GAO Proposal Problems

GAO Proposal Problems Lead To Rejection

In a recent case, an offer’s proposal was rejected because it was late due to a problem with the electronic file size of the proposal. The GAO highlighted that the proposal was late because the email attachment exceeded the 10 MB limit, but this was not disclosed in the solicitation details. This is perhaps one of the more unique GAO proposal problems.

The GAO’s decision in Washington Coach Corporation, B-413809 (Dec. 28, 2016) involved a VA solicitation for transportation services.  As part of the solicitation, it was required that proposals be submitted by email to the Contracting Officer and Contracting Specialist by a specific date and time.  There were no details in the solicitation regarding limitations on files sizes.

The VA declined to evaluate the WCC proposal because it was late and had not been received before the proposal deadline.  The VA declined to evaluate WCC’s proposal. WCC challenged the VA’s decision and filed a GAO bid protect; arguing that it submitted to the correct email address before the deadline and the solicitation did not identify the 10 MB file limit.

The GAO responded that it is the offeror’s responsibility to deliver proposals on or before the proposed deadline. The GAO went on to say proposals received after the exact time specified are deemed late, and usually rejected. GAO said its decision alleviates confusion and ensures equal treatment of all offerers.

In today’s computer age, proposals are more commonly submitted electronically. Offeror’s like WCC waiting until the last minute to send did not giving them any time to uncover the issue with the file size before the deadline. If you have questions on GAO proposal problems or need advice on submitting proposals, KDuncan and Company should be your first call.


KDuncan & Company is dedicated to providing knowledge and support for small government contractors about concerns regarding government contracting. For questions on areas such as as cost proposals, accounting systems, DCAA compliance, and incurred cost audits, reach out to KDuncan & Company.

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