[Protest of Partial Cancellation of IFB's]

B-207084,B-207377: Sep 20, 1982

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A firm protested the partial cancellation after bid opening of two invitations for bids (IFB) issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) for various quantities of tabulating paper. The protester was the low bidder on several items of both solicitations. At the request of GSA, the protester granted extensions of the bid acceptance periods. Subsequently, GSA determined that it could not use a portion of the items on which the protester was the low bidder, and it canceled the parts of the solicitation relating to those items. GSA later issued an IFB for the same type of paper specified on the canceled portion of one IFB, and it plans to issue a similar solicitation for the type of paper specified on the canceled portion of the other IFB. The protester contended that there was no compelling reason for the GSA failure to award it the contracts and contended that the cancellation was simply a result of a GSA decision to procure on a requirements basis instead of a definite quantity basis. GSA stated that its decision to cancel portions of the solicitations was based on an unanticipated curtailment in demand and a reduction in the amount of storage space available and denied that the cancellation was the result of a change in the procurement method. The protester failed to show that the decision to cancel was arbitrary, capricious, or not supported by evidence. Therefore, GAO concluded that the GSA actions were reasonable and were not taken merely with the intention of changing to a requirements contract. GAO found the protester's suggestion that GSA should have made the awards and later modified the delivery schedules to be improper. The protester also contended that it was improper for GSA to seek extensions of the bid acceptance periods contained in the bids while it was considering canceling the solicitations. GAO found no evidence in the record to indicate that GSA intended to resolicit the requirements when it requested these extensions. GAO saw nothing improper in the agency's actions in this case. Accordingly, the protests were denied.