Why Delay? Submit Proposals Early


A well-known adage advises: “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable.” Too often, however, this warning goes unheeded by contractors submitting proposals. Despite countless graphic illustrations of the consequences of missed deadlines, contractors continue to submit proposals within minutes of deadlines. Given that agencies, in accordance with FAR 52.215-1(c), will reject late proposals out of hand with very few exceptions, cutting it too close can be a big mistake.

One of these “very few exceptions” is the rule that a late offer:

may be considered for award if the government’s misdirection or improper action was the paramount cause of the late delivery and consideration of the offer would not compromise the integrity of the competitive process.

U.S. Aerospace, B-403464, B-403464.2, October 6, 2010, 2010 CPD ¶ 225. But even here, a contractor’s significant contribution to the lateness of a proposal trumps any erroneous government action and usually results in the rejection of the proposal.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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