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DIGEST: CONTRACTING AGENCY MAY PROPERLY CANCEL AN INVITATION FOR BIDS AFTER BID OPENING WHERE THE AGENCY DETERMINES THAT SUFFICIENT FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO MAKE AWARD. BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 28. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY WHITE OAK OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $21. IASO PROTESTED THE PROPOSED AWARD TO WHITE OAK CONTENDING THAT WHITE OAK CONSISTS PRIMARILY OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND THAT IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE RULES RESTRICTING DUAL EMPLOYMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND DOD CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO BE PAID FOR OFFICIATING SPORTS EVENTS HELD AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS. THE ARMY AGREED WITH IASO AND DETERMINED THAT WHITE OAK WAS INELIGIBLE FOR AWARD.

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B-211049, B-211049.2, MAY 24, 1983

DIGEST: CONTRACTING AGENCY MAY PROPERLY CANCEL AN INVITATION FOR BIDS AFTER BID OPENING WHERE THE AGENCY DETERMINES THAT SUFFICIENT FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO MAKE AWARD.

INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF SPORTS OFFICIALS:

INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF SPORTS OFFICIALS (IASO) PROTESTS THE CANCELLATION OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DADA15-83-B-0025 ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR SPORTS OFFICIATING SERVICES AT WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER.

WE DENY THE PROTEST.

BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 28, 1983. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY WHITE OAK OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $21,072. IASO PROTESTED THE PROPOSED AWARD TO WHITE OAK CONTENDING THAT WHITE OAK CONSISTS PRIMARILY OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND THAT IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE RULES RESTRICTING DUAL EMPLOYMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL AND DOD CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO BE PAID FOR OFFICIATING SPORTS EVENTS HELD AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS. THE ARMY AGREED WITH IASO AND DETERMINED THAT WHITE OAK WAS INELIGIBLE FOR AWARD. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY IASO IN THE AMOUNT OF $33,813.12. THE ARMY STATES THAT BECAUSE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE CONTRACT AMOUNTED TO ONLY $25,510, IT SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELED THE SOLICITATION. IASO HAS PROTESTED THIS ACTION.

CANCELLATION OF A SOLICITATION AFTER BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED AND PRICES HAVE BEEN EXPOSED IS NOT PERMITTED UNLESS A COGENT AND COMPELLING REASON FOR CANCELLATION EXISTS. A CONTRACTING OFFICER, HOWEVER, HAS BROAD DISCRETION IN DETERMINING WHETHER SUCH A REASON EXISTS AND THUS A DETERMINATION TO CANCEL A SOLICITATION IS NOT LEGALLY OBJECTIONABLE UNLESS THE PROTESTER CAN CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE WAS NO REASONABLE BASIS FOR IT. A&M SCHOOL BUS SERVICE, B-208833, DECEMBER 22, 1982, 82-2 CPD 566. IN THIS CONNECTION, OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT AN AGENCY'S DETERMINATION THAT FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR CONTRACT OBLIGATION IS A SUFFICIENT REASON UPON WHICH TO CANCEL A SOLICITATION AND THAT IT IS NOT OUR ROLE TO QUESTION THE UNAVAILABILITY OF FUNDS. MASTER PAINTING CONTRACTORS; MONIAROS CONTRACTING CORPORATION, B-208648, B-208648.2, NOVEMBER 8, 1982, 82-2 CPD 412; GENCO TOOL AND ENGINEERING CO., 61 COMP.GEN. 281 (1982), 82-1 CPD 175. IT IS, THEREFORE, CLEAR THAT THE IFB WAS PROPERLY CANCELED. SEE ALLSTATE FLOORING COMPANY, INC., B-205661.2, OCTOBER 15, 1982, 82-2 CPD 337.

THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

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