Government Contracts Government's Electronic Filing Mistake Leads to Dismissal
Friday, April 10, 2020

Government's Electronic Filing Mistake Leads to Dismissal

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The government's request for reconsideration was dismissed as untimely because it was not properly filed within ten days of receipt of the decision. In High Noon Unlimited, Inc. (34 CGEN ¶116,601), the Comptroller General sustained the protest of a contract award for rifle magazine pouches, finding the awardee's product did not meet mandatory specifications and the government erred in finding the product was technically acceptable. The decision was issued on November 15, 2019. On November 25, at 4:55 p.m., the government filed a “Response to … Sustain Recommendation” in the Government Accountability Office's Electronic Protest Docketing System under the case's protest docket. At 5:28 p.m., GAO responded “to file a request for reconsideration, please refer to the [EPDS instructions]” and “note the request for reconsideration tab at the left.” At 5:59 p.m., the government submitted the request for reconsideration through the EPDS reconsideration tab.

Too Late. Under GAO 21.14(b), a request for reconsideration must be filed no later than 10 days after the basis for reconsideration is known or should have been known, whichever is earlier, and under GAO 21.0(g), “[d]elivery of a protest or other document by means other than those set forth in the online EPDS instructions does not constitute a filing.” Further, the EPDS instructions specifically warn that requests “will not be deemed ‘filed’ … until the [f]iler has submitted all of the information required by EPDS through the appropriate portal in EPDS.” Here, the government’s 4:55 p.m. filing in the protest docket was not the appropriate EPDS portal for filing the request for reconsideration. The government subsequently filed its request in the correct portal, but not until 5:59 p.m. GAO “[r]egulations are clear that filings received after 5:30 p.m. will be treated as having been filed on the following business day, which in this case was November 26, more than 10 days after [the] decision” (GAO 21.0(g)). Since the government did not file the request for reconsideration in the appropriate EPDS portal within ten days of its receipt of the decision, the request was untimely. (U.S. Marine Corps—Reconsideration, 35 CGEN ¶116,743)

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