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Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals Rules That The Refusal To Grant An Extension of A Bid Due Date Is Not A Basis For A Valid Protest or Appeal

In Appeal of Intelect Corp., MSBCA 2905, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals found that the refusal to grant a prospective bidder’s request for an extension of a bid due date deadline is not a basis for a valid protest or appeal.

In this appeal, the Maryland Transit Administration (“MTA”) issued an Invitation for Bids related to a project on the Baltimore Metro Heavy Rail system.  After the issuance of two addendums by the MTA, Appellant Intellect Corporation requested that the advertised due date be extended beyond the due date.    The procurement officer for the MTA informed Intelect that the bid due date and time would not be extended.

As a result of the denial to extend time, Intellect did not submit a bid.  In actuality, only one contractor submitted a bid for the project.  Intelect subsequently filed a bid protest with MTA, which was summarily denied.  An appeal was brought before the MSBCA.  The MSBCA found that the decision to extend the bid deadline falls within the lawful discretion of the agency conduction the procurement solicitation, stating:

It is perfectly fine for appellant there to have requested an extension of time within which Intelect might have been permitted to complete and submit its bid, but that is a far cry from suggesting that the State must bow to such request. 

Additionally, the MSBCA also noted that the appeal was filed by Intelect and not legal counsel, as required by COMAR 21.10.05.03.  The failure to retain counsel for a protest was another grounds for denial of the appeal.  As a practical matter, contractors in Maryland are required to retain counsel when seeking to file an appeal with the MSBCA.

For more information on bid protests and appeals to the MSBCA, contact Michael Siri at (410) 583-2400 or Siri@Bowie-Jensen.com.

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