B-246668.2, Apr 9, 1992

B-246668.2: Apr 9, 1992

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DIGEST: Protester is not entitled to award of costs of filing and pursuing its protest where. The agency canceled the solicitations and agreed to place delivery orders under the protester's existing contract less than 1 month after the protest was filed. The Navy notified Laidlaw that the requirements under these solicitations "will be placed on delivery order" under Laidlaw's contract. Will be placed on delivery order under that contract with Laidlaw.". This regulatory provision is intended to allow the award of costs when agencies unduly delay taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest. A protester is not entitled to costs where. The Navy promptly initiated an investigation into Laidlaw's protest allegations and took corrective action less than 1 month after the protest was filed.

B-246668.2, Apr 9, 1992

DIGEST: Protester is not entitled to award of costs of filing and pursuing its protest where, in response to a protest challenging the issuance of certain solicitations, the agency canceled the solicitations and agreed to place delivery orders under the protester's existing contract less than 1 month after the protest was filed.

Attorneys

Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.-- Request for Declaration of Entitlement to Costs:

Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. requests that our Office declare the firm entitled to recover the reasonable costs of filing and pursuing its protest in connection with request for quotations (RFQ) Nos. N00221-92-Q- 0555, N00221-91-Q-0621, and N00221-1322-4020, issued by the Department of the Navy for hazardous waste removal at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California.

We deny the request.

Laidlaw's protest, filed November 15, challenged the issuance of the RFQs and argued that the Navy should meet its requirements for the hazardous waste removal in question by placing delivery orders against the protester's requirements contract No. DLA 200-91-D-0082, which encompasses all hazardous waste disposal requirements originating at Mare Island.

The agency acknowledged the validity of Laidlaw's contentions and canceled solicitation N00221-92-Q-0555 on November 26 and solicitations N00221-91-Q-0621 and N00221-1322-4020 on November 27. In addition, by letter dated December 10, the Navy notified Laidlaw that the requirements under these solicitations "will be placed on delivery order" under Laidlaw's contract. The Navy stated that "all future requirements for treatment or disposal of hazardous waste, covered in contract DLA200-91-D- 0082, will be placed on delivery order under that contract with Laidlaw."

On December 5, the protester filed a request with our Office under section 21.6(e) of our revised Bid Protest Regulations, 56 Fed.Reg. 3759 (1991) (to be codified at 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.6(e)), for the costs of filing and pursuing its protest.

Pursuant to these revised regulations, where an agency takes corrective action prior to our issuing a decision on the merits of a protest, we may declare a protester entitled to recover the reasonable costs of filing and pursuing its protest, including attorneys' fees. This regulatory provision is intended to allow the award of costs when agencies unduly delay taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest. Metters Indus., Inc.-- Request for Declaration of Entitlement to Costs, B-240391.5, Dec. 12, 1991, 91-2 CPD Para. 535. A protester is not entitled to costs where, under the facts and circumstances of a given case, an agency takes prompt corrective action in response to the protest. Id.

Here, the Navy promptly initiated an investigation into Laidlaw's protest allegations and took corrective action less than 1 month after the protest was filed. Such action, taken early in the protest process, is precisely the kind of prompt reaction to a protest that our regulation is designed to encourage. Accordingly, Laidlaw's request for declaration of entitlement for costs is denied. Leslie Controls, Inc.-- Claim for Costs, B-243979.2, July 12, 1991, 91-2 CPD Para. 50.