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Agency's "Mail Storm" Excuses Late Proposal


Moving beyond faxes into the computer age, the Court of Federal Claims in Watterson Constr. Co. v. U.S. (Mar. 29, 2011) found that a contractor's late proposal should be excused when the delay was caused solely by a "mail storm" at the agency which overloaded and slowed down its servers. Judge Braden found that the late proposal, received by the contracting officer 4 minutes after the deadline, is excused because the proposal was on time as it had been received by the agency's servers timely; even if it had been late, the FAR's "government control" exception applied; and, in any event, the "mail storm" was an "emergency or unanticipated event" which entitled the contractor to a 1-day extension under the FAR.

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