Link: GAO Opinion
Agencies: U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Bid bond
General Counsel, P.C. Highlight: Where an IFB requires an original bid bond, a bid that includes a copy of the bond issued by the surety with an original principal signature is not sufficient and the proposal may be rejected as non-responsive.
Excel Building & Development Corporation protested the rejection of its bid by the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, based on its failure to submit an original bid bond as required by the Invitation for Bids (“IFB”). Issues arose as to whether the documentation provided by Excel related to the bid bond included originals and whether the method of delivery (e.g., electronic mail) was in conformance with the invitation for bids. The GAO stated that the determinative question in judging the sufficiency of a bid guarantee is whether it could be enforced if the bidder subsequently fails to execute required contract documents and provide performance and payment bonds. Further, copies of bid guarantee documents, whether transmitted electronically or hand-delivered, generally do not satisfy the requirement for a bid guarantee since the contracting agency cannot verify whether alterations have been made or not. Thus, the GAO determined that the GAO properly rejected Excel’s bid and denied the protest.