[Protest of Bid Rejection for Failure To Acknowledge Amendment]

B-208437: Aug 17, 1982

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A company protested the rejection of its bid as nonresponsive under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Army for universal parts kits. The Army rejected the bid because the protester did not acknowledge receipt of an amendment that substantially increased the quantity of kits solicited. The protester complained that it never received the amendment. A bidder's failure to acknowledge a material amendment to an IFB generally renders the bid nonresponsive because, should the bid be accepted, the firm would not be legally obligated to meet the Government's needs as identified by the amended solicitation. In this respect, an amendment substantially increasing the number of items solicited clearly is material. The bidder bears the risk of nonreceipt of a solicitation amendment; the contracting agency discharges its legal responsibility when it issues and dispatches an amendment in sufficient time to permit all bidders to consider the amendment in formulating their bids. Therefore, the fact that the bidder may not have received the amendment is not relevant unless the failure resulted from a conscious or deliberate effort by contracting officials to exclude the bidder from competition, and such an effort was not alleged by the protester. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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