[Protest of DLA Bid Rejection]

B-212535: Oct 31, 1983

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A firm protested the rejection of its bid by the Defense Logistics Agency for failure to comply with the delivery terms set forth in the solicitation. A clause in the solicitation required delivery within 240 days after the contract date and warned that bids offering terms or conditions that did not clearly fall within that time period would be rejected as nonresponsive. The contracting officer found that the protester's bid contained two conflicting delivery schedules and rejected the bid as nonresponsive. The protester contended that: (1) the agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously in rejecting the bid; (2) the agency could have waived the error as a minor informality; and (3) the rejection would result in an unnecessary expenditure of tax funds. GAO has held that, where a bid is subject to two reasonable interpretations, one of which is nonresponsive, it is ambiguous and must be rejected. GAO found that the agency properly rejected the bid and that the deviation could not be waived as a minor informality since it represented a material requirement. Further, a nonresponsive bid may not be accepted even though its acceptance would result in monetary savings to the Government. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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