Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Transportation
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Uniform Time Act of 1996
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: The time listed in the invitation for bids is always local time for governmental purposes.
GAO denies the protest of SBBI, Inc., under an invitation for bids (IFB), issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), for a roadway construction project for the Coronado National Forest, Graham County, Arizona.
The protester maintains that although the agency changed the location of the bid opening to Phoenix, Arizona, the agency did not change the time for submission of bids. The protester argues that bids were originally required to be submitted by 1:00 p.m. MST which is actually 12:00 p.m. Arizona time, and that bids received after 1:00 p.m. Colorado time should be rejected. GAO has previously held, that under the Uniform Time Act of 1996, 15 U.S.C. sect. 262 (2006), there is one standard time for most governmental purposes, including the time designated for receipt of proposals or opening bids, and that time is the local time, regardless of whether it is referred to as standard time or as daylight savings time in the solicitation.
The agency responds that both Colorado and Arizona are in the MST time zone, but that Arizona does not observe daylight saving time. The agency states that during the months of daylight saving time Arizona is one hour behind the rest of the MST zone. It is the agency’s position that 1:00 pm MST on the IFB referred to the time in Arizona where the solicitation designated bids were to be received, and that all bids were received timely and opened at the proper time and that the awardee was properly declared the apparent low bidder. GAO agrees and states that all bids were submitted to the FHWA Phoenix, Arizona office as required by the IFB and all were received prior to the 1:00 p.m. scheduled bid opening. Thus, all the bids were timely received at the 1:00 p.m. local time for Arizona, the designated place for receipt of bids. The protest is denied.