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ON BASIS OF RECORD THAT SHOWS THAT DELAY WAS DUE TO SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGER RATHER THAN INCORRECT ZIP CODE BID WAS PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION. INC: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER OF JUNE 18. IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT THE ROSS AND KENNEDY (ROSS) BID PROPERLY COULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD EVEN THOUGH IT WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING TIME. IT WAS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE LATE RECEIPT OF THE BID WAS CAUSED BY THE ERRONEOUS ZIP CODE. SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL RUN WAS TO BE MADE. IT WAS THE OPINION OF THE LOUISVILLE POSTAL AUTHORITIES THAT THE BID ENVELOPE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE ADDRESSEE PRIOR TO BID OPENING TIME. THAT THE DELAY IN DELIVERY WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE INCORRECT ZIP CODE BUT BY THE SPECIAL DELIVERY CARRIER WHO DEVIATED FROM HIS NORMAL ROUTE.

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B-166695, JUL. 15, 1969

BID PROTEST - LATE BID DECISION TO TECTONICS, INC., REAFFIRMING DECISION OF JUNE 16, 1969, DENYING PROTEST AGAINST CONSIDERATION OF LATE BID UNDER CORPS OF ENGINEERS INVITATION. ON BASIS OF RECORD THAT SHOWS THAT DELAY WAS DUE TO SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGER RATHER THAN INCORRECT ZIP CODE BID WAS PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION. B-166446, MAY 21, 1969, DISTINGUISHED.

TO TECTONICS, INC:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1969, REQUESTING THAT WE RECONSIDER OUR DECISION B-166695 OF JUNE 16, 1969, RELATIVE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE CONSIDERATION OF THE LATE BID OF ROSS AND KENNEDY CORP., UNDER CORPS OF ENGINEERS INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DACA 27-69-B-0030.

IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT THE ROSS AND KENNEDY (ROSS) BID PROPERLY COULD BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD EVEN THOUGH IT WAS RECEIVED AFTER THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING TIME. ALTHOUGH CORRECTLY ADDRESSED IN EVERY OTHER RESPECT, THE WRONG ZIP CODE (34201 INSTEAD OF 40201) HAD BEEN USED ON THE ENVELOPE WHICH TRANSMITTED THE ROSS BID. IT WAS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE LATE RECEIPT OF THE BID WAS CAUSED BY THE ERRONEOUS ZIP CODE. THE LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, POSTMASTER, HOWEVER, ADVISED THAT THE ENVELOPE WITH THE ROSS BID HAD BEEN RECEIVED AND TIME STAMPED IN THE MAIN POST OFFICE IN LOUISVILLE PRIOR TO THE TIME THE 1:20 P.M. SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL RUN WAS TO BE MADE. CONSEQUENTLY, IT WAS THE OPINION OF THE LOUISVILLE POSTAL AUTHORITIES THAT THE BID ENVELOPE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE ADDRESSEE PRIOR TO BID OPENING TIME, AND THAT THE DELAY IN DELIVERY WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE INCORRECT ZIP CODE BUT BY THE SPECIAL DELIVERY CARRIER WHO DEVIATED FROM HIS NORMAL ROUTE.

YOU NOW TAKE ISSUE WITH A STATEMENT MADE BY THE POSTMASTER CONCERNING THE TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE ENVELOPE AT THE STANDIFORD FIELD STATION, ASSERTING THAT THE SAME IS ARBITRARY, ERRONEOUS AND CONTRARY TO PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. REGARDLESS OF WHEN THE ENVELOPE REACHED THE STANDIFORD FIELD STATION, IT IS A FACT THAT IT WAS RECEIVED IN THE MAIN OFFICE PRIOR TO THE 1:20 P.M. DEPARTURE OF THE SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL RUN AND THAT IT LEFT THE MAIN OFFICE WITH THE CARRIER MAKING THAT RUN. OF SOME RELEVANCE HERE ARE THE OBSERVATIONS WE MADE IN B-156101 DATED MAY 4, 1965, WHEREIN WE CONSIDERED THE ACCEPTABILITY OF TWO LATE MAILED BIDS:

"CONCERNING THE RELIABILITY OF THE STATEMENT OF THE LOUISVILLE POSTMASTER AS OPPOSED TO YOUR EXPERIENCE INVOLVING MAIL BETWEEN THE POINTS IN QUESTION, THE REGULATION REQUIRES THAT THE EVIDENCE OF DELIVERY TIME BE OBTAINED FROM THE POSTAL OFFICIALS AT THE POST OFFICE SERVING THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. WHETHER NORMAL MAIL HANDLING SCHEDULES, AS STATED BY A RESPONSIBLE POST OFFICE OFFICIAL, ARE CONSISTENTLY MAINTAINED IN ACTUAL OPERATIONS IS NOT IN OUR VIEW A PROPER SUBJECT OF INQUIRY UNDER THE REGULATIONS HERE IN QUESTION. IT MUST BE PRESUMED THAT A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER INQUIRING OF THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES AS TO WHEN A BID SHOULD BE MAILED IN ORDER TO BE DELIVERED ON TIME WOULD BE ADVISED ON THE BASIS OF THE NORMAL SCHEDULES, AND WE BELIEVE THAT THE BIDDER WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RELY UPON THAT ADVICE. ON THE SAME BASIS WE BELIEVE THAT THE REGULATION CORRECTLY REQUIRES THAT FULL CREDENCE BE GIVEN BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY TO THE STATEMENT OF THE POSTAL AUTHORITIES AS TO NORMAL TIME FOR MAIL DELIVERY. FURTHERMORE, THE MERE FACT THAT MAIL TRANSMITTED BETWEEN THE POINTS IN QUESTION SUBSEQUENT TO THE BID OPENING DATE DID NOT REACH THE BID OPENING OFFICE WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME DOES NOT RENDER INCORRECT THE STATEMENT OF THE LOUISVILLE POSTMASTER CONCERNING NORMAL DELIVERY TIME ON THE BID OPENING DATE.'

YOU FURTHER CONTEND THAT THE CORRECT ZIP CODE WAS, IN THIS CASE, ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE TIMELY DELIVERY OF THE ENVELOPE TO THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION AT 830 W. BROADWAY, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. A CHECK OF NATIONAL ZIP CODE DIRECTORY, POD PUBLICATION 65, MARCH 1968, SHOWS THAT ZIP CODE 40201 REPRESENTS ONLY POST OFFICE BOXES AT A PARTICULAR LOUISVILLE POST OFFICE AND NOT THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL LOCATION OF THE PROCURING AGENCY AT 830 W. BROADWAY. ITS RELEVANCE, THEN, INSOFAR AS TIMELY DELIVERY IS CONCERNED, ENDED WHEN THE ENVELOPE REACHED THE POST OFFICE AND, AS WE HAVE INDICATED, THAT WAS SUFFICIENTLY IN TIME TO NORMALLY ASSURE DELIVERY PRIOR TO BID OPENING. THE FACT THAT, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR INQUIRY AS TO THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION OF AN ENVELOPE SIMILARLY ADDRESSED AS THAT FROM ROSS, THE LOUISVILLE POSTMASTER CORRECTED THE ZIP CODE DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, ESTABLISH THAT AN INCORRECT ZIP CODE NORMALLY RESULTS IN DELAYED MAIL TRANSMISSION. THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD HERE IS TO THE CONTRARY AND WE HAVE NO REASON TO DISPUTE THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE LOUISVILLE POST OFFICE THAT THE CAUSE OF THE DELAY WAS DUE TO ITS SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGER AND NOT TO THE INCORRECT ZIP CODE.

OUR DECISION B-166446, MAY 21, 1969, CITED BY YOU, IS DISTINGUISHABLE ON ITS FACTS FROM THE SITUATION HERE. NOT ONLY DID THE ENVELOPE IN THAT CASE BEAR NO ZIP CODE AT ALL, IT ALSO, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WAS MISADDRESSED IN EVERY RESPECT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CITY AND STATE DESIGNATION. THOSE ERRORS WERE MATERIAL IN CAUSING THE LATE DELIVERY OF THE BID; HERE THE ERRONEOUS ZIP CODE ON THE ROSS ENVELOPE WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE LATE DELIVERY.

FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR REVERSING OUR PRIOR DECISION, IN THIS MATTER. CONSEQUENTLY, OUR DECISION OF JUNE 16, 1969, IS AFFIRMED.

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