B-168562, JAN. 14, 1970

B-168562: Jan 14, 1970

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DENYING PROTEST AGAINST CANCELLATION OF INVITATION AFTER OPENING WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED THAT LOW BID EXCEEDED GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE AND THAT CERTAIN SERVICES SHOULD BE ELIMINATED WAS PROPER. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5. AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 4. THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE OFFER RECEIVED. THE INVITATION WAS CANCELLED. QUOTED AS FOLLOWS: "(B) WHERE IT IS DETERMINED PRIOR TO AWARD BUT AFTER OPENING THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF 1-1203 (RELATING TO THE AVAILABILITY AND IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFICATIONS) HAVE NOT BEEN MET. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS MAY BE CANCELED AFTER OPENING BUT PRIOR TO AWARD WHERE SUCH ACTION IS CONSISTENT WITH (A) ABOVE AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINES IN WRITING THAT.

B-168562, JAN. 14, 1970

BID PROTEST--INVITATION CANCELLATION--JUSTIFICATION DECISION TO ROYAL SERVICES, INC. DENYING PROTEST AGAINST CANCELLATION OF INVITATION AFTER OPENING WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED THAT LOW BID EXCEEDED GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE AND THAT CERTAIN SERVICES SHOULD BE ELIMINATED WAS PROPER. REVIEW OF RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE ANY ABUSE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION.

TO ROYAL SERVICES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1969, CONCERNING YOUR PROTEST UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. N62467-70-C-5517, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL BASE, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF CUSTODIAL SERVICES AT CERTAIN FACILITIES WITHIN THE INSTALLATION.

AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 4, 1969, THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE OFFER RECEIVED. SINCE YOUR BID EXCEEDED THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE FOR THE WORK BY ELEVEN PERCENT AND AS THE ACTIVITY DESIRED TO ELIMINATE THE SERVICES REQUIRED IN TWO OF THE THREE BUILDINGS LISTED IN THE IFB, THE INVITATION WAS CANCELLED, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY SET FORTH IN ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 2-404.1 (B), QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:

"(B) WHERE IT IS DETERMINED PRIOR TO AWARD BUT AFTER OPENING THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF 1-1203 (RELATING TO THE AVAILABILITY AND IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFICATIONS) HAVE NOT BEEN MET, THE INVITATION FOR BIDS SHALL BE CANCELED. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS MAY BE CANCELED AFTER OPENING BUT PRIOR TO AWARD WHERE SUCH ACTION IS CONSISTENT WITH (A) ABOVE AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINES IN WRITING THAT--

(I) INADEQUATE OR AMBIGUOUS SPECIFICATIONS WERE CITED IN THE INVITATION;

(II) SPECIFICATIONS HAVE BEEN REVISED;

(III) THE SUPPLIES OR SERVICES BEING PROCURED ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED;

OPENING OF BIDS AND AWARD OF CONTRACT

(IV) THE INVITATION DID NOT PROVIDE FOR CONSIDERATION OF ALL FACTORS OF COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, SUCH AS COST OF TRANSPORTING GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED PROPERTY TO BIDDERS' PLANTS;

(V) BIDS RECEIVED INDICATE THAT THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE SATISFIED BY A LESS EXPENSIVE ARTICLE DIFFERING FROM THAT ON WHICH THE BIDS WERE INVITED;

(VI) ALL OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE BIDS RECEIVED ARE AT UNREASONABLE PRICES;

(VII) THE BIDS WERE NOT INDEPENDENTLY ARRIVED AT IN OPEN COMPETITION, WERE COLLUSIVE, OR WERE SUBMITTED IN BAD FAITH (SEE 1-111 FOR REPORTS TO BE MADE TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE);

(VIII) FOR OTHER REASONS, CANCELLATION IS CLEARLY IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

"DETERMINATIONS TO CANCEL INVITATIONS FOR BIDS SHALL STATE THE REASONS THEREFOR."

OUR OFFICE AND THE COURTS HAVE HELD THAT THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, AND THAT A REQUEST FOR BIDS DOES NOT IMPORT AN OBLIGATION TO ACCEPT ANY OF THE BIDS RECEIVED, INCLUDING THE LOWEST CONFORMING ONE. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, B-158355, JUNE 22, 1966; PERKINS V. LUKENS STEEL CO; 310 U.S. 113.

WE FIND NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT THE ACTION TAKEN IN CANCELLING THE IFB WAS AN ABUSE OF THIS DISCRETION. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT BOTH UNREASONABLE PRICE AND REDUCED REQUIREMENT FOR THE SERVICES OR SUPPLIES BEING PROCURED ARE CONSIDERED ADEQUATE REASONS FOR CANCELLATION. SEE ASPR 2-404.1 (B).