[Protests of NPS Cancellation of RFP for Theatre Chairs]

B-221862: May 28, 1986

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Three firms protested the Department of the Interior's cancellation of a solicitation for theatre chairs after a non-profit organization proposed to donate them, contending that: (1) Interior's stated reason for the cancellation was not true; (2) it was through the offerers' responses that the non-profit organization was able to identify the chairs for donation; (3) Interior may have violated laws governing disposal of surplus government property when it transferred the old chairs to the non-profit organization, which then sold them to patrons and used the process to purchase new chairs; and (4) Interior did not have the authority to obtain the chairs through donation in lieu of conducting a competitive procurement. GAO found that: (1) Interior properly cancelled the solicitation and accepted the chairs since a cost saving is a legitimate basis for solicitation cancellation; (2) there was no evidence that Interior solicited proposals in bad faith; (3) the General Services Administration authorized Interior to dispose of the old chairs; and (4) the Historic Sites Act authorizes Interior to acquire property through gifts or purchases. GAO also determined that Interior did not unreasonably exclude the protesters from the procurement. Accordingly, the protests and the claims for proposal preparation and protest costs were denied.