“Educating the Government Contracting Community”

GAO Finds that Amendment to Date of Bid Submission Does Not Automatically Change Time of Submission

On January 8, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reaffirmed its position that “where an amendment changes only the date of receipt of quotations or proposals, the time established for receipt is unchanged.” In International Code Council (B-409146, January 8, 2014), the relevant RFQ instructed prospective offerors to submit proposals to the contract specialist and contracting officer by 3 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, July 23, 2013. Pursuant to an amendment issued on July 16, the date for solicitation responses was extended from July 23, 2013 to July 26, 2013. ICC’s quotation was received on July 26th at 3:28 pm and was subsequently rejected by the agency as late and ICC protested the agency’s decision.

In its protest, ICC argued without success that “its quotation was timely submitted” because the “amendment 1 of the RFQ effectively changed the time for receipt of quotations to 4:30 p.m.” ICC reasoned that since the amendment did not expressly state a time for receipt of quotations, then the time established by FAR 52.212-1(f)(1) which provides that “where no time of receipt of quotations is stated in the solicitation, the time for receipt of quotations is 4:30 p.m., local time.”

In its decision, GAO, however, disagreed. GAO found that where the RFQ included a time and date for receipt of quotations, an amendment to the date does not also change the time of submission. Moreover, GAO did not find convincing ICC’s argument that “because the agency’s extension of the closing date did not restate the time for receipt of quotations, that solicitation in effect did not state a time for submission of quotations.”

http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660060.pdf

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