On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was unreasonable in cancelling its solicitation for on-site operational support for the HHS Unified Financial Managements System (UFMS). The decision, Starry Associates, Inc. v. United States, is unusual, given that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Court of Federal Claims are typically reluctant to oppose an agency's decision to cancel a solicitation. The decision serves as a useful reminder that such discretion is not unfettered and will be overturned where it is arbitrary and capricious.
The case involved a Request for Quotations (RFQ) issued by HHS's Program for Support Center (PSC) on November 13, 2014. In December 2014, the contract was awarded to Intellizant after HHS found Intellizant to be the lowest priced, technically acceptable offeror. Following the award to Intellizant, Starry Associates, the incumbent contractor, filed its first GAO protest, arguing that Intellizant was unqualified and did not have the key personnel necessary to support to the program. Starry also claimed that the award was tainted by the fact that HHS's Accounting Services Division Manager, John Davis, was previously employed by Intellizant.