B-169054, JUNE 11, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 846

B-169054: Jun 11, 1970

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IS NOT AN INDIVISIBLE SOLICITATION. NOR IS THE GOVERNMENT OBLIGED TO MAKE ANY AWARD AND. THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR THE EAST COAST TO THE LOWEST OFFEROR WAS PROPER. EVEN THOUGH THE OFFER EXCEEDED THE PRICE FOR WEST COAST PERFORMANCE AS ADEQUATE COMPETITION HAD BEEN OBTAINED AND NO ABUSE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IS EVIDENCED. ALTHOUGH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE TO AMEND RATHER THAN CANCEL THE RFP. 1970: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER (WITH ENCLOSURES) DATED MARCH 28. WE HAVE RECEIVED ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATTER FROM THE COUNSEL. THE SUBJECT RFP WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 13. A FOOTNOTE THERETO STATED THAT THE SHIPS WERE "LIMITED TO EAST COAST YARDS INCLUDING THE GREAT LAKES AND THE GULF COAST.".

B-169054, JUNE 11, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 846

CONTRACTS -- NEGOTIATION -- CHANGES, ETC. -- WRITTEN AMENDMENT REQUIREMENT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) TO MODERNIZE OCEAN MINESWEEPERS AND MINE HUNTERS THAT CONTEMPLATED A SINGLE CONTRACT OR NOT MORE THAN TWO CONTRACTS, ONE FOR PERFORMANCE ON THE EAST COAST, THE OTHER ON THE WEST COAST, IS NOT AN INDIVISIBLE SOLICITATION, NOR IS THE GOVERNMENT OBLIGED TO MAKE ANY AWARD AND, THEREFORE, CANCELLATION OF THE WEST COAST PORTION OF THE REQUEST FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVISING THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR THE EAST COAST TO THE LOWEST OFFEROR WAS PROPER, EVEN THOUGH THE OFFER EXCEEDED THE PRICE FOR WEST COAST PERFORMANCE AS ADEQUATE COMPETITION HAD BEEN OBTAINED AND NO ABUSE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IS EVIDENCED. HOWEVER, ALTHOUGH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE TO AMEND RATHER THAN CANCEL THE RFP, THE ACTION TAKEN SATISFIED THE AMENDMENT REQUIREMENT OF PARAGRAPH 3 805.1(E) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION, BUT FUTURE RFP REVISIONS SHOULD BE WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE REGULATION.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JUNE 11, 1970:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER (WITH ENCLOSURES) DATED MARCH 28, 1970, FROM THE COMMANDER OF THE NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND (NAVSHIPS), REFERENCE 00J: SBG: GW, N00024-69-R-0638(Q), SER 213, REPORTING ON THE PROTEST BY HARBOR BOAT BUILDING CO. AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO TODD SHIPYARDS CORPORATION ON THE EAST COAST PORTION OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. N00024-69-R-0638 (Q) AND THE CANCELLATION OF THE WEST COAST PORTION THEREOF. WE HAVE RECEIVED ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATTER FROM THE COUNSEL, NAVSHIPS, IN LETTERS (WITH ENCLOSURES) DATED MARCH 31, 1970, AND APRIL 15, 1970, AND FROM THE ACTING COMMANDER, NAVSHIPS, BY LETTER OF MAY 4, 1970.

THE SUBJECT RFP WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 13, 1969, BY NAVSHIPS, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR THE MODERNIZATION AND REPAIR OF 10 OCEAN MINESWEEPERS AND MINE HUNTERS (MSO'S), FISCAL YEAR 1969 PROGRAM, AND FOR THE PREPARATION OF DETAIL WORKING DRAWINGS AND OTHER DATA IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED. ITEM 1 OF THE PROPOSAL SCHEDULE COVERED FIVE MSO'S; A FOOTNOTE THERETO STATED THAT THE SHIPS WERE "LIMITED TO EAST COAST YARDS INCLUDING THE GREAT LAKES AND THE GULF COAST." ITEM 2 RELATED TO FIVE MSO'S WHICH, ALSO BY WAY OF A FOOTNOTE, WERE RESTRICTED TO WEST COAST YARDS INCLUDING HAWAII. ITEM 3 LISTED ALL 10 MSO'S. FOOTNOTE "D," WHICH WAS REFERENCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ALL THREE ITEMS, STATED:

THE GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO AWARD A SINGLE CONTRACT, OR NO MORE THAN TWO CONTRACTS, FOR A TOTAL OF TEN (10) VESSELS. AWARD WILL BE MADE FOR THE TOTAL QUANTITY OF VESSELS EACH IN ITEM 1 AND ITEM 2, OR FOR TEN (10) VESSELS IN ITEM 3. THEREFORE, OFFERORS MUST SUBMIT PRICES FOR ALL ITEMS IN ITEM 1 OR ITEM 2 OR ITEM 3. OFFERORS SUBMITTING A PRICE FOR ITEM 3 MUST ALSO SUBMIT PRICES FOR ITEM 1 AND ITEM 2.

THE LETTER OF MARCH 28 FROM THE COMMANDER, NAVSHIPS, SUMMARIZES THE REMAINDER OF THE HISTORY OF THIS PROCUREMENT IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:

A CONFERENCE OF PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS FOR BOTH THE EAST AND WEST COASTS WAS HELD IN WASHINGTON, D. C. SEPTEMBER 3, 1969. PRIOR TO THE FINAL DATE SET FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS TO AMENDMENTS WERE ISSUED TO THE RFP, P0001 ON SEPTEMBER 11 AND P0002 ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1969. AFTER RECEIPT OF OFFERS FOR BOTH COASTS OCTOBER 13, 1969, DISCUSSIONS WERE CONDUCTED WITH WEST COAST OFFERORS BETWEEN NOVEMBER 12 AND 21, AND WITH EAST COAST OFFERORS BETWEEN NOVEMBER 12 AND 26, 1969. ON NOVEMBER 24, AMENDMENT P0003 (CORRECTED BY MESSAGE OF NOVEMBER 26) NOTIFIED BOTH EAST COAST AND WEST COAST OFFERORS OF THE CLOSING OF NEGOTIATIONS AND CALLED FOR SUBMISSION OF THEIR BEST AND FINAL OFFERS BY DECEMBER 3, 1969, TO BE SUBJECT TO ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 13, 1970 (WHICH DATE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY EXTENDED TO MARCH 13, 1970). A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE MADE BY THIS AMENDMENT, WHICH WILL BE REFERRED TO LATER, WAS THE DELETION OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR REPAIR OF THE FANTAIL DECKING ON THE WEST COAST VESSEL MSO 488. FOR REASONS SET FORTH BELOW, CONTRACT N00024-70-C- 0240 WAS AWARDED FEBRUARY 2, 1970 TO TODD SHIPYARDS CORPORATION, THE LOWEST OFFEROR, FOR THE EAST COAST WORK, AND ON THE SAME DATE THE WEST COAST PROCUREMENT WAS CANCELLED TO BE RESOLICITED AT A LATER DATE AFTER EXTENSIVE REVIEW OF THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS.

THE PROTESTANT HAS ARGUED THAT THE RFP WAS "INDIVISIBLE," AND THAT A CANCELLATION OF THE WEST COAST PORTION TOGETHER WITH AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON THE EAST COAST PORTION WAS IMPROPER AND ILLEGAL. THE PROTESTANT FOCUSES ON THE LANGUAGE OF FOOTNOTE "D," QUOTED ABOVE, IN SUPPORT OF THIS CONTENTION.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE NATURE OF THE PROCUREMENT THAT WOULD REQUIRE EITHER TOTAL CANCELLATION OR AWARD FOR ALL 10 SHIPS WITH NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE EAST COAST WORK AND THE WEST COAST WORK WERE CONSIDERED SUFFICIENTLY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AS TO PERMIT THE AWARD OF TWO SEPARATE CONTRACTS, ONE FOR THE FIVE MSO'S ON THE EAST COAST, THE OTHER FOR THE FIVE WEST COAST MSO'S. IT IS NOT AT ALL INCONCEIVABLE THAT, BUT FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE IN HANDLING THE PROCUREMENT BY WAY OF A SINGLE SOLICITATION, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN TWO SEPARATE RFP'S, ONE FOR EACH COAST.

WE DO NOT READ FOOTNOTE "D" AS REQUIRING THE CONCLUSION URGED UPON US BY THE PROTESTANT. IN OUR VIEW, THE LANGUAGE DOES NO MORE THAN EXPRESS THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENT. IT MERELY EXPLAINS THE POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE AWARDS. HOWEVER, IT IS AXIOMATIC THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S ISSUANCE OF A SOLICITATION DOES NOT IMPORT AN OBLIGATION TO MAKE AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT THEREUNDER. THIS IS SO IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT THE SOLICITATION EXPRESSLY RESERVES TO THE GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT TO REJECT ALL OFFERS. 17 COMP. GEN. 554, AT 559 (1938). HAD NAVSHIPS DESIRED TO NEGATE THIS RIGHT, WE BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD HAVE DONE SO IN SPECIFIC LANGUAGE.

THE ARGUMENT HAS ALSO BEEN ADVANCED THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE AWARD TO TODD SHIPYARDS IS UNCONSCIONABLE AND THAT, IN VIEW OF THE DISPARITY IN PRICE BETWEEN PROTESTANT'S OFFER ON THE WEST COAST PORTION AND THAT OF TODD, NAVSHIPS SHOULD HAVE NEGOTIATED WITH TODD IN ORDER TO SECURE A REDUCTION IN PRICE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT TODD'S PRICE WAS THE LOWEST OF THOSE RECEIVED FOR THE EAST COAST WORK AND BECAUSE ITS PRICE WAS IN LINE WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT TODD'S CONTRACT SPECIFIES AN UNCONSCIONABLE PRICE. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT THE ACCURACY OF THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE MAY BE OPEN TO QUESTION (SEE IN THIS REGARD OUR REPORT TO THE CONGRESS DATED MARCH 19, 1970, ENTITLED "WEAKNESSES IN AWARD AND PRICING OF SHIP OVERHAUL CONTRACTS"), THE RECORD AVAILABLE TO US INDICATES THAT ADEQUATE COMPETITION EXISTED WITH RESPECT TO THE EAST COAST MSO'S. SEE PARAGRAPH 3-807.1(B)(1) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR). INASMUCH AS TODD'S PRICE WAS THE MOST FAVORABLE ONE RECEIVED FOR THE EAST COAST WORK, OUR OFFICE PERCEIVES NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE AWARD MADE TO TODD. PRIMARILY, THE SCOPE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER FOR DISCUSSION WITH AN OFFEROR IN A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION. SEE 49 COMP. GEN. 625 (1970). ON THE RECORD AVAILABLE TO OUR OFFICE, WE CANNOT HOLD THAT SUCH DISCRETION WAS ABUSED BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS OF NAVSHIPS.

THE PRIMARY OBJECTION OF THE PROTESTANT RELATES TO THE PARTIAL CANCELLATION OF THE RFP INSOFAR AS ITEM 2 WAS CONCERNED. THE TEXT OF THE NOTICE RECEIVED BY PROTESTANT ON FEBRUARY 3, 1970, WAS AS FOLLOWS:

*** SUBJECT RFP AS PERTAINS TO MSO HULL NUMBERS 438, 448, 488, 437 AND 490 IS HEREBY CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESOLICITED AT A LATER DATE AFTER AN EXTENSIVE REVISION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS COMPLETED.

WE NOTE THE RECORD CONTAINS IMPUTATIONS OF A LACK OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR PLAY ON THE PART OF THE PROTESTANT. SUCH SUGGESTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AS LENDING SUPPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION TO CANCEL THE WEST COAST PORTION OF THE RFP. WE CAN GIVE NO CREDENCE TO SUCH SUGGESTIONS, FOR THE WRITTEN RECORD IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH A FINDING THAT PROTESTANT'S ACTIONS WERE IMPROPER OR WERE INFLUENCED BY ANY UNSEEMLY MOTIVES. ACCORDINGLY, WE WILL REVIEW THE VALIDITY OF THE CANCELLATION ON THE SOLE BASIS OF THE ASSERTED NEED TO REVISE THE SPECIFICATIONS EXTENSIVELY.

REVISION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN MADE NECESSARY BECAUSE CERTAIN REPAIR WORK (SCHEDULE "B' WORK) REQUIRED BY THE RFP SPECIFICATIONS WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON THE FIVE WEST COAST MSO'S IN THE LAST QUARTER OF 1969. ALL OF THIS WORK WAS PERFORMED BY PROTESTANT UNDER FOUR FORMALLY ADVERTISED PURCHASE ORDERS ISSUED BY LOCAL NAVSHIPS PERSONNEL IN LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. THE COMMANDER OF NAVSHIPS REPORTED IN HIS LETTER OF MARCH 28, 1970, THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS IGNORANT OF THE ISSUANCE AND CONTENT OF THESE FOUR PURCHASE ORDERS UNTIL EARLY JANUARY 1970. PROTESTANT HAS ARGUED VIGOROUSLY AND AT LENGTH THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE AND, IN FACT, DID KNOW OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE FOUR PURCHASE ORDERS AT A MUCH EARLIER DATE. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO RESOLVE THIS FACTUAL DISPUTE BECAUSE THE LEGAL QUESTION INVOLVES THE ADMINISTRATIVE REACTION TO THE ADMITTED FACT THAT CERTAIN WORK COVERED BY SCHEDULE "B" WAS DONE IN LATE 1969. THE DATE WHEN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER LEARNED THIS FACT IS NOT CRITICAL TO THE RESOLUTION OF THIS ISSUE, AS SET OUT BELOW. IN ADDITION, THE MUCH MOOTED POINTS CONCERNING HOW MUCH OF THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED IN 1969 WILL NOT HAVE TO BE PERFORMED AGAIN IN 1970 AND WHETHER THE CHANGES TO THE RFP SPECIFICATIONS OCCASIONED BY THE 1969 REPAIR WORK ARE OF A SUBSTANTIAL NATURE REQUIRE THE APPLICATION OF SPECIAL EXPERTISE AND TECHNICAL JUDGMENT, WHICH OUR OFFICE DOES NOT POSSESS. CONSEQUENTLY, WE WILL DEFER TO THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY, WHICH HAS THE MARINE ENGINEERING SKILL THAT WE LACK. SEE 49 COMP. GEN. 156 (1969), AND B-167213, SEPTEMBER 16, 1969.

THE LEGAL ISSUE PRESENTED BY THIS PROCUREMENT IS WHETHER ANY STATUTE OR REGULATION WAS VIOLATED BY THE CANCELLATION OF THE RFP IN ORDER TO EFFECT CHANGES IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, WHICH CHANGES WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE FROM THE STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENTS CERTAIN ITEMS CONSIDERED BY NAVSHIPS TO BE NO LONGER NECESSARY. IN THIS REGARD, ASPR 3-805.1(E) PROVIDES IN PART:

(E) WHEN, DURING NEGOTIATIONS, A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE OCCURS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS OR A DECISION IS REACHED TO RELAX, INCREASE OR OTHERWISE MODIFY THE SCOPE OF THE WORK OR STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENTS, SUCH CHANGE OR MODIFICATION SHALL BE MADE IN WRITING AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL OR REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS, AND A COPY SHALL BE FURNISHED TO EACH PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR. ***

IN LIGHT OF OUR DECISIONS, B-165933, AUGUST 26, 1969, AND B-165012, OCTOBER 11, 1968, WE MUST RESOLVE THE ISSUE AGAINST THE PROTESTANT. THE FORMER DECISION, TWO OFFERORS SUBMITTED PROPOSALS IN RESPONSE TO AN RFP. PRIOR TO AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT THEREUNDER, THE PROCURING AGENCY DETERMINED THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ITEMS BEING PURCHASED, TO REVISE THE SPECIFICATIONS, TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT FOR FIRST ARTICLE APPROVAL, AND TO ADD A PROVISION FOR QUALIFICATION TESTING. THESE CHANGES WERE EFFECTED BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE RFP. A THIRD SOURCE WAS CONSIDERED CAPABLE OF MEETING THE REVISED TESTING REQUIREMENTS AND WAS ACCORDINGLY PERMITTED TO SUBMIT AN OFFER. UPON RECEIPT OF BEST AND FINAL OFFERS UNDER THE REVISED SOLICITATION, THE NEW OFFEROR SUBMITTED THE LOWEST PRICED PROPOSAL AND AWARD WAS MADE TO THAT COMPANY. THE LOW OFFEROR ON AN INITIAL PROPOSAL BASIS CLAIMED, INTER ALIA, THAT AWARD SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO IT ON THE RFP AS INITIALLY ISSUED. WE HELD THAT THERE WAS AMPLE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FAILURE TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO THE LOW OFFEROR UNDER THE ORIGINAL RFP. IN THE DECISION WE MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS:

IN REVIEW OF THE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THE INCREASED QUANTITY OF COMPRESSORS NEEDED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WOULD HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED IN REJECTING ALL OFFERS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 10(B) OF THE INSTRUCTIONS AND CONDITIONS OF THE RFP AND RESOLICITING PROPOSALS ON THE BASIS OF THE NEW REQUIREMENTS. IN THIS EVENT, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN OBLIGATED TO SOLICIT PROPOSALS FROM THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF QUALIFIED SOURCES, WHICH INCLUDED STEWART-WARNER. ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 3-101 AND 3-102(C). HOWEVER, RATHER THAN CANCELLING THE RFP AND ISSUING A NEW ONE INCORPORATING THE REVISED SPECIFICATIONS AND INCREASED QUANTITY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACCOMPLISHED THE SAME RESULT BY ISSUING AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE RFP AND INVITING PROPOSALS FROM THE THREE FIRMS HE CONSIDERED QUALIFIED SOURCES. IN THIS CONNECTION, ASPR 3- 805.1(E), PROVIDES: ***

IN B-165012, AN RFP WAS ISSUED IN MARCH OF 1968. SIX PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE THERETO, THAT OF THE PROTESTING COMPANY BEING THE LOWEST IN PRICE. THE RESULTS OF THE JULY PREAWARD SURVEY PERFORMED ON THE LOW OFFEROR WERE FAVORABLE. ON AUGUST 9 THE RFP WAS CANCELED AND WAS SUPERSEDED BY A SECOND RFP OF THE SAME DATE. THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN BECAUSE OF A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS. THE GRAVAMEN OF THE PROTEST WAS THAT THERE WAS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL RFP AND THE ISSUANCE OF A SECOND SOLICITATION. WE ADVERTED TO THE PROVISION OF ASPR 3-805.1(E), QUOTED ABOVE. WE THEN STATED:

THERE SHOULD BE NO QUESTION THAT CHANGING THE REQUIREMENTS FROM AN OUTPUT MINIMUM OF 100 TO 197 ENGINES, AND THE POSSIBLE MONTHLY OUTPUT MAXIMUM FROM 65 TO 95 ENGINES, WITH THE BEST ESTIMATED QUANTITY INCREASING FROM 397 TO 697 ENGINES, IS A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENT. THEREFORE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS REQUIRED BY THE CITED ASPR TO AMEND THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS AND FURNISH A COPY TO EACH PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR. B-151886, AUGUST 16, 1963. IN THIS CASE WE SEE NO BASIS FOR CONSIDERING THE CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL SOLICITATION AND THE ISSUANCE OF REPLACEMENT AS DIFFERING IN ANY SUBSTANTIAL OR MATERIAL WAY FROM THE ISSUANCE OF THE SAME REVISED SOLICITATION IN THE FORM OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE ORIGINAL. THE PROTEST WAS ACCORDINGLY DENIED. SEE ALSO, B-164187, JULY 31, 1968, AFFIRMED ON RECONSIDERATION OCTOBER 25, 1968; B- 167545, SEPTEMBER 29, 1969; B-167364, SEPTEMBER 29, 1969; AND B-168000, NOVEMBER 26, 1969. IN CONFORMITY WITH OUR PRIOR EXPRESSIONS, WE MUST REGARD THE NAVSHIPS ACTION IN THIS CASE AS THE SUBSTANTIAL EQUIVALENT OF AN AMENDMENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OF THE RFP, AS PRESCRIBED BY ASPR 3 -805.1(E). WE ARE UNABLE, HOWEVER, TO SEE ANY COMPELLING REASON WHY CANCELLATION WAS CONSIDERED TO BE PREFERABLE TO AMENDMENT OF THE RFP. SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, WE BELIEVE THAT IN THE FUTURE ALL NECESSARY REVISIONS TO RFP'S SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK ESTABLISHED BY ASPR.