[Protest of Navy Cancellation of IFB After Bid Opening]

B-216932: Mar 27, 1985

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A firm protested a Navy cancellation of an invitation for bids (IFB) after bid opening, contending that IFB deficiencies the Navy cited as a justification for the cancellation did not constitute a compelling reason to cancel. After holding discussions with the protester, whose low bid seemed excessively low compared to the government's estimate for the work, the Navy cancelled the IFB because the specifications were ambiguous concerning contractor personnel. The protester argued that the defect was minimal, that it could meet the government's minimum needs, and that the proposed requirement exceeded the government's minimum needs. GAO will not question an agency's determination of its minimum needs unless there is a clear showing that the determination had no reasonable basis. In this case, GAO found that the IFB failed to adequately express the Navy's requirements; therefore, since an award would not ensure performance in accordance with the Navy's actual needs, cancellation of the IFB was proper. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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