GAO Protest Highlights the Need for Contractors to Account for Proposal Transmission Delays
Recent GAO protest highlights the need for contractors to account for transmission delays when submitting proposals/quotations.
Briefly, the protester timely submitted its initial quotation but then untimely submitted its revised quotation in response to a solicitation amendment. Revised quotations were due at 5:00PM and the protester's quote was received at 5:01:30PM. Because its revised quotation was rejected as late, the protester argued that its initial quote should have been evaluated instead.
Unfortunately, GAO denied the protest alleging that the agency should have evaluated the protester’s initial quote because its initial quote failed to comply with a material term of the amended solicitation. Here, as part of the amendment, the period of performance (a material solicitation requirement) shifted by one year.
Takeaway: To be timely, proposals must be received prior to the deadline. Given that a number of agencies filter inbound email (malware/virus servers), it's possible to experience delays in transmission (see footnote 4 of the decision discussing latency issues). Remember to account for possible transmission delays when submitting your proposals/quotations.
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GAO Decision: https://www.gao.gov/products/B-417240#mt=e-report