B-211326, APR 22, 1983

B-211326: Apr 22, 1983

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AMERICAN CONTENDS THAT ITS BID WAS IMPROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE FOR FAILURE TO ENTER A SLASH OR A ZERO IN A BLANK SPACE PROVIDED FOR BIDDERS TO INDICATE MILEAGE CHARGES FOR AUTOMOBILE RENTAL. WE HAVE REQUIRED THE BIDDER TO TAKE SOME AFFIRMATIVE STEP - SUCH AS INSERTING A ZERO. " OR DASHES - TO INDICATE THAT THE BIDDER WAS AWARE OF AND WILLING TO COMMIT ITSELF TO FURNISH THE GOODS AND SERVICES COVERED BY THE ITEM IN QUESTION AT NO CHARGE. 48 COMP.GEN. 757 (1969). ITS BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE. AMERICAN'S ALLEGATION THAT THE OTHER BIDS SHOULD BE REJECTED BECAUSE THE BIDDERS DID NOT SIGN THE BID CONTINUATION SHEETS IS ALSO DENIED. SO THAT A VALID CONTRACT WILL BE EFFECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WITHOUT RESORT TO THE BIDDER FOR CONFIRMATION OF ITS INTENTION.

B-211326, APR 22, 1983

DIGEST: 1. AGENCY PROPERLY REJECTED BID AS NONRESPONSIVE WHERE BIDDER LEFT BLANK SPACE DESIGNATED FOR MILEAGE CHARGE UNDER SOLICITATION FOR AUTOMOBILE RENTAL. 2. FAILURE TO SIGN BID CONTINUATION SHEETS DOES NOT RENDER BID NONRESPONSIVE WHERE BIDDER INDICATED INTENT TO BE BOUND BY BID BY SIGNING THE BID FORM IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR THAT PURPOSE.

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL RENT-A-CAR:

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL RENT-A-CAR (AMERICAN) PROTESTS THE REJECTION OF ITS BID UNDER SOLICITATION NO. R6-3-83-41S, FOR AUTOMOBILE RENTAL, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE. AMERICAN CONTENDS THAT ITS BID WAS IMPROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE FOR FAILURE TO ENTER A SLASH OR A ZERO IN A BLANK SPACE PROVIDED FOR BIDDERS TO INDICATE MILEAGE CHARGES FOR AUTOMOBILE RENTAL. AMERICAN ALSO CONTENDS THAT ALL THE OTHER BIDS SHOULD BE REJECTED BECAUSE NONE OF THE OTHER BIDDERS SIGNED THE BID CONTINUATION SHEETS.

WE SUMMARILY DENY THE PROTEST.

IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE THE BID FORM PROVIDES SPACE FOR THE BIDDER TO INDICATE THE PRICE OF AN ITEM AND THE BIDDER INTENDS NO CHARGE, WE HAVE REQUIRED THE BIDDER TO TAKE SOME AFFIRMATIVE STEP - SUCH AS INSERTING A ZERO, THE WORDS "NO CHARGE," OR DASHES - TO INDICATE THAT THE BIDDER WAS AWARE OF AND WILLING TO COMMIT ITSELF TO FURNISH THE GOODS AND SERVICES COVERED BY THE ITEM IN QUESTION AT NO CHARGE. 48 COMP.GEN. 757 (1969); NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD - REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION, B-209037, OCTOBER 8, 1982, 82-2 CPD 323; KINGS POINT MFG. CO., INC., B-204981, MARCH 4, 1982, 82-1 CPD 196; INGERSOLL RAND COMPANY, B-183682, AUGUST 13, 1975, 75-2 CPD 107. HERE, AMERICAN'S BID PROVIDED NO INDICATION OF ITS INTENT WITH REGARD TO THE MILEAGE CHARGE FOR THE AUTOMOBILE RENTAL AND, THEREFORE, ITS BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE.

AMERICAN'S ALLEGATION THAT THE OTHER BIDS SHOULD BE REJECTED BECAUSE THE BIDDERS DID NOT SIGN THE BID CONTINUATION SHEETS IS ALSO DENIED. BIDS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY SOME EVIDENCE OF THE BIDDER'S INTENTION TO BE BOUND BY THE BID, SO THAT A VALID CONTRACT WILL BE EFFECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WITHOUT RESORT TO THE BIDDER FOR CONFIRMATION OF ITS INTENTION. THE USUAL EXPRESSION OF THE BIDDER'S INTENT TO BE BOUND BY THE BID IS THE SIGNATURE OF THE BIDDER ON THE BID FORM IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR THAT PURPOSE. SEE BERVIA PLUNK, B-185194, JUNE 15, 1976, 76-1 CPD 378. HERE, THE BIDDERS' SIGNATURES ON THE BID FORMS ARE SUFFICIENT TO SHOW INTENT TO BE BOUND BY THE BIDS AND A FAILURE TO SIGN THE CONTINUATION SHEETS DOES NOT RENDER THE BIDS NONRESPONSIVE.

WE HAVE REACHED THIS DECISION ON THE BASIS OF THE PROTESTER'S INITIAL SUBMISSION, WHICH INDICATED, UPON REVIEW, THAT THE PROTEST WAS WITHOUT LEGAL MERIT. THEREFORE, WE HAVE NOT REQUESTED A REPORT FROM THE FOREST SERVICE. MIDWEST JANITORIAL SERVICES, INC., B-208903, NOVEMBER 9, 1982, 82-2 CPD 429.

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