You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit in the wind, you don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger, and you don’t submit your government contract late.

It’s an old story, much like that lady who sued over a cup of coffee. It’s almost an urban legend now. A company submits a proposal electronically to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) at the proper deadline, 4:00 pm. Although, the delay in their service caused the email to be received about two hours after the 4:00 pm deadline. 

Then the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) put its foot down. It’s an untimely submission. Late is late.    

The contractor argued that the delay, caused by the servers of the agency they were sending the proposal to was to blame. The government contractor had hit “send” before the deadline and after that, they had no control over the actual document and when the agency will receive it.

You can just imagine yourself explaining to your boss that the bus was late, that’s why you were, and you get the– “it’s not an acceptable reason.”

Here is where GAO asserts that the time of receiving the document doesn’t matter. Federal Acquisition Regulation puts the responsibility on the contractor to make sure that the electronic proposal has enough time to get to the agency, regardless of firewalls. email filters and securities, or traffic.  

As stated in Far 15.208 (b)(i):

” If it was transmitted through an electronic commerce method authorized by the solicitation, it was received at the initial point of entry to the Government infrastructure not later than 5:00 p.m. one working day prior to the date specified for receipt of proposals; or”

That means to make sure your proposal, which was sent electronically, is accepted, it needs to be sent one business day before the deadline.

It does seem unfair and favors the agency, but you can look at it this way. Submitting your proposals a day earlier shows the government agency that you have everything under control, you’re dependable, and this contract is something you can accomplish in a very efficient amount of time. 

Yes, late is late. it’s not a realistic approach. When we make sure that our proposals are a day in early, it’s just another hurdle we have overcome in government contracting.

If you need any help at all in coming up and making that proposal whole and feasible, we’d love to help out at Peter Witts CPA PC, our 20+ years of experience means we can get you up and running and sending a proposal way before the deadline.