Protest of Bid Rejection as Nonreponsive

B-195882: Sep 19, 1979

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The contracting agency's invitation for bids (IFB) specified delivery by "150 Days ADC" (after date of contract). The protester's low bid provided for delivery "150 Days ARO" (after receipt of order). The contracting officer rejected the protester's bid as nonresponsive because of the discrepancy. Standard Form 33A, which is to be included in solicitations of this type, provides that acceptance or award is effective from the date the award is mailed to the contractor. The protester contended that the discrepancy was an obvious mistake and that the contracting officer should have requested verification and permitted correction or waived the delivery terms as a minor informality, thus rendering the bid responsive. GAO has consistently held that where inclusion of a qualification in a bid has the effect of extending the promised delivery beyond the date required by the solicitation, the bid is nonresponsive and must be rejected. Since the contractor would certainly receive the order later than the date the award was made, the protester's ARO provision would have the effect of extending the promised delivery date. Therefore the bid was properly determined to be nonresponsive and the protest was denied.