Protest of IFB Cancellation

B-201688: Jun 15, 1981

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

A firm protested the Army's cancellation of an invitation for bids (IFB) for maintenance services at two recreational areas. Both areas were represented as requiring the same amount of services. The protester submitted the low bid on area No. 1 and the high bid on area No. 2. There was a large variance between the low bids received for each area. After receiving confirmation on area No. 2, award was made on that item. However, after considering the reasons for the large variances between the low bids for each area, the area No. 1 portion of the IFB was canceled due to ambiguous specifications which were to be revised. The protester contended that it should receive the award for area No. 1 since it was was the low, responsive, and responsible bidder on that item and that there was nothing ambiguous about the specifications in the IFB. GAO agreed that ambiguous specifications was a questionable basis for cancellation of the IFB. However, regulations state that a solicitation may be canceled after bid opening if specifications are revised. GAO has held that the need to revise the specifications constitutes a reason for cancellation of an IFB after bid opening. Thus, the Army's cancellation was proper, and the protest Was denied.