Matter of: FCC Construction, Inc. File: B-250304 Date: January 11, 1993

B-250304: Jan 11, 1993

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FCC's original bid was received by the Army via Federal Express at 10:23 a.m. on September 1. FCC's first fax transmission was timely received before bid opening at 1:40 p.m. FCC's two subsequent September 1 faxes were identical. Were only two pages in length. FCC argues that the absence of a signature on these two faxes should be waived as a minor informality since the IFB is silent as to whether a faxed bid modification must be signed. This requirement is necessary to prevent a bidder. There is an exception to this general rule allowing for waiver of the failure to sign the bid as a minor informality when the bid is accompanied by other documentation signed by the bidder which clearly evidences the bidder's intent to be bound by the bid as submitted.

Matter of: FCC Construction, Inc. File: B-250304 Date: January 11, 1993

PROCUREMENT Sealed Bidding Bids Minor deviations Acceptability PROCUREMENT Sealed Bidding Modification Signatures Omission Bidder's failure to sign telecopied bid modification may not be waived where no other document evidencing an intent to be bound and signed by the bidder accompanied the modification.

Attorneys

DECISION FCC Construction, Inc. (FCC), protests the rejection of a telecopied bid modification under invitation for bids (IFB) No. DACA45-92- B-0105, issued by the Omaha District, United States Army Corps of Engineers, on July 31, 1992, for the construction of a child development center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

We deny the protest.

The IFB required that bids be received by 2 p.m. on September 1, 1992, and provided that mailed bids could be subsequently modified or withdrawn by telecopier. FCC's original bid was received by the Army via Federal Express at 10:23 a.m. on September 1. Later that same day, FCC sent by telefacsimile (fax) three attempted modifications to its bid. FCC's first fax transmission was timely received before bid opening at 1:40 p.m. The cover page of this fax (as well as the cover page of the two subsequent FCC faxes) contained the sender's printed name, "SUZANNE." The next page of this modification consisted of a copy of the Standard Form (SF) 1442 (Solicitation, Offer, and Award) which FCC had previously submitted with its original bid. The third page of this first fax contained the signature of Scott A. Bryan, FCC's Vice President and General Manager, in block 20(a), entitled "Name and Title of Person Authorized to Sign Offer." The last page of this fax consisted of a revised pricing schedule which the contracting officer accepted for bid evaluation purposes. FCC's two subsequent September 1 faxes were identical, and were only two pages in length, consisting of the cover page and a revised price schedule on the next page.

FCC argues that the absence of a signature on these two faxes should be waived as a minor informality since the IFB is silent as to whether a faxed bid modification must be signed. We disagree.

As a general rule, an unsigned bid must be rejected as nonresponsive because without an appropriate signature, the bidder would not be bound should the government accept the bid. Jennings Int'l Corp., 68 Comp.Gen. 79 (1988), 88-2 CPD Para. 472. This requirement is necessary to prevent a bidder, after bid opening, from disavowing or attempting to disavow its bid to the detriment of the sealed bidding system. Power Master Elec. Co., B-223995, Nov. 26, 1986, 86-2 CPD Para. 615. There is an exception to this general rule allowing for waiver of the failure to sign the bid as a minor informality when the bid is accompanied by other documentation signed by the bidder which clearly evidences the bidder's intent to be bound by the bid as submitted. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Sec. 14.405(c)(1); Wilton Corp., 64 Comp.Gen. 233 (1985), 85-1 CPD Para. 128.

These rules apply to bid modifications as well as to bids since the modification is, in essence, a new bid. Jennings Int'l Corp., supra; Barnes Elec. Co., Inc., B-228651, Oct. 2, 1987, 87-2 CPD Para. 331. These same rules apply to consideration of faxed bid modifications where, as here, the IFB is silent as to whether a faxed bid modification must be signed. Jennings Int'l Corp., supra. Accordingly, the agency properly
accepted FCC's first, signed, faxed modification, and properly rejected
FCC's subsequent unsigned faxes, which were not accompanied by other
documentation, signed by an authorized FCC representative, which clearly
evidences FCC's intent to be bound by the modifications contained in the
faxes.

The protest is denied.