Burden Rests on Bidder To Submit Necessary Documentation Concerning Authority of Signer

B-192796,B-192827,B-193062: Feb 9, 1979

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Ralph O. White
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The protester's bid was rejected by the Army for lack of a valid signature by an authorized official of the firm, and the protester asserted that a firm may allow a proxy signature to be used. GAO stated that a company may delegate to its employees the authority to act on its behalf, but the contracting agency should then be made aware of the signer's authority either by a Form 129 filed pior to bid opening or evidence when the signer's authority was questioned. The fact that the proxy signature was used for 8 years without detection by the Army did not estop the Army from rejecting the protester's instant bid as nonresponsive. The question of notification of award of the contract will be resolved in favor of the protester, however, when there is doubt as to the date on which knowledge was obtained that must be used as a basis for the protest. The protester questioned the ethics of the Army in making an award during a bid protest period, but it appeared that this was an after-award protest. An offer of bid modifications made by a competitor appeared to be merely an alternative approach that the Army could reject or accept, and such offer will not be considered a nonresponsive bid as alleged by the protester. The question of whether a competitor's bid price was reasonable was a matter for consideration by the contracting officer.

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