPENING. 49 COMP. GEN. 191, 195 (1969); B 175483, MAY 24, 1972. LATE RECEIPT OF A BID WILL RESULT IN ITS REJECTION UNLESS THE SPECIFIC CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE IFB ARE MET. 49 COMP. GEN. 733, 735 (1970); 46 COMP. GEN. 42, 45 (1966).

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE BID WAS NOT SENT BY CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED MAIL. FURTHER, SINCE REPRESENTATIVES OF USPS HAVE STATED THAT SOLVENT'S BID WOULD NORMALLY HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TIMELY TO GSA, SOLVENT CONTENDS THAT GSA MUST HAVE CAUSED THE DELAY BY MISHANDLING THE BID. IN THIS REGARD, SECTION 19 PROVIDES THAT TIME OF RECEIPT MAY BE ESTABLISHED BY EXAMINATION OF AN APPROPRIATE DATE AND TIME STAMP OF THE INSTALLATION OR OTHER DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF RECEIPT WITHIN THE CONTROL OF THE INSTALLATION OR POST OFFICE SERVING IT. SOLVENT OFFERS NO DOCUMENTARY PROOF THAT GSA MISHANDLED THE BID. RATHER, THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IS THE TIME AND DATE STAMP OF THE GSA MAILROOM ON THE BID ENVELOPE THAT ESTABLISHES MARCH 22, 1974, 9:00 A.M., AS THE DATE AND TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE BID. THEREFORE, UNDER THE STATED CONDITIONS, THE BID WAS PROPERLY NOT CONSIDERED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.