Protest of Proposal Rejection for Lateness

B-198814: Jun 4, 1980

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A firm protested the rejection of its bid by the U.S. Office of Education. The bid was rejected because it was received by the procuring agency 1 day after the closing date for receipt of proposals. The firm contended that the proposal's untimely receipt was due to mishandling by the Government and that it should have been accepted as permitted by the late bid provision of the request for proposals. It asserted that it sent the proposal by certified mail 1 day before the deadline date and that the Postal Service acknowledged that the proposal was mishandled after it arrived in Washington, D.C. GAO held that the proposal was properly rejected because the delay in delivery was not attributable to the procuring agency, but rather to the Postal Service. Such a delay did not constitute Government mishandling. Accordingly, the protest was denied.