Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GLDD) regarding the post-bid opening cancellation of an invitation for bids (IFB), which was issued by the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, for dredging services.
The Corps issued the IFB on August 24, 2012, which sought bids for an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract for dredging services, with a base period of one year, and one 1-year option. Agency Report (AR) at 1. The dredging was to be performed, as required, at the following locations: between Navigation Miles 0 and 444.8 on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation system; between Navigation Miles 10 and 255 on the White River; and in harbors at Rosedale and Greenville, Mississippi. After GLDD filed initial protests with GAO based on a contract line item number, and the other offeror’s bid was nonresponsive, the agency decided to cancel the IFB and GAO dismissed the initial protest.
GLDD then filed a protest challenging the agency’s decision to cancel the IFB rather than awarding GLDD the contract. GAO found the response on behalf of the agency, i.e. that the contract line item numbers created an ambiguity with regard to the price to be paid for mobilization and demobilization, to be a sufficient reason to cancel the IFB. GAO noted that although GLDD contended that the IFB was not ambiguous and would not result in the government paying twice for demobilization services, there was no guarantee that the contract here would be performed in the same manner. Moreover, there was no guarantee that the successful bidder under the IFB would not dispute the method for calculating the method of payment under the contract’s disputes clause, given the ambiguities.