Protest Against Cancellation of Solicitation is Denied

The GAO denied the protest when the protester challenged the agency’s cancellation of the solicitation.  In a negotiated procurement, a contracting agency has broad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation, and the agency need only establish a reasonable basis for doing so.  A reasonable basis to cancel exists when, for example, an agency determines that a solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs.  Here, the agency has set forth a facially reasonable basis for cancellation — i.e., that its technical needs have changed, increasing beyond what the contract award would have provided, and that the statement of work no longer reflects the government’s needs.

The protester had no facts to dispute the agency’s claims that its needs had changed, but the protester asserted that the cancellation was only a pretext to the agency not having to make an award to the protester.  However, GAO case law recognizes that procurement authorities are presumed to act in good faith.  In order for the GAO to conclude otherwise, the record must show that procuring officials intended to injure the protester.

The protester also asserted that it would be prejudiced by the cancellation because its prices presumably have been exposed.  However, the GAO found no reason to believe the protester’s prices were exposed.  Also, there was no indication that the protester was prejudiced by the cancellation to an extent greater than other offerors.

For these reasons, the GAO denied the protest.

KAES Enterprises, LLC — Protest and Costs, B-402050.4, February 12, 2010.