B-183602, APR 24, 1975

B-183602: Apr 24, 1975

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PROTEST RECEIVED ON SEVENTH WORKING DAY AFTER BASIS FOR PROTEST WAS KNOWN IS UNTIMELY UNDER INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS. POSSIBLE DELAY DUE TO METHOD BY WHICH PROTEST WAS FILED DOES NOT OVERCOME FACT THAT PROTEST IS UNTIMELY AS PROTESTERS ARE CAUTIONED TO TRANSMIT PROTEST IN MANNER WHICH WILL ASSURE EARLIEST RECEIPT. W-10-15612-LC-4 WAS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) SEEKING OFFERS TO PROVIDE TRANSLATION SERVICES. THAT PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED BY NASA IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 24. WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY THE PROTESTER ON MARCH 27. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL CONTAINED WEAKNESSES WITH RESPECT TO QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE OF PRINCIPAL STAFF.

B-183602, APR 24, 1975

PROTEST RECEIVED ON SEVENTH WORKING DAY AFTER BASIS FOR PROTEST WAS KNOWN IS UNTIMELY UNDER INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS, 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A) (1974). POSSIBLE DELAY DUE TO METHOD BY WHICH PROTEST WAS FILED DOES NOT OVERCOME FACT THAT PROTEST IS UNTIMELY AS PROTESTERS ARE CAUTIONED TO TRANSMIT PROTEST IN MANNER WHICH WILL ASSURE EARLIEST RECEIPT.

LINGUISTIC SYSTEMS, INC.:

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. W-10-15612-LC-4 WAS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) SEEKING OFFERS TO PROVIDE TRANSLATION SERVICES. IN RESPONSE TO THIS REQUEST, LINGUISTIC SYSTEMS, INC. (LINGUISTIC), SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL. HOWEVER, THAT PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED BY NASA IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 24, 1975, WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY THE PROTESTER ON MARCH 27, 1975.

THE REJECTION LETTER CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING:

"ON THE BASIS OF OUR TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL CONTAINED WEAKNESSES WITH RESPECT TO QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE OF PRINCIPAL STAFF, REVERSE TRANSLATION PROCEDURES, PLANNED FOR MEETING DELIVERY SCHEDULES, REPORTING AND QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES ON, REFERENCES, AND WORK SAMPLES."

LINGUISTIC PROTESTS THE REJECTION OF ITS PROPOSAL ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH ACTION CONSTITUTED A REJECTION FOR INCAPACITY WHICH THE PROCURING AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SO THAT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY MAY BE CONSIDERED.

OUR INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS, 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A) (1974), STATE IN PERTINENT PART 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. ***"

AND THAT:

"*** THE TERM 'FILED' AS USED IN THIS SECTION MEANS RECEIPT *** IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ***."

IN THIS REGARD, LINGUISTIC ADMITS THAT IT KNEW OF THE BASIS FOR PROTEST ON MARCH 27, 1975. HOWEVER, ITS PROTEST, WHICH WAS SENT ON APRIL 3, 1975, WAS NOT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE UNTIL APRIL 7, 1975, OR 7 WORKING DAYS AFTER THE BASIS FOR PROTEST WAS KNOWN. WHILE THE DELAY IN TRANSMITTING THE PROTEST MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY THE MODE SELECTED BY THE PROTESTER TO DELIVER THE PROTEST, THIS DOES NOT OVERCOME THE FACT THAT THE PROTEST IS UNTIMELY. INDEED, 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A) SPECIFICALLY CAUTIONS PROTESTERS THAT PROTESTS SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED OR DELIVERED IN THAT MANNER WHICH WILL ASSURE EARLIEST RECEIPT IN OUR OFFICE. SEE 53 COMP. GEN. 518 (1974).

ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE CLOSING OUR FILES ON THE MATTER WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE MERITS OF THE PROTEST.

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