[Protest of Navy IFB Cancellation]

B-216709: May 13, 1985

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A firm protested the Navy's cancellation of a solicitation for torpedo fueling stands after bid opening, contending that the Navy: (1) had not cited a sufficient basis for cancellation; and (2) did not have to cancel the solicitation after discovering that certain specifications were defective, because the defects could have been remedied through negotiations. The Navy cancelled the solicitation because: (1) the quality control requirements of the solicitation were inadequate and could cause Navy personnel to be exposed to unnecessary hazards; (2) the solicitation lacked a first article testing requirement; and (3) there were various deficiencies in the design specifications of the solicitation. GAO held that: (1) the protester had not demonstrated that the Navy's stated need for more stringent quality control requirements was arbitrary or unreasonable; (2) since the need for more stringent quality controls was a valid basis for cancellation, it would not consider whether the other bases for cancellation were adequate; (3) the proposed changes to the solicitation were material and could not have been properly accomplished through negotiations; and (4) while the cancellation was proper, it was concerned that the Navy incurred the expense of conducting a responsibility determination before discovering the defective specifications. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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