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I always preferred hard copies anyhow!

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Perhaps had the GAO been told the actual number of offerors which had e-mailed proposals rejected, it would have reached a different conclusion. Or it might have done so, had it been informed that at least one e-mail sent by [Offeror I] was not accounted for, see supra note 14, or that there was no record of any e-mail sent by [Offeror O] to the e-mail address designated in the Solicitation. On this last point, the Court is particularly concerned that the GAO, which does not recognize the extension of the Government Control exception to cover e-mailed proposals, see Sea Box, Inc., 2002 WL 31445297, at *2, was not told that the agency employed this exception to accept the [Offeror O] proposal. The GAO found FAST’s proposal “was never received at the agency email address designated for receipt of proposals,” FAST, 2014 WL 7660997, at *2; AR at 757, yet the same was true of [Offeror O’s] proposal. Knowledge that an exception was made for [Offeror O] may have resulted in a different outcome before the GAO. Cf. Philips Healthcare, 2012 WL 3611711, at *4 (explaining that one of the purposes of the “late is late” rule is that it “ensures equal treatment of all offerors”). Although not necessary for FAST to prevail, the Court concludes that the agency’s failure to disclose to the GAO the full extent of problems encountered by offerors in e-mailing their proposals, and its application of the Government Control exception to the benefit of another offeror, was to plaintiff ’s prejudice by preventing a fully informed consideration of the protest grounds raised by FAST.  (Federal Acquisition Services Team, LLC v. U. S., No. 15-78C, February 16, 2016)  (pdf)

 

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I've always been curious why, especially for an RFP where contractors are given 60 days or longer, contractors typically wait until the last day (or in some cases, the last hour) to send in their proposals?  I would think if you are putting in that time and effort for a contract worth thousands or millions of dollars, you would want to get your proposal in a few days early just to avoid situations such as this.

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Contractors are collaborations of human beings, who act like human beings. If you give people a certain amount of time to do a thing, most will take that amount of time. In short, the 60th day doesn't end until the last minute of the last day has passed. Read up on Parkinson's Law.

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Hi, Desparado,

I think in this particular case the contract got their e-mail sent 4.5 hours prior to (emphasis mine):

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Federal Acquisition Services Team, LLC (FAST) brings this pre-award bid protest seeking to enjoin the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM or the agency) from awarding a contract under Solicitation No. H92222-14-R-0019 (the Solicitation) without giving consideration to FAST’s proposal. The agency required offerors to e-mail their proposals to a particular address, and cautioned them that e-mails with files totaling more than 20 megabytes in size would not get through. Plaintiff ’s proposal, in files apparently totaling less than the stated limit, was sent to the required address, and received by a government server, more than four and one-half hours before the deadline. A few minutes later, a second server rejected the e-mail, preventing its delivery to the destination mailbox. The agency, as a consequence, determined the proposal was not timely received.

FWIW I *hate* getting offers over e-mail because I have no concept of when the Government has control of the damn offer.  This is partly a failing on my part because I don't understand how the internet and e-mail works, but the whole technique is also inherently non-transparent, at least to the KO.

Hello, Napolik,

My employer is moving to an electronic submission system (which is not e-mail based).  I hope is it better than e-mail.

I have sent these kinds of things to my management and to our IT department before.  I'll send this one as well.  Thanks so much for posting. 

 

 

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The page I linked here includes the Court Case.  You will see GAO's Federal Acquisition Services Team decision above and both the Insight and Watterson opinions mentioned in the Court case under the Court section.

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On 2/18/2016 at 6:04 AM, Desparado said:

I've always been curious why, especially for an RFP where contractors are given 60 days or longer, contractors typically wait until the last day (or in some cases, the last hour) to send in their proposals?  I would think if you are putting in that time and effort for a contract worth thousands or millions of dollars, you would want to get your proposal in a few days early just to avoid situations such as this.

From the contractor side, 60 days isn't always enough. I never understood why there is an assumption that a RFP that took 18 months to develop only needs 30 days to respond. Not to mention late extensions or Q/A that change our response parameters.  But in the end, a wise proposal writer once said " You never finish a proposal, you just run out of time".  

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On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 3:54 PM, sdvr said:

I never understood why there is an assumption that a RFP that took 18 months to develop only needs 30 days to respond. 

2 reasons - Poor time managment by the Government (ran out of time).  Poor market research by the Government (didn't research realistic response times); in fairness to the Government, industry will always ask for more time. 

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