B-181126, MAY 17, 1974

B-181126: May 17, 1974

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SECTION 20.2(A)) FOR THE FILING OF A PROTEST ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE AND EQUITABLE PROCESSING PROCEDURE AND. PROTEST WHICH WAS NOT FILED WITHIN 5 DAYS AFTER THE BASIS OF THE PROTEST WAS KNOWN MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. 4-35413 WAS ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THE RENTAL AND MAINTENANCE OF A DATA COMMUNICATIONS CONTROLLER. THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS WAS APRIL 2. THIS REQUEST WAS DENIED. SECTION 20.2(A) OF OUR INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS PROVIDES THAT "*** BID PROTESTS SHALL BE FILED NOT LATER THAN 5 (WORKING) DAYS AFTER THE BASIS FOR PROTEST IS KNOWN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN. WHICHEVER IS EARLIER ***.".

B-181126, MAY 17, 1974

THE TIME LIMITS (4 CFR PART 20, INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS, SECTION 20.2(A)) FOR THE FILING OF A PROTEST ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE AND EQUITABLE PROCESSING PROCEDURE AND, THEREFORE, MUST BE OBSERVED. THUS, PROTEST WHICH WAS NOT FILED WITHIN 5 DAYS AFTER THE BASIS OF THE PROTEST WAS KNOWN MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED.

TO TELEFILE COMPUTER CORP.:

ON MARCH 13, 1974, REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. 4-35413 WAS ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THE RENTAL AND MAINTENANCE OF A DATA COMMUNICATIONS CONTROLLER. THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS WAS APRIL 2, 1974. HOWEVER, TELEFILE COMPUTER CORPORATION (TCC) RECEIVED THE RFP BY MAIL ON APRIL 3, 1974. TCC INDICATES THAT IT IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED AN EXTENSION OF TIME FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SO THAT IT COULD RESPOND TO THE SOLICITATION. THIS REQUEST WAS DENIED.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 16, 1974, TCC INFORMED A MEMBER OF CONGRESS OF THIS SITUATION AND REQUESTED HIS ASSISTANCE.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 18, 1974, THE MEMBER OF CONGRESS FORWARDED THE APRIL 16 LETTER OF TCC TO OUR OFFICE AND REQUESTED ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE FACTS AS STATED BY TCC MERIT REJECTION OF ALL PROPOSALS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE UNDER THE ABOVE-REFERENCED SOLICITATION.

SECTION 20.2(A) OF OUR INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS PROVIDES THAT "*** BID PROTESTS SHALL BE FILED NOT LATER THAN 5 (WORKING) DAYS AFTER THE BASIS FOR PROTEST IS KNOWN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER ***." THESE TIME LIMITS ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE AND EQUITABLE PROCESSING PROCEDURE AND MUST, THEREFORE, BE OBSERVED.

ALTHOUGH THE BASIS FOR PROTEST WAS KNOWN ON APRIL 3, 1974 - THE DATE OF THE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF TCC AND THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE - TCC'S PROTEST WAS NOT FILED WITH OUR OFFICE UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 3 WEEKS THEREAFTER. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONSIDER TCC'S PROTEST TO HAVE BEEN UNTIMELY FILED AND WE MUST DECLINE TO CONSIDER IT UPON THE MERITS.