[Protest of Corps of Engineers Rejection of Bid as Nonresponsive]

B-213551: Dec 13, 1983

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A firm protested the Army's rejection of its bid as nonresponsive for failure to acknowledge an amendment to an invitation for bids (IFB) that altered the provisions under which the contractor would be entitled to a time extension. The protester contended that: (1) it did not receive the amendment; (2) its failure to acknowledge the amendment was a minor informality that could be waived; (3) the IFB contained an ambiguity; and (4) acceptance of the awardee's bid would result in higher cost to the Government. GAO held that: (1) a prospective bidder bears the risk of nonreceipt of an amendment dispatched by a contracting agency in a timely manner; (2) since the amendment affected contract performance time, the protester's failure to acknowledge it could not be waived as an informality; (3) the protest regarding an alleged solicitation defect was not filed prior to bid opening and was, therefore, untimely and not for consideration; and (4) maintaining the integrity of competitive bidding procedures outweighs any pecuniary advantages to the Government regarding the cost of a contract. Accordingly, the protest was denied.