[Reconsideration of Recommendation To Terminate Contract]

B-208189.3: May 20, 1983

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The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) requested reconsideration of a prior decision regarding its award of a contract for reconstruction of an abandoned strip mine. In that decision, GAO found that SCS improperly canceled a solicitation for the work to be done and sustained a protest against that cancellation. GAO requested that the Secretary of Agriculture issue a stop work order to the current contractor and determine whether the original protester, the low responsive bidder under the canceled solicitation, would be willing to complete the project at its original bid prices. SCS reasons for seeking reconsideration of the decision include: (1) the cost of termination to the Government; (2) other, unpriced impacts of termination; and (3) the protester's apparent refusal to assume the remainder of the work unless it was paid double its original bid price for mobilization. After reviewing the records, GAO modified its recommendation to terminate the contract for the convenience of the Government. GAO stated that its prior decision was correct at the time it was issued; however, due to various delays it was neither practicable nor in the Government's best interest to terminate the existing contract since only 2 weeks worth of work remained. Instead, GAO recommended that the protester be awarded bid preparation costs and that the Secretary of Agriculture take steps to prevent future improper solicitation cancellations.

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