Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Protest of agency’s rejection of the firm’s proposal is denied, where solicitation provided for the submission of technical and price proposals to different locations and the protester failed to deliver its price proposal to the office identified for receipt of that proposal.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
Rehal objects in its protest that its proposal was “mislaid following delivery and consequently was not evaluated,” arguing that it was “clearly stated under Amendment 0001 to the Solicitation that all required documentation required to be submitted” could be delivered to Camp Arifjan. In this regard, Rehal complains that the proposal delivery instructions were very complicated and misleading. GAO states that offerors have an affirmative obligation to seek clarification prior to the first due date for submission of proposals following introduction of an ambiguity into a solicitation. Protests of a patent solicitation ambiguity that are not filed before the time set for receipt of initial proposals are untimely and will not be considered by GAO. The requirement that protests of patent ambiguities be filed prior to time set for receipt of initial proposals is intended to facilitate clarification of legitimate questions prior to preparation of submissions. Since Rehal sought no such clarification of this matter prior to responding to the solicitation, its complaints about being misled by the solicitation instructions are untimely.
GAO does not agree with Rehal that an amendment changed the RFP delivery instructions that required offerors to submit their technical and price proposals to two different locations. Rather, reading the relevant question and answer included in amendment 1 within the context of the RFQ as a whole, the solicitation informed offerors that they were still required to submit one copy of their technical proposal and all of the copies of their price proposals to the Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island. In this regard, the RFP, as amended, continued to inform offerors that receipt of proposals by the Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, the only location that was designated to receive both the technical and cost proposals, would determine whether offerors’ proposals were timely submitted. The protester did not deliver its technical and price proposals to the Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, as directed by the RFP, for the purpose of establishing the timeliness of the proposal. It is an offeror’s responsibility to deliver its proposal to the proper place by the proper time. Because Rehal did not submit its proposal in accordance with the solicitation instructions, GAO finds reasonable the Army’s rejection of Rehal’s proposal.