“Late is Late” Rule for Proposals has Limits

Two offerors, Insight Systems Corp. (“Insight”) and Centerscope Technologies, Inc. (“Centerscope”) electronically submitted quotations in response to a USAID solicitation. The USAID’s computer server malfunctioned and failed to forward on the quotations internally within USAID. Consequently, the contracting officer did not receive the quotations in her email inbox by the submission deadline and pronounced the quotations late. After USAID awarded the contract to a third company, Centerscope and Insight protested the award to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC). The Government’s position was that “late is late”, and it was therefore irrelevant that the submission delay occurred as a result of the Government’s computer malfunction. This “late filing” rule makes it an offeror’s responsibility to ensure that the proposal is timely delivered. The protesters … Continue reading