[Protest of Marine Corps Cancellation of IFB]

B-219981.4: Jun 12, 1986

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A firm protested the Marine Corps' cancellation of an invitation for bids (IFB) for reflectometers and associated technical data. The Marine Corps had awarded the contract to the only other bidder under the IFB after allowing it to correct a mistake in its bid. The protester contended that the awardee should have been allowed to withdraw its bid, not correct it. GAO sustained the protest and recommended that the Marine Corps terminate the contract. The Marine Corps subsequently: (1) terminated the awardee's contract; (2) found an error in the protester's bid while considering its eligibility for award; (3) determined that the funds had expired and that no other funds were available for the procurement; and (4) cancelled the IFB. GAO held that: (1) cancellation of an IFB after bid opening is not permitted unless a compelling reason for cancellation exists; and (2) an agency's determination that funds are not available for a procurement is a sufficient reason for solicitation cancellation, since statutory limitations prevent the award of a contract when funds are not available. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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