Government Contracting Database
Cancellation of Bids or Offers
In exercising his discretion to reject all offers and cancel the solicitation, a contracting officer does not have discretion, even in a negotiated procurement, to ignore a subsequent change in a bidder’s responsibility status. Indeed, the contracting officer must consider recourse to an available alternative to cancellation which would preserve the procurement. Apex International, B-200008, 60 Comp. Gen. 172 (1981); see also 48 C.F.R. 19.602-4(a) (1988) (contracting officer must reserve a determination of non-responsibility and proceed to award the contract where information obtained after referral to the SBA under the Certificate of Competency program established the contractor’s responsibility). In fact, rejection of proposals is permitted only where the agency head determines in writing that cancellation is clearly in the Government’s interest. This safeguard is present to ensure that contracting officers do not precipitously, and without consideration of all available evidence, cancel solicitation. Apex International, B-200008, 60 Comp. Gen. 172 (1981).
Updated: July 24, 2018