(b) An original, or a photocopy or facsimile of an original, power of attorney is sufficient evidence of such authority.
(c) For purposes of this section, electronic, mechanically-applied and printed signatures, seals and dates on the power of attorney shall be considered original signatures, seals and dates, without regard to the order in which they were affixed.
(d) The contracting officer shall—
(1) Treat the failure to provide a signed and dated power of attorney at the time of bid opening as a matter of responsiveness; and
(2) Treat questions regarding the authenticity and enforceability of the power of attorney at the time of bid opening as a matter of responsibility. These questions are handled after bid opening.
(1) If the contracting officer contacts the surety to validate the power of attorney, the contracting officer shall document the file providing, at a minimum, the following information:
(i) Name of person contacted.
(ii) Date and time of contact.
(iii) Response of the surety.
(2) If, upon investigation, the surety declares the power of attorney to have been valid at the time of bid opening, the contracting officer may require correction of any technical error.
(3) If the surety declares the power of attorney to have been invalid, the contracting officer shall not allow the bidder to substitute a replacement power of attorney or a replacement surety.
(f) Determinations of non-responsibility based on the unacceptability of a power of attorney are not subject to the Certificate of Competency process of subpart 19.6 if the surety has disavowed the validity of the power of attorney.