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Problem of the Day--Withdrawal of Proposals

Don Mansfield


Can Acme Withdraw Its Proposals?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Can Acme withdraw its proposals?

    • Yes, Acme can withdraw both proposals.
    • Acme can withdraw Proposal 1 (Commercial Items), but cannot withdraw Proposal 2 (Noncommercial Items)
    • Acme cannot withdraw Proposal 1 (Commercial Items), but can withdraw Proposal 2 (Noncommercial Items)
    • No, Acme cannot withdraw either proposal.

Scenario: Acme Corporation responds to two different RFPs issued by the Government. RFP 1 is for commercial items and contains the untailored version FAR 52.212-1, Instructions to Offerors--Commercial Items. Acme responds to RFP 1 with Proposal 1. RFP 2 is for noncommercial items and contains FAR 52.215-1, Instructions to Offerors--Competitive Acquisition. Acme responds to RFP 2 with Proposal 2. The deadline for submission of the proposals for both RFPs is June 30. Both of Acme's proposals were submitted on time.

On July 15, Acme realizes that it made an estimating mistake and has priced the proposals lower than they should have. Acme asks the contracting officer for each RFP if they can submit a revised proposal, since award has not yet been made. Both contracting officers refuse Acme's request. Acme then asks to withdraw both proposals.

1 Comment

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Everyone who voted got it correct. The untailored version of FAR 52.212-1 incorporates the firm bid rule (FAR 14.304(e)) in (f)(5):


Offers may be withdrawn by written notice received at any time before the exact time set for receipt of offers.

FAR 52.215-1 incorporates the rule about withdrawal of proposals (FAR 15.208(e)) in (c)(3)(v):


Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice received at any time before award.

FAR 52.212-1 was written to accommodate both invitations for bids and requests for proposals. However, the firm bid rule doesn't apply to contracting by negotiation. Fortunately, you can tailor FAR 52.212-1 to remove the firm bid rule if you are using the provision in an RFP. 

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