Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: IFB; Bid compliance
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: A bid must comply in all material respects with the IFB and should be filled out, executed, and submitted in accordance with the instructions.
The Department of the Army (Army) issued an invitation for bids (IFB) for mail and messenger services for a base year and four option years. The attached performance work statement (PWS) detailed the specifications for performing the services. Bidders were required to provide unit prices for each contract line item number on the bid schedule and were required to make deliveries and pickups at certain times.
The Army issued an amendment to the original IFB requiring mail service at a third location in addition to the two already included. The amendment included a new pricing schedule and to abide by a new timing schedule for the third location. The IFB cautioned that “accuracy and timeliness are of primary importance.”
ATR Logistic Company LLC (ATR) submitted its bid with a cover letter acknowledging the Army’s amendment and accepting the terms of the amendment. But ATR’s bid utilized the initial pricing schedule and thus failed to provide pricing information for the third location. The contracting officer rejected the bid as non-compliant.
GAO stated that a bid must comply in all material respects with the IFB and should be filled out, executed, and submitted in accordance with the instructions. Although a bidder may bind itself to the contents of an amendment by acknowledging its receipt, a bidder cannot leave any doubt as to its commitment to perform pursuant to the amendment or its bid must be rejected. Where the record, as here, shows that the bid did not conform to the IFB in two areas, it failed to indicate that it would comply with all of the terms and conditions of the amended IFB especially when the IFB specifically called for accuracy and timeliness. Therefore, the Army acted appropriately in rejecting ATR’s bid. The protest is denied.