National Defense Advisors, Inc.
B-405741: Dec 13, 2011
- Full Report:
National Defense Advisors, Inc. (NDA), of Fairfax Station, Virginia, protests the decision of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to cancel request for proposals (RFP) No. HHM402-11-R-0235 for an adjunct instructor at DIAs National Defense Intelligence College. NDA also objects to the agencys issuance of a task order to Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. (BAH), of McLean, Virginia, to fulfill the requirement.
We deny the protest.
B-405741, National Defense Advisors, Inc., Dec 13, 2011
Agency had a reasonable basis to cancel solicitation wheresolicitation did not reflect agency's needs and amending the solicitationresulted in a change so substantial that it exceeded what reasonable offerorscould have anticipated.
National Defense Advisors, Inc. (NDA), of Fairfax Station,Virginia, protests the decision of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) tocancel request for proposals (RFP) No. HHM402-11-R-0235 foran adjunct instructor at DIA's National Defense Intelligence College.
On August 18, 2011, the DIA published the solicitation atissue as a total small business set-aside seeking proposals for an adjunctinstructor to teach up to six graduate-level classes per academic year and toadvise at least five thesis students per year at the National DefenseIntelligence College. SolicitationSynopsis at 1. The RFPcontemplated the award of a fixed-price, level-of-effort contract with a 1-yearbase period and four 1-year options.
The day before proposals were due, the contracting officerlearned that the solicitation included an incorrect SOW.
According to NDA, the Dean of the College of StrategicIntelligence informed the company on September 2 that "the original SOW [for abudget courses instructor] had recently been filled by a [BAH] employee . . . ."
On September 13, NDA submitted to DIA a "draft protestletter," in which NDA argued that the new SOW was "diametrically different"from the original one and that it resulted in a "markedly different solicitation."
NDA protests the agency's "gross mismanagement" of thesolicitation and "contract irregularities." Protest at 1. Specifically, NDAargues that the cancellation of the solicitation and the award of a task order toBAH for a budget courses instructor were "improper."
In a negotiated procurement, a contracting agency hasbroad discretion in deciding whether to cancel a solicitation, and need onlyestablish a reasonable basis for doing so. Trujillo/AHW, JV, B-403958.4, Oct. 13, 2011, 2011 CPD ¶ 218 at 3;USA Elecs., B-283269.2,Oct. 5, 1999, 99-2 CPD ¶ 67 at 3. Areasonable basis to cancel exists when, for example, an agency determines thata solicitation does not accurately reflect its needs, Logistics SolutionsGroup, Inc., B-294604.7, B-294604.8, July 28, 2005, 2005 CPD ¶ 141 at 3, orwhere the agency determines that it no longer has a requirement for the itemsolicited. Peterson-NunezJoint Venture, B-258788, Feb. 13, 1995, 95-1 CPD ¶ 73 at 4.
Here, the agency's decision to cancel the solicitation wasreasonable. The DIA mistakenly included inthe RFP the SOW seeking an instructor to teach budget courses, and thatrequirement had already been met under a previously issued task order toBAH. Consequently, the agency no longerhad a requirement for the work being solicited. Instead, the college needed an instructor with "vastly differenteducation, experience, and subject matter qualifications" to teach cybercourses. AR at 3.
Next, NDA argues that the task order to BAH was an"improper conversion of small business set-aside work to a large businessconcern." Protest at 3.
Here, NDA was informed on September 2 that the SOW for thebudget courses instructor "had recently been filled" by a BAH employee.
The protest is denied.
Lynn H. Gibson