Protest of Proposal Rejection for Lateness
B-202878: May 5, 1981
- Full Report:
A firm protested the decision by the Department of the Interior that its offer submitted in response to a request for proposals (RFP) was received late and could not be considered for the award. The protester's proposal, sent by U.S. Postal Service express mail, was not delivered until the morning after the offers were required to be received. The protester admitted that it proposal was received late. Nonetheless, it contended that the Postal Service is a part of the Federal Government, that delivery was delayed by the Postal Service, and that this constituted mishandling by the Government. The RFP did contain a pertinent part which provided that a late proposal would not be considered unless it was sent by mail, and late receipt of the proposal was due to mishandling after receipt at the procuring installation. Although the Postal Service offered next day delivery with its express mail service, a delay by the Postal Service does not constitute mishandling by the Government after receipt at the procuring installation. The mishandling rule applies only after the Postal Service has made its delivery to the procuring installation and there is then some mishandling by Government personnel which prevents the bid from arriving at its ultimate destination prior to bid opening. GAO concluded that the agency properly rejected the protester's proposal. Accordingly, the protest was denied.