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Bidders Beware: Govt. Mistakes Won't Rescue Tardy Bid If You Share Blame

Saturday, October 04, 2008 03:55 pm

Bidders Beware: Govt. Mistakes Won't Rescue Tardy Bid If You Share Blame

You can't win awards if your bids don't make it to the race on time. And successful protests against rejection for late submission are few and far between because even a hint of a bidder's culpability can sink the claim.

In a recent case, Aquaterra Contracting, Inc.'s (Aquaterra) bid arrived in the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers' mailroom four hours before the 2:00pm deadline. However, even though the bid left the mailroom at 1:45pm, it didn't make it to the contracting officer (CO) before she left her office to open the bids in a nearby room. She discovered the bid two hours later. The government rejected the bid as late and the Comptroller General upheld that decision on several grounds. Learn from these mistakes:

1. Measure timeliness by bid's arrival in CO's hands Aquaterra argued that the solicitation didn't specify a particular location for the bid opening and therefore its bid's documented receipt in the mailroom should have been used to measure the bid's timeliness. See Aquaterra Contracting, Inc., U.S. Comp. Gen. B-400065, July 14, 2008.

However, bidders are responsible for delivering their bids on t [...]

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