Protest Against Rejection of Bid Modification
B-204869: Apr 7, 1982
- Full Report:
A firm protested the rejection of its bid modification as late and the award of a contract for air conditioning equipment to another firm. The protester submitted a telegraphic bid modification which lowered its price. The protester claimed that the telegram was received 21 minutes prior to bid opening according to Western Union records. The agency did not consider the modification because it was time/date stamped over an hour after bid opening, and the contract was awarded to another firm. The protester was not notified until a month and a half later that its bid modification was recorded late and not considered. The protester contended that the time/date stamp was incorrect. The agency denied this and contended that, even if the protester's bid modification was not late, the protester would not have been the low bidder. The only acceptable evidence of receipt at a Government installation is the time/date stamp or other documentary evidence maintained by the installation. Records maintained by Western Union are unacceptable as proof of the inaccuracy of the time/date stamp. The protester also contended that the agency failed to comply with regulations which require that a bidder be promptly notified that a bid modification was received late and will not be considered. GAO agreed that the agency was deficient in this respect. Nevertheless, the protester was not prejudiced by this failure even though it was precluded from filing a preaward protest. Because GAO found that the bid modification was late, it did not need to consider whether the protester's bid was low. Accordingly, the protest was denied.