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In this respect, if it were to make a new award decision when convenient and delay performance until the fire season, then the agency would be obligating itself to procure 33 aircraft for day periods for the fire season. We recognize that the contractors would prefer this compromise; however, the agency understandably asserts that this is a "materially different bargain that the Agency does not wish to undertake. We see nothing improper with the agency's explanation in this regard. In addition, as the agency notes, it was under no obligation to exercise the options or issue any orders above the mandatory minimum.

The fact that the contracts, with all options exercised, would have covered a 5-year period does not demonstrate that the cancellation was not justified. Lastly, to be clear, nothing in the record supports Evergreen's assertion that the cancellation was a pretext to avoid awarding the firm a contract.

On the contrary, the contracting officer notes that Evergreen is considered a "capable, qualified contractor" and that the agency "would have been happy to make award to Evergreen if such an award were deemed to be in the government's best interests.

The contracting officer further explains that the agency has worked with Evergreen for "many years" and DOI anticipates that Evergreen will receive orders under its on-call contract this summer. Absent anything in the record to support Evergreen's charge, and given that government officials are presumed to act in good faith, we find that the allegation of animus or bias is unsupported and, thus, unmeritorious. See Inalab Consulting, Inc. In sum, the record confirms that the agency's decision to cancel the solicitation was prompted by Evergreen's supplemental protest.

Nevertheless, in light of the time-sensitive nature of the required fire suppression support services, the RFP's restrictive minimum guarantee that would prove difficult for DOI to meet if it were to conduct a reevaluation of proposals , and the fact that another contract vehicle was available for the agency to acquire SEAT aircraft for the fire season, we find that the cancellation was reasonable based on the justifications advanced by the agency.

Henry's Aerial Service, Inc. In a negotiated procurement, such as this one, a contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation. Moreover, an agency may cancel a solicitation regardless of when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises. This is so, even when the cancellation occurs during the pendency of a protest.

Where, as here, a protester argues that the agency's rationale for cancellation is but a pretext--that is, that the agency's actual motivation is to avoid awarding a contract on a competitive basis or to avoid resolving a protest--we will examine the reasonableness of the agency's actions in canceling the procurement. Nevertheless, the reasonableness standard applicable to cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged.

The DoS explains that, as a result of Tien Walker's earlier protest to our Office, the agency was required to stay contract award and performance, in accordance with applicable procurement regulations.

Consequently, even if Tien Walker's earlier protest had been denied, the contractor would not be able to complete the first survey wave prior to Ramadan. As the contracting officer further explains,. Winter weather conditions make face-to-face fieldwork more challenging from late October and onward.

The Government typically conducts each [survey] wave six months [sic] apart. If we were to conduct the waves to [sic] close together, it is unlikely that the publics' [sic] attitudes have changed dramatically in such a short span with the exception of any major events. We find that DOS's rationale for cancelling the solicitation was not a pretext to avoid awarding a contract on a competitive basis or to avoid resolving a protest, as Tien Walker surmises.

Rather, the record reflects that Tien Walker's earlier protest--and the attendant stay of contract award and performance--caused the agency's requirements to change.

Consequently, the contractor would not be able to complete the first wave of fieldwork prior to Ramadan, and two waves of fieldwork, properly spaced apart, prior to the Afghan winter season. In sum, as the agency's public opinion survey requirements could not be achieved in the necessary timeframe, and had therefore changed, the agency had a reasonable basis to cancel its solicitation. Tien Walker contends that the agency cannot argue that the time has passed to satisfy the requirement thereby justifying cancellation , but simultaneously also claim a need to resolicit for the same requirement.

In Walker Development, we found the agency failed to produce a report that coherently addressed the agency's rationale for the cancellation of the solicitation, and therefore concluded that the record did not establish that the agency had a reasonable basis for its solicitation cancellation. We find Tien Walker's reliance on our Walker Development decision to be misplaced, as the facts in the current protest are inapposite to those in the cited decision.

Here, there is nothing inconsistent or conflicting about the agency's rationale for the cancellation of the solicitation. As detailed above, DoS reasonably determined that its needs for a current Afghan public opinion survey could not be achieved in the necessary timeframe and had therefore changed.

The agency also simultaneously decided to conduct market research to guide its future procurements for such services. No contract will be awarded from this announcement. This request for capability information does not constitute a request for proposals. Likewise, the agency's decision to plan for possible future Afghan public opinion survey requirements does not alter the fact that the present Afghan public opinion survey requirement had changed.

There is simply no requirement, as the protester suggests, that the agency amend a solicitation that no longer reflects its requirements, only so as to leave it open indefinitely for possible future needs. Our Office requested that the agency respond to the comments. With the May 1 letter, the agency provided what it asserted was the version of these documents that existed at the time of the source selection decisions.

On May 25, we issued a Hearing Notice that stated, among other things: GAO will conduct a hearing in connection with the above-referenced protests; that hearing will begin at 9: On May 26, the agency advised our Office that it intended to take corrective action by terminating all of the contract awards and cancelling the procurement.

In its notice of corrective action, the agency discussed its post-award alterations of the record, and the impact of those actions on the integrity of the procurement, as follows: DHS has previously acknowledged that documents had been created after award, specifically additional price realism memoranda and a memorandum detailing the methodology it used to evaluate price realism, and changed documents after award, specifically the Technical Evaluation Report TER and BVTA.

Given the additions and the changes to documents after award, which DHS had previously submitted to [the] Government Accountability Office GAO as representative of the record at the time of award. Agency Motion to Dismiss, May 27, , at DHS has determined that the evaluation criteria and adjectival ratings did not permit evaluators to reasonably evaluate the offerors and assign appropriate ratings based upon the evaluation criteria.

This is partially due to the adjectival ratings that were used, but also due to the evaluation process used to evaluate and assess offerors during the technical challenge exercises.

The methodology by which the price evaluation team evaluated price realism is not identified in the PER. Nor is it evident in the PER itself what DHS reviewed and evaluated to determine whether prices were reasonable and realistic.

The inclusion of these additional required services would require a significant change to what information offerors would be required to provide and how DHS would evaluate offerors. A reasonable basis to cancel a solicitation exists when, for example, an agency determines that the solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs.

Accordingly, the protests are dismissed. The protester recognizes that, in a negotiated procurement, an agency may cancel an existing solicitation where it has a reasonable basis for doing so, see, e. There is no additional explanation regarding the reasonableness of the cancellation. Rather, as stated above, the agency submitted undated statements from its contract specialist that provided conflicting rationales for the cancellation. Our Office afforded the agency numerous opportunities to provide its rationale for the cancellation, of which the agency failed to avail itself.

In the absence of an adequate agency record to support its actions, and in the absence of any reasonable explanation for its actions, we are left with no option but to make an adverse inference in this matter. See Superlative Technologies, Inc. We therefore conclude that the record here does not establish that the agency had a reasonable basis for the cancellation of the solicitation and sustain the protest.

Regarding the alleged award of a contract to Railroad Cleaners, it appears that the agency was using FAR clause Test Systems Associates, Inc.

In this regard, the agency never addressed our concern that the solicitation number for the cancelled solicitation, and the solicitation number for the contract awarded to Railroad Cleaners, were identical. To date, the agency has provided no information regarding the contract with Railroad Cleaners, leaving the record unclear about what the agency did, or why. Therefore, we also sustain this basis of protest. We sustain this protest because the record fails to demonstrate that the agency had a reasonable basis for cancelling the solicitation or for extending the period of performance for the contract of Railroad Cleaners.

We also recommend that Walker be reimbursed the reasonable costs of filing and pursuing the protest. A reasonable basis to cancel exists when, for example, an agency determines that a solicitation has been drafted without sufficiently detailed evaluation criteria to permit a fair and equal evaluation of all quotations.

Notwithstanding such closer scrutiny, however, and even if it can be shown that personal animus or pretext may have supplied at least part of the motivation to cancel the procurement, the reasonableness standard applicable to the cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged. Memorandum of Law MOL at 7.

Medfinity asserts that this establishes that the agency has no intention of resoliciting the requirement. In light of this, HHS was not able to use the existing RFQ to evaluate vendors in a fair or equal manner in order to meet its needs. Accordingly, we cannot conclude that the decision to cancel the solicitation was unreasonable or was made on the basis of pretext. Inalab also alleges that the cancellation is unreasonable because DOI has failed to demonstrate that in-house performance would result in cost savings and efficiencies as compared with award under the solicitation.

As a general rule, our Office does not review agency decisions to cancel procurements and instead perform the work in-house, since such decisions are a matter of executive branch policy. Here, the agency states that, during the pendency of the protest, it determined that it could perform the requirement with government employees.

In this respect, the agency explained that: On or around May 18, ,[6] FMD learned that consulting-type services from Oracle are available under previously-purchased [. Through these available services, Oracle will provide advice regarding the best use and configuration of the licensed software within the FMD environment at no additional cost.

Once the in-house expertise and existing support from Oracle was discovered, FMD began exploring the potential benefits to performing the required need exclusively with in-house resources. On or about May 23, , the Agency preliminarily determined that existing resources could, in fact, be leveraged by utilizing the aforementioned GS level employee full time, an existing GS level employee full time, an existing GS level employee part time and an existing GS level employee as needed.

Leveraging the services available under the previously purchased Oracle licenses also allows FMD to eliminate some degree of waste by fully utilizing an existing resource that has already been paid for. The record shows that, in response to the protest, the agency began an internal inquiry for an alternate method of accomplishing the work. A contracting agency need only establish a reasonable basis to support a decision to cancel an RFQ.

A reasonable basis to cancel exists when, for example, an agency determines that a solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs. In any event, to the extent the protester argues that the newly-discovered in-house capability constitutes a new basis for cancelling the solicitation that was not identified until after the solicitation had been cancelled, our Office has held that a new or additional rationale justifying the cancellation of a solicitation provided by an agency during the development of a protest is acceptable so long as it would have supported cancellation had it been advanced originally.

In this regard, an agency may properly cancel a solicitation no matter when the information supporting the cancellation first surfaces or should have been known, even if the solicitation is not cancelled until after proposals have been submitted and evaluated, or even if discovered during the course of a protest.

Government officials are presumed to act in good faith and, where a protester contends that contracting officials are motivated by bad faith, it must provide convincing proof; our Office will not attribute unfair or prejudicial motives to procurement officials on the basis of inference and supposition. Although the agency did not discover its in-house capabilities until after the procurement was protested, the record does not provide convincing proof that that the agency acted in bad faith.

See Mastery Learning Sys. In a negotiated procurement, such as this one, a contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation, and need only establish a reasonable basis for doing so.

An agency properly may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises, even if it is not until offers have been submitted and evaluated.

Notwithstanding such closer scrutiny, however, the reasonableness standard applicable to the cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged.

The agency argues that its choice of corrective action i. As a general rule, agencies have broad discretion to take corrective action where the agency has determined that such action is necessary to ensure fair and impartial competition.

The details of implementing the corrective action are within the sound discretion and judgment of the contracting agency, and we will not object to any particular corrective action, so long as it is appropriate to remedy the concern that caused the agency to take corrective action. Where an agency discovers that a solicitation is vague or ambiguous as to how the procurement will be conducted, a proper remedy is the cancellation and reissuance of the solicitation.

Further, we have recognized that the possibility that a contract may not have been awarded based on a fair determination of the most advantageous proposal has a more harmful effect on the integrity of the competitive procurement system than does the possibility that the original awardee will be at a disadvantage in a reopened procurement because its price has been exposed. Further, as Sealift was not the original awardee for this procurement and its price was not exposed, Sealift is not at a competitive disadvantage in the reopened procurement.

The agency explains how it determined that the RFP was ambiguous as to the tiered evaluation. In this regard, the agency intended that the tiered evaluation would only be conducted based on the initial proposals. Consequently, the agency did not relook its unrestricted competition decision after receipt of FPRs, even though there existed two or more small business proposals that were technically acceptable, and competitive in terms of price, quality, and delivery.

The solicitation, however, was silent as to when and how the agency would conduct its tiered evaluation of offers. Having found that the procedures set forth in the RFP for making the tiered evaluation decision were ambiguous, the contracting officer determined that the solicitation required correction. In light of the passage of time--the RFP was issued in January 22, , with a closing date of March the contracting officer determined that the appropriate remedy was cancelling and reissuing rather than amending the earlier solicitation.

Under the circumstances, we conclude that the agency reasonably determined that it should cancel the RFP and resolicit after clarifying its tiered evaluation process. The protest is denied. A reasonable basis for cancellation exists and cancellation is appropriate when none of the proposals received were evaluated as technically acceptable. A determination of price reasonableness is a matter of agency discretion, involving the exercise of business judgment, which our Office will not question unless it is shown to be unreasonable.

In determining price reasonableness, an agency may consider a number of factors, including prior contract history and the government estimate. We find the cancellation here was reasonable. As discussed above, none of the proposals received were technically acceptable and therefore all were ineligible for award. We recognize that Precise Management generally disagrees with the evaluation of its proposal under the technical experience subfactor, nonetheless, we need not resolve this issue since the record reflects that the agency also found the proposed prices unreasonable.

According to the agency, many of the contract line items under the incumbent contract had maximum dollar values that were never utilized. For the reasons discussed below, we find no basis to sustain the protest. The standards differ because, in procurements using sealed bids, competitive positions are exposed as a result of the public opening of bids, while in negotiated procurements there is no public opening. See Noelke GmbH, B The record shows that the agency is considering whether the cleaning and janitorial services required under the soliciation should have be procured from an AbilityOne vendor.

Contracting Officer Statement at 1. Additionally, the contracting officer states that the cancellation of the RFQ was reasonable because vendors were mislead by inaccurate information in the solicitation regarding the square footage required to be cleaned by the vendor. Here, we note that the record contains evidence that the integrity of the procurement system would be prejudiced if the RFQ were not cancelled.

Integrity National Corporation B In a negotiated procurement such as this one, the contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation and need only have a reasonable basis for doing so. A reasonable basis also exists when an agency determines it needs to revise evaluation standards in order to ensure a fair and equal competition.

In addition, the prospect of increased competition and the lower prices which often result generally provides a reasonable basis for an agency to cancel a solicitation. So long as there is a reasonable basis for doing so, an agency may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises, even if it is not until offers have been submitted and evaluated. Where the record reflects that there was a reasonable basis to cancel the solicitation, we will not find that the agency abused its discretion, even though it could have taken a different course by amending the solicitation.

See AR, Tab E. In this regard, as explained during testimony provided by the contracting officer, the RFP failed to provide for a meaningful evaluation of usability. CO Statement at See Global Solutions Network, Inc. CUI asserts that the cancellation of the RFP was a pretext to avoid making award to it, the only offeror. A procuring agency has broad authority to cancel an RFP and needs only a reasonable basis to do so.

The prospect of increased competition and the lower prices which often result generally provides a reasonable basis for an agency to cancel a solicitation. A reasonable basis to cancel also exists when an agency determines that a solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs. Further, as long as there is a reasonable basis for doing so, an agency may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises, even if it is not until offers have been submitted and evaluated.

Notwithstanding such scrutiny, however, the reasonableness standard applicable to cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged. In this regard, the contracting officer refers to a teleconference on October 30, after the closing date, in which the contracting officer, contract specialist, and agency program officials participated.

The contemporaneous record indicates that the following points were made during the teleconference: No award can be made based on the results of the solicitation. Phase-in period established on the PWS [Performance Work Statement] would assist new contractor in taking on new consolidated requirement. Inclusion of workload data could assist offerors in contract pricing.

Number of years of experience for the various positions was excessive. As noted, the possibility of increased competition generally provides a reasonable basis for an agency to cancel a solicitation.

Here, the record indicates that the agency concluded that revision of certain solicitation requirements could lead to increased competition. COS at 2; Teleconference Notes, at 2. While the protester asserts that the cancellation was pretextual and was part of a scheme to steer the award of this requirement to a favored vendor, the fact that only a single proposal was received supports the agency concern that the solicitation may have been unduly restrictive of competition.

In these circumstances, we conclude that the protester has not shown that cancellation of the RFP was improper. Contracting officers in negotiated procurements have broad discretion to take corrective action where the agency determines that such action is necessary to ensure a fair and impartial competition.

We generally will not object to the specific corrective action, so long as it is appropriate to remedy the concern that caused the agency to take corrective action. Notwithstanding such scrutiny, and even if it can be shown that pretext may have in part motivated the cancellation of the solicitation, the reasonableness standard applicable to cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged. Further, if a reasonable basis exists to cancel a solicitation, an agency may cancel the solicitation regardless of when the information first surfaces or should have been known, even if the solicitation is not canceled until after proposals have been submitted and evaluated, or even if discovered during the course of a protest.

These statements are consistent with the contemporaneous intra-agency e-mails discussed above. Thus, it appears from the record that at the time that the contracting officer decided to take corrective action, her sole basis for doing so was her belief that our Office had informed the headquarters attorney through outcome prediction that the protest would be sustained. This belief, however, was not based in fact. Rather, it was based on incorrect information provided by the headquarters attorney.

Nevertheless, for the reasons discussed below, we believe it is not appropriate to sustain this protest. Thus, the record reflects that as part its corrective action, the agency initiated a review into whether there was an error in the procurement--namely, whether the market research underlying the decision to withdraw the set-aside was inaccurate.

Further, as stated above, the contracting officer has not yet made a decision about whether this procurement should be set aside, and the solicitation has not been reissued. Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. Although an invitation for bids may only be cancelled after bid opening for compelling reasons, see FAR National Conference Services, Inc.

In this regard, so long as there is a reasonable basis for doing so, an agency may cancel an RFQ no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises, even if quotations have been submitted and evaluated.

The agency therefore asked one of the manufacturers, Eaton, whether the part was made of materials subject to degradation. Eaton informed DLA that its approved hose assembly contains rubber hose and Nitrile couplings that degrade over time, and that the hose assembly had a shelf life of 32 quarters, or 8 years.

For example, WKF argues that the agency did not consider the shelf-life issue until after it had canceled the solicitation.

We need not consider this issue, since an agency may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises; the issue remains whether agency had a reasonable basis to do so. See Quality Technology, Inc. The Coast Guard also contends that cancellation of the solicitation was proper because the SOW was so confusing that only an incumbent contractor would have been able to understand all of the requirements.

Under FAR subpart 8. Where an agency concludes that cancellation is warranted on the basis of ambiguous or inadequate specifications, our Office will not disturb that determination unless it is shown to be arbitrary, capricious, or not supported by substantial evidence. The record shows that the cancellation of the solicitation occurred under a very unusual set of facts.

Rather, the record indicates that the agency intends to refine the SOW and the solicitation to increase the likelihood that vendors other than the incumbent can prevail in this competition. That is, the record demonstrates that the TET and the CO were unable to agree on an interpretation of the solicitation that would allow the agency to evaluate proposals.

Three times the TET evaluated proposals and selected the incumbent. Strategic Technology Institute, Inc. The protesters assert that the changes made to the solicitation by amendments and are so substantial that the agency must cancel the solicitation and issue a new one to afford all potential offerors, including them, an opportunity to compete for the contract.

As discussed below, we find the agency reasonably decided to amend, rather than cancel and reissue, the solicitation. If, in the judgment of the contracting officer,. Our review of agency decisions about whether an amendment to a solicitation requires cancellation is limited to whether the exercise of agency discretion is reasonable.

See Government Contract Servs. The protesters assert that the changes made to the RFP and PWS by amendments and are so substantial[3] that the agency is required to cancel the solicitation.

The protesters argue that the substantiality of these revisions are demonstrated by the fact that the amendment requires the resubmission of new technical and price volumes, not just changed pages, and replaces the previous PWS in its entirety with a new PWS.

The agency asserts that the changes are minor, and simply highlight or clarify requirements already in the original solicitation. In its response to the protests, the agency provides point by point refutations as to why the changes to the solicitation and PWS are not substantial. Although we do not address each change to the solicitation, we have reviewed all of the arguments raised by the protesters and find no basis to sustain the protest. Prior to the issuance of the amendment, an offeror questioned whether the weights listed in the sample price table were used during the evaluation.

The agency explains that it amended the RFP because it did not intend to use these weights during its evaluation. The agency explains that this change is not substantial because the life cycle cost information was included in the original PWS requirements, and the Agency was required by regulation to consider it during its evaluation.

Next, with regard to the revisions to the PWS, the agency explains that it replaced the original October 25, , PWS in its entirety with the revised PWS in order to avoid confusion by the offerors.

The agency explains that the changes to the PWS either involve clarifying or adding illustrative examples and references about requirements already included in the previous PWS. As for the change in the minimum guaranteed dollar value, the agency explains that this adjustment was based on a change in the anticipated amount of two-story shelters to be delivered under Delivery Order , from shelters to 80 shelters.

The protesters do not explain why any of the changes to the RFP and PWS were substantial, or even how the changes altered the requirement in any way. As discussed above, the FAR requires a contracting officer to consider whether the amendment is so substantial as to exceed what prospective offerors reasonably could have anticipated, so that additional sources likely would have submitted offers had the substance of the amendment been known to them.

As the agency notes, amendments and merely clarify requirements already in the initial solicitation, and the magnitude of the changes are not beyond what reasonably could have been anticipated. While amendment required offerors to submit new technical and price proposals, and involved replacing the previous PWS with a revised PWS, as well as implemented other revisions, the fact of revision, in itself, is not the prerequisite under the regulation which requires cancellation of the solicitation and reprocurement.

Rather, the magnitude of the change in relation to the original RFP governs whether a solicitation should be canceled and reissued. See Alamo Aircraft Supply, Inc. After conducting discussions with vendors, including VSI, the agency requested the submission of final proposal revisions by March 7, In a negotiated procurement, the contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation and need only have a reasonable basis for doing so.

If a reasonable basis exists to cancel a solicitation, an agency may cancel the solicitation regardless of when the information first surfaces or should have been known, even if the solicitation is not cancelled until after proposals have been submitted and evaluated. Cancellation of a solicitation is appropriate where an agency finds that its needs are no longer accurately reflected by a request for proposals.

Here, the record indicates that before the agency could issue an award under RFTCP , agency personnel were told to look for ways to reduce costs in light of the budget sequestration, effective March 1, , reducing available funding for the government.

However, since the agency was not yet prepared to perform the services in-house, it issued an interim 4-month task order to BAH to perform the services while they were being transitioned. In sum, the record indicates that budget constraints led the agency to determine that a different, less costly approach to providing the required EITC support services was necessary. In this regard, a contracting agency has the right to cancel a solicitation when sufficient funds are not available.

Specialized Steel Contractors, Inc. Vinculum argues that the agency did not have to cancel RFTCP based on budgetary reasons because it could have used the money that is funding the 4-month task order issued to BAH to fund a task order issued under RFTCP for the remainder of the fiscal year. RFTCP , however, provided for issuance of a task order with a 1-year base period and 4 option years.

Thus, it would have been improper for the agency to issue a task order under RFTCP with the intent of limiting performance to the end of the fiscal year, a period of just more than 5 months. Specifically, an agency may not award a contract or task order with the intent to materially alter it after award. In a negotiated procurement, such as the one here, a contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation and need only establish a reasonable basis for doing so.

As discussed above, the solicitation contemplated a lease for office space of 3, to 3, usable square feet. As also discussed above, after the solicitation was issued, FPD reduced its space requirement to 2, usable square feet. Where space requirements decrease from those specified in an SFO, cancellation rather than award for the original amount of square footage under the SFO generally is appropriate.

Comments on Agency Report at , ; Comments on Supp. The record shows that FPD decided to reduce its space requirement to 2, usable square feet, which, as discussed above, is significantly less than the 3, to 3, range of usable square feet listed in the solicitation. The contemporaneous record does not include details of the precise reasons for the reduction in space.

However, the contracting officer states that on or about July 25, , an FPD representative informed her via telephone that the reduction was due to budgetary constraints. The record supports this insofar as it shows that a conference call between the contracting officer and FPD representatives was scheduled for July 24, and that on July 25 the contracting officer sent an e-mail to an FPD representative requesting confirmation of the 2, usable square foot requirement.

The record also shows that after an FPD-internal e-mail exchange, the FPD representative sent an e-mail to the contracting officer on August 2 confirming the 2, usable square foot requirement. Finally, after this protest was filed, FPD submitted to GSA a standard request-for-space worksheet that listed its space requirement as 2, usable square feet.

The Coffelts also argue that GSA canceled the solicitation to avoid contracting with them. Comments on Agency Report at ; Comments on Supp.

Contracting Officer Statement at Comments on Agency Report at 18; Comments on Supp. Contracting Officer Statement at , 6. Where a reasonable basis exists to cancel a solicitation, an agency properly may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first surfaces or should have been known, even if the solicitation is not canceled until after proposals have been submitted and evaluated and protesters have incurred costs in pursuing the award.

As discussed above, the record shows that FPD reduced its space requirement such that cancellation of the solicitation was reasonable. The Coffelts also complain that although GSA asserts that the special requirements include compliance with the United States Marshals Service and United States Courts Design Guide publications, GSA is unable to cite any specific requirement within either publication that will apply to the leased space.

Comments on Amended Supp. However, the solicitation did not include the specific details of a number of the security-related special requirements, and it did not incorporate the United States Marshals Service publication or the United States Courts Design Guide.

Latvian initially asserted that the agency improperly failed to post the solicitation on the FedBizOpps website; provide offerors with drawings, specifications, and an opportunity for a site visit; and provide an adequate solicitation response time.

Protest at 1, Further, where a valid basis for cancellation exists, an agency properly may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first surfaces or should have been known. The agency has demonstrated that the cancellation occurred after the agency identified flaws in the solicitation that reasonably could be expected to limit competition.

More specifically, after Latvian filed its initial protest, the contracting officer concluded that the four-day period during which the solicitation was inaccessible may have prevented potential offerors from having sufficient time to respond to the solicitation and that the agency would be unable to process site visit registrations in time for the site visit.

Latvian itself argued in its initial protest that a longer solicitation response time and a site visit were necessary for adequate proposal preparation. Protest at 1, 8; Comments at 4. Kingdomware contends that cancellation of the RFQ was not reasonable, because the RFQ did provide the salient characteristics, which Kingdomware states it satisfies. Failure of a solicitation to list the salient characteristics of the desired item improperly restricts competition by precluding potential offerors of equal products from determining what characteristics are considered essential for its item to be accepted; hence, cancellation of the solicitation is warranted.

Kingdomware also contends that VA is biased in favor of the brand name such that other products will not be fairly considered. See Comments at There is no merit to these arguments. We will not attribute unfair or prejudicial motives to procurement officials on the basis of inference or supposition.

Because the RFQ failed to state salient characteristics that equal products must meet, VA had reasonable basis to cancel the solicitation. The protester contends that the solicitation was an IFB that provided for award to the lowest-priced bidder. Kingdomware argues that the cancellation of the solicitation was improper because Kingdomware is ready and able to provide the services according to the material specifications of the solicitation.

Memorandum of Law at 2. The standards for canceling a solicitation after receipt of bids or quotations differ. However, an agency must have a cogent and compelling reason to cancel an IFB after the receipt of sealed bids. Although the procurement here most closely resembles a negotiated competition, we conclude that cancellation of the solicitation was proper even under the more stringent standard applicable to cancellation of IFBs after bid opening.

As the Army notes, the solicitation did not clearly apprise vendors whether the procurement was being conducted on a sealed bid or negotiated procurement basis. It also did not advise vendors of the basis upon which their submissions would be evaluated, which we have found to be a fundamental requirement. Kingdomware Technologies , B See Bid Protest Regulations, 4.

We will, however, review the propriety of a contract termination where it flows from a defect that the contracting agency perceived in the award process. In such cases, we examine the award procedures that underlie the termination action for the limited purpose of determining whether the initial award was improper and, if so, whether the corrective action taken is proper.

Although AMH contends that the agency should have waived the U. Disputes concerning application of the Cargo Preference Act and waiver of that Act are subject to the Contract Disputes Act of , and are properly before boards of contract appeals and the United States Court of Federal Claims. American Material Handling, Inc. MedVet raises numerous arguments objecting to the cancellation of the SFO.

Specifically, MedVet complains that the missing requirements in the SFO do not provide a reasonable basis for the cancellation because MedVet provided for these requirements in its proposal. MedVet also contends that the deficiencies in the SFO cited by the agency do not exist or constitute, at best, minor deficiencies.

In a negotiated procurement, a contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation, and need only establish a reasonable basis for doing so. Logistics Solutions Group, Inc. It is a fundamental obligation under the Competition in Contracting Act of that agencies obtain full and open competition, both to ensure that a procurement is open to all responsible sources and to provide the government with the opportunity to receive fair and reasonable prices.

Although the VA only fully explained the basis of this concern in response to our inquiries after the agency had filed its report in response to the protest, we do not agree with MedVet that this was not a valid concern. The record also shows that the SFO did not adequately address a number of agency requirements. Rather, MedVet argues, as it has throughout its protest, that VA has no basis to cancel the SFO where the protester otherwise [deleted].

The fact that MedVet may have [Deleted] misses the point. It is fundamental that offerors must be advised of the basis upon which their proposals will be evaluated. A solicitation that does not set forth a common basis for evaluating offers, which ensures that all offerors are on notice of the requirements for award and can compete on an equal basis, is materially defective. Therefore, it is necessary for the sake of fair and equal treatment of all offerors that the solicitation contain the same requirements, so that their proposals are evaluated using the same criteria.

We conclude that the cancellation was reasonable, and that re-solicitation is justified. Cancellation of a solicitation is appropriate where an agency finds that its needs are no longer accurately reflected by an RFP, such as when there is a significant reduction in the anticipated workload. Here, the record establishes a reasonable basis for the cancellation of the solicitation.

In addition, the agency states that greater reporting requirements and additional performance measures, such as response time, vacancy reports and customer service, are necessary and will be included in the new solicitation. While BCA disagrees and suggests that the cancellation was a pretext not to make award to BCA, the record shows that the agency had a reasonable basis for cancelling the RFTOP because of the significant reduction in level of effort based on the budget reductions and the other changes in its requirements.

Business Computer Applications, Inc. A procuring agency has broad authority to cancel a solicitation issued under negotiated procedures and need only establish a reasonable basis for cancellation.

If an agency cannot purchase at a fair and reasonable price, as required by the FAR, then cancellation is warranted. Further, the contracting officer considered other factors that could affect the price of the services being procured, such as the location of the games and local prices for gasoline and driving services. As a result of his analysis, the contracting officer concluded that adequate price competition did not exist and that award could not be made at a reasonable price.

Contracting officials in negotiated procurements have broad discretion to take corrective action where the agency determines that such action is necessary to ensure fair and impartial competition. Instead, with respect to proposal evaluation and award, the solicitation provided as follows: The following factors shall be used to evaluate offers: We agree with the agency that the language used in the solicitation appears to indicate that the contract would be awarded on the basis of the best value to the government.

Specifically, when a solicitation indicates that an award will be made based on what is most advantageous to the government, and lists factors in descending order of importance, it generally indicates that the agency plans to make award on a best value basis. Since the agency intended to award the contract on the basis of the lowest priced, technically acceptable offer, the agency had a reasonable basis to cancel the solicitation.

In this regard, it is fundamental that vendors should be advised of the basis on which their offers will be evaluated. NDA requests the agency terminate the contract with BAH and award a contract to small business offerors for that work. A reasonable basis to cancel exists when, for example, an agency determines that a solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs, Logistics Solutions Group, Inc.

Moreover, an agency may cancel a solicitation no matter when the information precipitating the cancellation first arises, even if it is not until proposals have been submitted and evaluated. Consequently, the agency no longer had a requirement for the work being solicited. In this regard, replacing the SOW was so substantial a change that it exceeded what potential offerors could have anticipated.

National Defense Advisors, Inc. The protester contends that the agency's decision to cancel the RFP was unreasonable. The protester also argues that it was unreasonable for the agency to compare the offerors' prices to the government estimate or the prior contract price because the agency did not offer a site visit and did not set forth facilities requirements in the RFP. Therefore, the protester claims, offerors were lead to believe that only one facility, owned by National Aviation Services NAS could be used.

If an agency cannot purchase at a "fair and reasonable" price, as required by the FAR, then cancellation is warranted. In this regard, we have found cancellations proper where the protester's price exceeded the government estimate by as little as 7. Based upon our review of the record, there is no basis to find unreasonable the Air Force's determination that none of the prices were fair and reasonable.

As noted above, the agency compared the offerors' prices to the government estimate and the prior contract price. Given that the lowest proposed price exceeded the government estimate by a significant amount, we think the agency could reasonably conclude that the offered prices were not reasonable and that the offerors did not clearly understand the requirements of the RFP. First, KNAPP argues that VA should not have cancelled the solicitation, and should have instead awarded it the contract as the lowest-priced, technically acceptable offeror.

For the reasons discussed below, we conclude that the agency's corrective action was reasonable. Domain Name Alliance Registry, B As a general matter, the details of corrective action taken in response to a protest are within the sound discretion and judgment of the contracting agency.

In response to the instant protest and request for costs, VA has provided additional information concerning its rationale for opting to cancel and resolicit. Agency Response to Request for Costs, June 3, , at 3. Second, the agency states that it concluded that cancellation of the solicitation was necessary because the agency intends to add additional requirements to the TCA system.

Agency Response to Protest B In this regard, VA states that the agency currently uses a manual mail packaging system, and it intends to add the following additional requirements to the TCA procurement: The new solicitation will encompass a fully automated packaging system that conveys completed prescription bottles directly from dispensing automation, prints, folds and inserts requisite patient literature and the prescription bottle into a pouch that meets the requirements of the [U.

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