When an RFP is missing an attachment or information, contractors simply should not look the other way. This is the lesson of CAE USA, Inc., ASBCA No. 58006, where the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) denied a contractor’s appeal due to its failure to inquire about missing information in an RFP before preparing and submitting its bid.
Pursuant to FAR 22.1008-2 and in compliance with Service Contract Act of 1965, 41 U.S.C. § 6707 (c)(1), the contracting officer (the “CO”) provided all bidders with a copy of a collective bargaining agreement (the “CBA”) that would apply to the contract. The CBA indicated that the contractor’s employees would participate in a corporate benefit program, but did not provide specific details. The CBA was missing certain relevant attachments but, rather than asking for that information, CAE USA, Inc. (“CAE”) made certain general assumptions about fringe benefits when calculating its proposed rates. After award, the CO informed CAE that the missing attachments in the CBA required the payment of additional benefits, which CAE had to pay. CAE submitted a claim for the cost of these additional benefits, which the CO denied, and CAE appealed to the ASBCA.