Henry's and Evergreen protest the agency's decision to cancel the solicitation.
The protesters maintain that the agency had no reasonable basis to cancel the solicitation and that the cancellation was a pretext to avoid further protests. However, where, as here, a protester has alleged that the agency's rationale for cancellation is but a pretext--that the agency's actual motivation is to avoid awarding a contract on a competitive basis or to avoid resolving a protest--we will closely examine the reasonableness of the agency's actions in canceling the acquisition. Cancellation of a procurement is reasonable where the agency determines that it no longer has a requirement for the item solicited, or where the agency discovers an existing contract for its requirement would be more advantageous to the government than continuing with the procurement. As explained above, the agency first selected six firms for awards on December 15, 2016, more than 5 months before the first exclusive-use period was to begin.
See, e.g., Information Ventures, Inc., B-297815.2, Feb.
13, 2006, 2006 CPD 40 at 2 (finding the cancellation of a solicitation reasonable where a lack of funding justified the decision to cancel, even if decision to cancel was prompted by a protest).
On the contrary, the contracting officer notes that Evergreen is considered a "capable, qualified contractor" and that the agency "would have been happy to make award to Evergreen if such an award were deemed to be in the government's best interests." COS at 3.
The contracting officer further explains that the agency has worked with Evergreen for "many years" and DOI anticipates that Evergreen will receive orders under its on-call contract this summer. Absent anything in the record to support Evergreen's charge, and given that government officials are presumed to act in good faith, we find that the allegation of animus or bias is unsupported and, thus, unmeritorious.
As a general rule, agencies have broad discretion to take necessary steps to ensure a fair and impartial competition. Corp., B-238169.2, May 16, 1990, 90-1 CPD 474 at 4.
Supply Core Inc., B-411015.8, May 27, 2016, 2016 CPD 153 at 3. 26, 2003, 2003 CPD 203 at 3; Miller, Davis, Marter & Opper, P. Winter weather conditions make face-to-face fieldwork more challenging from late October and onward.
Specifically, due to the challenge to the solicitation, the agency was unable to make a contract award in accordance with FAR 33.104(b).
Consequently, the contractor would not be able to complete the first wave of fieldwork prior to Ramadan, and two waves of fieldwork, properly spaced apart, prior to the Afghan winter season.
See Inalab Consulting, Inc.; Solutions by Design II, LLC, supra, at 9.
In sum, the record confirms that the agency's decision to cancel the solicitation was prompted by Evergreen's supplemental protest. This is so, even when the cancellation occurs during the pendency of a protest. Nevertheless, the reasonableness standard applicable to cancellation of a solicitation remains unchanged. 26, 2016, 2016 CPD 64 at 4-5; Lasmer Indus., Inc., supra.