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E-mailed Bid Delivery Determined By Arrivalat Govt.'s E-gateway

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 07:41 am



Watterson Construction Co. v. U.S., 2011 U.S. Ct. Fed. Cl. No. 10-587C (Mar. 29, 2011)

Thanks to a careful examination of the "location" at which an e-mailed bid needed to arrive in order to be timely, the Court of Federal Claims overturned a government agency's rejection of a late bid. Watterson Construction Company (Watterson) was one of three bidders invited to submit proposal revisions for an Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) contract for the design and construction of a barracks in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The Corps required the revisions to be submitted by 12:00pm on a specific date. Because Watterson's proposal did not arrive in the contracting officer's e-mail inbox before that time (it was four minutes late), the Corps eliminated it from consideration. Watterson fought that determination, claiming that the Corps violated Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by rejecting the bid as late given the interference of a "mail storm" in the Corps' e-mail system.

Watterson e-mailed its proposal to the contracting officer (CO) at 11:01am on the specified day. Although the email message was "received" by [...]

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