Offerors must overcome numerous hurdles in preparing and submitting proposals on a timely basis. A recent decision by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has added yet another, and unexpected, obstacle – offerors now must be aware of and plan for the kidnapping of an otherwise timely proposal by an agency’s spam filter.
It is a well-established principle that offers submitted after the submission deadline will not be considered for award, unless the circumstances specified in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) permitting acceptance of a late offer are met. The FAR is clear that the obligation is on the offeror to submit the proposal on time:
“Offerors are responsible for submitting offers, and any modifications, revisions, or withdrawals, so as to reach the Government office designated in the solicitation by the time specified in the solicitation.” FAR 52.212-1.
Applying this principle in a recent decision, Advanced Decisions Vectors, Inc., B-412307, Jan. 11, 2016, the GAO ruled that a contractor failed to timely submit its quote when the contractor’s email containing the quote was blocked by the agency’s spam filter from reaching the individual designated to receive quotes by the time specified in the solicitation. The decision serves as a warning to contractors that even an early submission of an offer may be ensnared by the tentacles of a spam filter and deemed late if it does not reach the intended recipient by the deadline as a result.
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