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The Department of Agriculture's National Finance Center requested a decision on a Soil Conservation Service (SCS) employee's claim for the cost of a rental vehicle while her vehicle was being repaired en route to her new permanent duty station. GAO held that: (1) SCS erroneously authorized the employee's vehicle rental for local travel; (2) the employee was not entitled to reimbursement of her rental expense, since she was not performing official business while her vehicle was being repaired; and (3) the employee could include the local miles she travelled in her total mileage claim. Accordingly, the claim was denied.

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B-227779.2, Aug 27, 1987, 87-2 CPD 205

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - 10 day rule 1. Protest of cancellation of a solicitation must be filed within 10 working days after the basis for protest was or should have been known. PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - Good Cause exemptions - Applicability 2. The fact that a firm is new to government contracting does not warrant considering an untimely protest.

Advanced Health Systems-- Reconsideration:

Advanced Health Systems requests that we reconsider our July 22, 1987, dismissal of the firm's protest against the cancellation of request for proposals (RFP) No. F41800-86-R-7314, issued by the Department of the Air Force for a family advocacy and program evaluation system at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Advanced Health submitted the only offer in response to the RFP. We dismissed the protest because, as provided in section 21.2(a)(2) of our Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. part 21 (1987), we do not consider protests filed in our Office more than 10 working days after the date the basis for protest first was known.

Advanced Health requests that we reconsider on the ground that it was protesting the cancellation of a solicitation, rather than the award of a contract, which, the firm suggests, renders section 21.2(a)(2) of our Regulations inapplicable. That fact is not relevant, however. agency's cancellation of a solicitation on which a protester was the only offeror is clearly an action that is prejudicial to the firm's position and, therefore, if perceived by the offeror to have been improper, constitutes a basis for protest under section 21.2(a)(2). As Advanced Health concedes that its protest was filed in our Office beyond the requisite timeframe, we dismiss the request for consideration as to this issue.

Advance Health further argues that the 10-day filing requirement should be waived in its favor in the interest of fairness since it is new to government contracting.

Our timeliness rules reflect the dual requirements of giving parties a fair opportunity to present their cases and resolving protests expeditiously without unduly disrupting or delaying the procurement process. In order to prevent these rules from becoming meaningless, exceptions are strictly construed and seldom used. The only exceptions to our Regulations' timeliness requirements are where there was good cause for the untimely filing (some compelling reason beyond the protester's control prevented the protester from filing a timely protest) or a significant issue (one of widespread interest to the procurement community that has not been considered before) is involved. See 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(c). Neither is the case here.

The request for reconsideration is dismissed.