Here's an interesting decision just handed down by the GAO.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) issued a contract solicitation for managing excess government property and for providing office support services at an Army Camp in Kuwait. Alalmiah Technology Group (ATG) submitted a proposal in response to the solicitation by email, sending the proposal in three separate messages. Two of those messages were received by DLA a few minutes before the deadline. The third message was received by DLA eleven minutes after the deadline. DLA dismissed ATG’s proposal as late. ATG appealed to the GAO on the basis that it had sent the third section at the deadline (10:00 a.m.) and it was transmission issues that caused it to arrive a bit late.
GAO rejected the appeal based on the clear and unequivocal language of the solicitation that required it to arrive at 10:00 a.m. sharp. In GAO’s view, the primary cause of ATG’s late delivery of its electronic proposal was that it had delayed attempting to transmit its proposal until shortly before the time set for the receipt of proposals. An offeror is responsible for delivering its proposal to the proper place at the proper time and that includes a reasonable time for delivery.
Eleven minutes and ATG lost out on a chance for a sizable government contract.