B-240533, Aug 2, 1990, 90-2 CPD ***

B-240533: Aug 2, 1990

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PROCUREMENT - Sealed Bidding - Bids - Responsiveness - Determination time periods DIGEST: Procuring agency's rejection of protester's bid as nonresponsive is upheld where bid was accompanied by a quotation form which stated that "freight and applicable taxes not included" when the solicitation required that taxes be included in the bid price. We dismiss the protest without having obtained an agency report since it is clear from the record that the protest is without legal merit. Industrial's bid was rejected because it included a preprinted quotation form which stated at the bottom of the page after listing Industrial's total bid price that "freight and applicable taxes not included.". The agency states that it rejected Industrial's bid because the terms of the quotation form were inconsistent with the IFB requirement that the bid price include all applicable taxes.

B-240533, Aug 2, 1990, 90-2 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Sealed Bidding - Bids - Responsiveness - Determination time periods DIGEST: Procuring agency's rejection of protester's bid as nonresponsive is upheld where bid was accompanied by a quotation form which stated that "freight and applicable taxes not included" when the solicitation required that taxes be included in the bid price.

Attorneys

Industrial Noise Control, Inc.:

Industrial Noise Control, Inc. protests the rejection of its bid as nonresponsive under invitation for bids (IFB) No. O-SI-10-11410, issued by the Department of the Interior, for sound absorbing panels.

We dismiss the protest without having obtained an agency report since it is clear from the record that the protest is without legal merit. See Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.3(m) (1990).

Industrial's bid was rejected because it included a preprinted quotation form which stated at the bottom of the page after listing Industrial's total bid price that "freight and applicable taxes not included." The agency states that it rejected Industrial's bid because the terms of the quotation form were inconsistent with the IFB requirement that the bid price include all applicable taxes. Industrial contends that the inclusion of the quotation form was an obvious clerical error which was inconsistent with its bid and that the agency should have disregarded it.

We find that the agency properly rejected Industrial's bid as nonresponsive. The quotation form, even though it may not have been intended by the protester to supplant any terms actually contained in the IFB, must be interpreted as a part of the bid if it reasonably creates a question as to what the bidder is offering and on what terms. A bidder's intention is determined at the time of bid opening by all submitted bid documents, which include any cover letter or extraneous documents. These materials are considered a part of the bid for the purpose of determining responsiveness. Vista Scientific Corp., B-233114, Jan. 24, 1989, 89-1 CPD Para. 69. Industrial's protest statements concerning its intent cannot now be considered in determining the responsiveness of its bid. Id. Since the quotation form submitted by Industrial in its bid states that it has not included taxes in its bid price as required by the IFB the bid was properly rejected.

Industrial makes the additional argument that the award to the next low bidder may be improper because the protester believes that firm is not normally engaged in the manufacture of sound absorbing materials as required by the IFB. Industrial is not a party to raise this argument since we have determined that its bid was properly rejected as nonresponsive and there are other bidders in line for the award should the awardee's bid be rejected. ISC Defense Sys., Inc., B-236597.2, Jan. 3, 1990, 90-1 CPD Para. 8. Thus, Industrial does not have the requisite direct and substantial economic interest in the contract award to be considered an interested party entitled to raise this matter. See 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.0(a) and 21.1(a).

The protest is dismissed.