Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: BCI Construction USA, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Where an invitation for bids required the submission of a bid guarantee, agency properly rejected protester’s bid as nonresponsive where protester’s bid bond listed an incorrect bid opening date and a solicitation number for a different procurement.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
BCI Construction USA, Inc. protested the rejection of its bid for “service gates replacement, Big Sandy Creek of Tuscarawas River, Bolivar, O[hio], Bolivar Dam.” Bidders were required to submit a bid bond in the amount of 20 percent of the bid price or $3 million, whichever was less. Bidders were informed that the failure to furnish the bid guarantee in the proper form and amount, by the time set for opening of bids, may be cause for rejection of the bid. BCI provided a bid bond that erroneously identified a different solicitation number and the wrong bid opening date, and that stated it was for “replacement of service gates.”
BCI protested the rejection of its bid, arguing that the bond’s citation to an incorrect solicitation number and bid opening date were minor clerical errors that BCI could have easily corrected or the agency should have waived. The agency responded that the errors, collectively, provide no assurance that the surety intended to be obligated to the government for the procurement in question. The GAO agreed with the agency, noting that the solicitation number is a material element of the bond affecting its acceptability.
Bidders must ensure that their bid bonds are complete and accurate, correctly identifying the solicitation number and bid opening date, accurately describing the type of services sought, and providing the location of the work. Some errors on the bid bond may be waived if there are clear indicia on the face of the bond that otherwise identify it as the correct solicitation. However, a defective bid bond may be grounds for rejection of an otherwise low bid.