In the United States Court of Federal Claims No. 94-185C (Filed August 15, 1996) ___________________________________ ) RICHARD C. SWANSON ) LARRY A. FORD ) THIS ORDER WILL NOT d.b.a. SWANSON PRINTING & ) BE PUBLISHED IN THE TYPESETTING COMPANY, ) U.S. COURT OF FEDERAL ) CLAIMS REPORTER BE- Plaintiffs, ) CAUSE IT DOES NOT ADD ) SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE V. ) BODY OF LAW AND IS ) NOT OF WIDESPREAD THE UNITED STATES, ) INTEREST. ) Defendant. ) ___________________________________) ORDER This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment and Defendant's cross-motion for judgment as to the finality of a decision by the Government Printing Office Board of Contract Appeals ("GPOBCA" or "Board"). The Board determined that an agreement between the parties for the procurement of printing services did not comprise an enforceable requirements contract. It is concluded that the Board's decision is correct. I. INTRODUCTION The instant dispute stems from a controversy surrounding the Government's termination of an agreement with Plaintiffs, Richard C. Swanson, Larry A. Ford, dba Swanson Printing & Typesetting Company, for the production of legal briefs for the United States Department of Justice. Plaintiffs entered into term agreements with the United States Government Printing Office (" GPO") for fiscal years 1984 through 1989 under the GPO's D404-M1 Program. In September 1989 the GPO terminated the 1989 D404-M agreement for convenience. Plaintiffs filed a claim for termination costs with the contracting officer. After the contracting of nicer substantially denied the claim, Plaintiffs appealed the decision to the GPOBCA. Upon the Board's denial of the costs sought, Plaintiffs brought this action for breach of contract and for judicial review of the Board's decision. II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND On October 28, 1988 the GPO issued an Invitation for Bids ("IFB") for the 1989 D404-M Program, which involved the production, including printing and typesetting, of legal briefs. See IFB "Specifications" at 5. The IFB delineated the obligations of the Government as well as the contractors receiving awards under the D404-M Program. The IFB involved a "Multiple Award . . . contract" slated from December 1, 1988 through November 30, 1989. Id. at 1. Throughout the IFB, reference was made to a contract to be formed pursuant to that document. E.g. id. at 2 ("Any contract which results from this Invitation for Bid will be subject to the applicable articles of GPO Contract Terms.... "). Further, the IFB provided that the D404-M agreement was to be governed by the agency contracting regulations including GPO Contract Terms, GPO Publication 310-2, effective December 1, 1987 and GPO's Quality Assurance Through Attributes Program, GPO Publication 310.1, Revised September 1986, (QATAP).2 Vol.2, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 15). After the submission of bids, the GPO tabulated the contractors' overall bids in its Schedule of Prices for the D404-M Program and determined that Plaintiffs were the "overall low contractor," or the contractor with the lowest overall estimate for services. Two other contractors' bids were selected for participation in the D404-M Program. See GPOBCA Decision and Order of March 6, 1992, at 7-8. The IFB contemplated a requirements-type arrangement. It stated as follows: ORDERING: Items to be furnished under the contract shall be ordered by the issuance of print orders by the Government. Orders may be issued under the contract from December 1, 1988 through November 30, 1989. All print orders issued hereunder are subject to the terms and conditions of the contract. The contract shall control in the event of conflict with any print order. When mailed, a print order shall be "issued" for purposes of the contract at the time the Government deposits the order in the mail. QUANTITIES: This contract is for the items and for the period specified herein. Shipment/delivery of items or performance of work shall be made only as authorized by orders issued in accordance with the clause entitled "Ordering." The quantities of items specified herein are estimates only, and are not purchased hereby. Except as may be otherwise provided in this contract, if the Government's requirements for the items set forth herein do not result in orders in the amounts or quantities described as "estimated," it shall not constitute the basis for an equitable price adjustment under this contract. Except as otherwise provided in this contract, the Government shall order from the contractor(s) all the items set forth which are required to be purchased by the Government activity identified on page 1. The Government shall not be required to purchase from the contractor(s) requirements in excess of the limit on total orders under this contract, if any. The IFB also included estimated amounts of the GPO's requirements. It stated that GPO would place "[a]pproximately 65 orders per month," that there would be "[a]pproximately 50 to 1000 copies per order," and that the number of pages of each order would be between 4 and 400 but could go as high as 1200 pages. IFB at 5. However, most orders would be for 64 pages or less. Id. IFB at 3. In the IFB the GPO set forth a system defining how and with whom it would place orders for briefs under the D404-M Program. The "Ordering" clause provided that the GPO was to issue a separate "print order" for each printing job required. As it was anticipated that one firm would not be able to meet all requirements, the Government was to make multiple awards. IFB at 11. Section 3 of the IFB, labeled "DETERMINATION OF AWARD AND PLACEMENT OF WORK," stated that print orders would be offered to contractors pursuant to certain sequences. The standard sequencing method required the GPO to first place its order with Plaintiffs, the overall low contractor for D404-M pursuant to the "Schedule of Prices." The low contractor was to furnish all print orders, except in circumstances ". . . when the shipping/delivery schedule [could not] be met." IFB at 4. In cases when the low contractor refused orders it was "required to provide the best date that [could] be met." IFB at 11. If the Government did not accept this second date, it was required to place its order with the next lowest contractor and so forth according to the following system: Subject to any limitations elsewhere in this contract, and pursuant to the section entitled "DETERMINATION OF AWARD AND PLACEMENT OF WORK," the low contractor and each successive low contractor shall furnish to the Government all items set forth herein which are called for by print orders issued in accordance with the Ordering clause of this contract, except when the shipping/delivery schedule cannot be met. IFB at 4 (emphasis added). The reference to "limitations elsewhere" in this clause of the IFB related to an alternate method by which the GPO was permitted to award print orders called abstracting. Abstracting was a process by which the GPO could re-calculate the low bidder for a particular project based on the actual work that project required. On projects which the GPO decided to abstract, the GPO would calculate a sequence of contractors from lowest to highest for that specific project and would of her orders pursuant to that sequence notwithstanding the overall sequence of contractors listed on the Schedule of Prices. In such cases Plaintiffs were not necessarily the low contractor. The D404-M agreement provided in pertinent part, Notwithstanding any sequence of contractors established as a result of the Determination of Award, the Government reserves the right, without limitation, to establish a specific sequence of contractors for any or all print orders to be issued under this contract by abstracting the contract prices of each contractor against actual print orders to be issued, and adding any applicable costs to the Government, for transportation of the finished product to all destinations. In the event such a specific sequence is established, such specific sequence of contractors shall control the order in which the print order(s) is offered. The determination to establish a specific sequence or sequences shall not be cause for an adjustment in the contract price or any other term or condition of the contract. IFB at 11 (emphasis added). On occasions when the GPO chose to abstract, it would first contact the low contractor for the particular project ["abstracted low contractor"]. As in the overall bid sequencing method, when the low contractor could not meet a delivery time, the next lowest contractor would be contacted and so forth. IFB at 11. Additionally, with respect to accelerated orders falling outside the scope of the D404-M agreement's minimum delivery deadlines, the Government would first of her the work to either the abstracted or the overall low contractor. See IFB at 4. If the low contractor refused the order, the Government was entitled to procure such order from "another source." Id. The instant controversy between Plaintiffs and the GPO arose when the GPO decided to alter its arrangements for the requisition of legal briefs to include a system by which the Department of Justice could send to and receive data from printing contractors electronically. The D404-M Program had only provided for the requisition of orders by transmission of manuscript copy. To accommodate the additional requirement, on February 7, 1989 the GPO issued a solicitation for Program D283-M, a contract to cover solely the electronic transmission of briefs. However, the Government canceled this solicitation after it was determined "that there was less than full and open competition" because the Government had failed to include Plaintiffs and other contractors performing on Program D404-M on the bid solicitation list.3 GPOBCA Decision and Order of March 6, 1992, at 8-9 (citing letter of contracting officer.) After canceling the D283-M Program, the GPO decided to account for all of its brief transmission requirements through a new solicitation of the D404-M Program which would include transmission electronically and by manuscript copy. The GPO proceeded to cancel the 1989 D404-M agreement for the convenience of the Government. In the new solicitations of the D404-M Program from 1990 through 1992 Plaintiffs were determined to be the overall low contractor only with respect to the electronic transmission component of the program. On September 1, 1989 Plaintiffs and the GPO entered yet another agreement under the 308-5 Program for general typesetting services for the United States Social Security Administration. Compl. at 8. The GPO also terminated this agreement for convenience. Id. III. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND On September 6, 1989 the GPO sent Plaintiffs a letter providing notification of the termination for convenience of the 1989 D404- M Program. In the letter the GPO sought Plaintiffs' acquiescence in a settlement of the Government's obligations under D404-M upon payment only for the printing jobs already in progress or completed. Plaintiffs did not consent to the proposed settlement. Instead, Plaintiffs filed a claim with the contracting officer on September 9, 1989 pursuant to the disputes clause contained in GPO Publication 310-2, which is incorporated by reference in the D404-M agreement. See IFB at 2. The disputes clause provided as follows: 5. Disputes. (a) Except as otherwise provided, any dispute concerning a question of fact arising under or relating to this contract which is not disposed of by agreement shall be decided by the Contracting Officer, who shall make his/her decision in writing and mail or otherwise furnish a copy thereof to the contractor. (b) The decision of the Contracting Officer shall be final and conclusive unless, within 90 days from the date of receipt of such copy, the contractor mails or otherwise furnishes a written notice of appeal to the Government Printing Office Board of Contract Appeals. (c) The decision of the Board shall be final and conclusive unless determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to have been fraudulent, capricious, or arbitrary, or so grossly erroneous as necessarily to imply bad faith, or not supported by substantial evidence. (d) In connection with any appeal under this article, the contractor shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard and to offer evidence in support of his/her appeal. Pending final decision of a dispute hereunder, the contractor shall proceed diligently with performance and in accordance with the Contracting Officer's decision. (e) This article does not preclude consideration of law questions in connection with decisions provided for in paragraph (d); provided, that nothing shall be construed as making final the decision of any administrative official, representative, or board on a question of law. GPO Contract Terms, (Vol. 2, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 15.) Plaintiffs claimed approximately $237,000 (later amended to $245,796.75) based upon the estimated requirements alleged to be outstanding under the agreement. On September 26, 1989 the GPO issued a formal "Notice of Termination," indicating that the effective date of termination was September 6, 1989. Upon review of Plaintiffs' claim, the contracting officer rejected all but $283.64, which represented Plaintiffs' cost of preparing its settlement proposal. On April 10, 1990 Plaintiffs appealed the contracting officer's decision to the GPOBCA pursuant to the applicable disputes procedure. Plaintiffs sought to overturn the contracting officer's denial of termination costs pursuant to the termination for convenience of the government clause incorporated in the D404-M Program, and also claimed money damages for breach of contract. In its decision of March 6, 1992 the GPOBCA determined that it lacked jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' breach of contract claim. Plaintiffs' convenience termination claim was then considered on its merits with the GPOBCA determining that the contracting officer had applied "the wrong cost basis of the contract" and that Swanson had "correctly figured its termination settlement proposal on the basis of the estimated contract price over the life of the contract." GPOBCA Supplemental Decision and Order of July 1, 1993, at 68, (Vol. 2, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 27). The GPOBCA remanded the matter to the contracting officer for a determination of the exact amount of termination costs owing to Plaintiffs. Subsequently, the GPO filed a Motion for Reconsideration contending that the GPOBCA had misapplied the law in awarding termination costs under the D404-M agreement. GPO asserted that the D404-M agreement comprised an unenforceable ordering agreement, not a requirements contract. On December 20, 1993, the GPOBCA allowed the motion and vacated its July 1, 1993 opinion, reasoning that the D404-M agreement lacked "exclusivity," a feature determined to be necessary to the creation of a requirements contract. GPOBCA Decision and Order of December 20, 1993 (Vol. 2, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 32). The Board again remanded the matter to the contracting officer, this time with instructions to pay Plaintiffs $1530.89, the amount previously determined to be owing to Plaintiffs for print orders requisitioned under the agreement and for costs incurred in preparation of its settlement proposal. On March 18, 1994 Plaintiffs filed a complaint in this Court seeking relief under the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1491, and the Wunderlich Act, 41 U.S.C. §§ 321, 322. As the GPO is not an "executive agency," its contracts are not covered by the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, 41 U.S.C. § 602. Tatelbaum v. United States, 749 F.2d 729,730 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Plaintiffs seek judicial review of the final decision of the GPOBCA pursuant to the Wunderlich Act. In this regard, Plaintiffs seek a determination that the 1989 D404-M agreement constitutes an enforceable requirements contract as well as an award of termination costs. Additionally, Plaintiffs seek damages for breach of contract pursuant to the Tucker Act for the GPO's alleged breach of the 19894, 1990 and 1992 D404-M agreements and the 308-S agreement. Compl. at 9. Plaintiffs allege specifically that Defendant (1) acted in bad faith by terminating the 1989 D404-M and 308-S agreements; (2) negligently prepared or prepared in bad faith the solicitation estimates for the contract following the termination of the 1989 D404-M agreement (the 1990 D404-M); and (3) breached the terms of the 1992 D404-M agreement by diverting work away from Plaintiffs. Id. On May 9, 1995 Plaintiffs filed an RCFC 56 motion for partial summary judgment limited to its Wunderlich claim for judicial review of the GPOBCA decision on termination costs: Defendant responded with a cross-motion for judgment upon the administrative record pursuant to RCFC 56.1, maintaining that finality should be accorded to the decision of the GPOBCA. IV. DISCUSSION A. Standard of Review Both parties to this matter seek a determination as to the finality of the decision by the GPOBCA that the 1989 D404-M agreement ("Agreement" or "D404-M agreement") does not constitute a requirements contract.5 While facts found by the Board are final unless it can be found that a determination is arbitrary or capricious or not supported by substantial evidence, legal determinations are reviewed de novo. 41 U.S.C. §§ 321, 322.; Vista Scientific Corp. v. United States, 808 F.2d 50, 51-52 (Fed. Cir. 1986); Woodcrest Constr. Co. v United. States, 187 Ct. Cl. 249, 408 F.2d 406 (1969) cert. denied 398 U.5. 958, 90 S. Ct. 2164, 26 L. Ed. 2d 542 (1970). Here neither party has sought to overturn a factual finding by the Board. Rather, Plaintiffs contest the Board's legal conclusion as to the nature of the D404-M agreement. B. Construction of Agreement 1. Three canons of contract construction are relevant with respect to the analysis of the legal status of the D404-M agreement. First, that the name or label given to a contract is not binding, rather, a court must characterize the contract based upon the legal rights for which the parties bargained. See Mason v. United States, 615 F.2d 1343, 1346, 222 Ct. Cl. 436, 442, cert. denied, 449 U.S. 830, 101 S. Ct. 98, 66 L. Ed. 2d 35 (1980); Ralph Construction Inc. v United States, 4 Cl. Ct. 727, 731, (1984). Second, an interpretation that gives meaning to all parts of a contract is preferable to one which renders provisions of a contract meaningless. Fortec Constructors v. United States, 760 F.2d 1288, 1292 (Fed. Cir. 1985). Third, it is assumed that the parties intended to form a binding contract and therefore, an interpretation that saves a contract should be favored as opposed to one that renders it void or unenforceable. Torncello v. United States, 231 Ct. Cl. 20, 27, 681 F.2d 756, 760 (1982). In the agreement at hand, the Government arranged to procure its requirements for printed legal briefs. There are three possible types of supply contracts: (1) those for a definite quantity, (2) those for an indefinite quantity and (3) those for requirements. Torncello, 681 F.2d 761; Mason, 615 F.2d at 1347. The parties have not asserted that the agreement at issue was a contract for a definite or indefinite quantity because, although estimated minimums were contemplated, the IFB did not set a concrete minimum quantity. Therefore, if found to constitute a binding contract, the D404-M agreement may only qualify as one for requirements. A requirements contract is a bilateral contract in which the Government promises to purchase all of its requirements for the services or materials specified by the agreement from a particular contractor. 1 Samuel Williston, A Treatise on the Law of Contracts § 4:25, at 578 (Richard A. Lord ed., 4th ed. 1990); Torncello, 681 F.2d at 761-62, 768-69; Mason, 615 F.2d at 1346, citing Media Dress, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986; Ceredo Mortuary Chapel, Inc. v. United States, 29 Fed. Cl. 346 (1993). To form a bilateral contract, both parties must offer consideration. 1 Williston § 4.25, at 578 (1990). Consideration will not be held valid "where the promisor retains an unlimited right to decide later the nature or extent of his performance" 1 Williston § 4:24, at 546 (1990), or where "the promisor retains an option exercisable in his sole discretion," 1 id. § 4:24, at 549 (1990), cited in Ceredo, 29 Fed. Cl. at 349. In the requirements context the seller's consideration consists of a promise to provide the services required by the buyer. 1 Williston § 4:25, at 578 (4th ed. 1990). The seller's promise grants the buyer an option which necessarily places a detriment on the seller as the seller is required to forego all other work to the extent that it will be available to perform the buyer's requirements. Conversely, consideration on the part of the buyer consists of the promise by the buyer to purchase all of its requirements for services covered by the agreement from the seller. See Torncello, 681 F.2d at 761-62, 768-69. In order that the consideration be valid, the buyer's ability to shop elsewhere must be limited in some real way beyond its control. Id. at 772 (power to terminate for obtain covered services elsewhere must be "limited in some meaningful way"). 2. In its motion for summary judgment, Plaintiffs assert that the D404-M agreement placed "reasonable restrictions" on the parties' obligations. Although the GPO was permitted to order printing services from other contractors, Plaintiffs contend that there were "sufficient limitations" on this right such as to preserve the consideration necessary to create a requirements contract. Plaintiffs point out that the Government's ability to shop amongst printers was ascertainably limited by the D404-M agreement's sequencing framework which required the Government to choose between only two sequences of contractors -- the overall sequence and the abstracted sequence. Plaintiffs also argue that the parties' intent as to the nature of agreement is illustrated by the consistent references within the IFB document to the formation of a "contract" pursuant to that solicitation. Defendant counters by asserting that the limitations on the GPO's ordering practices were not sufficient to constitute consideration on its part. Therefore, Defendant argues, the agreement comprises an unenforceable basic ordering agreement. In order that the GPO's ability to "shop elsewhere" be limited in a tangible sense, Defendant maintains, controlling precedent requires that there be an "exclusive" relationship between the Government buyer and the contractor. See Modem Systems Technology Corp. v. United States, 979 F.2d 200, 205 (1992); Torncello, 681 F.2d at 768-70; Media Press Inc. v. United States, 215 Ct. Cl. 985, 986, 566 F.2d 1192 (1977)6; cf. Locke v. United States, 151 Ct. Cl. 262, 283 F.2d 521 (1960) (while issue was whether damages for lost profits were to be awarded, the court stated in dicta that consideration may exist in non-exclusive agreements where there is a reasonable expectation of a certain amount of work to be assigned to a particular contractor). In short, Defendant asserts that the relationship created by the agreement at issue was not exclusive. The component of exclusivity is regarded as essential for consideration to be extant in the requirements context because it is understood to constitute a negative covenant, a promise not to use any other contractor, which places an ascertainable detriment upon the buyer. 1A Arthur Linton Corbin, § 156 (1963). In agreements lacking this feature of exclusivity, the buyer is not considered to have bound itself in any real way. As such, non- exclusive agreements have been held to constitute unenforceable contracts for indefinite quantities without a required minimum. Torncello, 681 F.2d at 768-70 (citing Willard, Sutherland & Co. v. United States, 262 U.S. 489, 43 S. Ct. 592, 67 L. Ed. 1086 (1923)); Media Press, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986. Exclusivity however, does not necessarily require " as Defendant contends -- that the Government enter into only one arrangement with one contractor for a certain type of good or service it requires. Rather, exclusivity has been found to be present in situations where the Government enters requirements contracts with several contractors, but where each agreement is narrowed to cover a particular place or function in such a way that the Government has not possessed discretion to shop amongst the various contractors. See The Franklin Company v. United States 180 Ct. Cl. 666, 672-75, 381 F.2d 416, 418-20 (1967); Erwin v. United States, 19 Cl. Ct. 47, 55 (1989); Biener GmBH v. United States, 17 Cl. Ct. 802, 808-09 (1989). These arrangements have been held to constitute "limited requirements contracts. Franklin, 381 F.2d at 420. Under this limited requirements rubric, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("Federal Circuit") has upheld concurrent requirements contracts in instances where substantially identical work was divided amongst several contractors according to specified geographic boundaries. A- Transport Northwest Co., Inc. v. United States, 27 Fed. Cl. 206 (1992) aff'd 36 F.3d 1576 (contract for particular trucking route carved out of total trucking requirements); Biener, 17 Cl. Ct. at 808-09 (contract only for shipping of items pursuant to non- international moves; as such Government may contract with other firms on international shipments); see Mason, 615 F.2d at 1347 (stating in dicta that contract would have existed had Government agreed to give all requirements within a geographical area to plaintiff). Additionally, prior to A-Transport and Mason, in The Franklin Co. v. United States the United States Court of Claims upheld the enforceability of a requirements contract even though the Government had contracted elsewhere for identical requirements, when it found the division of requirements to be ascertainable under the agreement based on prior custom. 381 F.2d at 418, 420; see also Locke, 283 F.2d 521 (court read in expectation of a reasonable award of work based on past performance in order to illustrate the enforceability of contract). Franklin involved concurrent Government requirements contracts with separate production facilities for the composition of technical manuals. Franklin, 381 F.2d at 420. The court reasoned that the contract at issue delineated the portion of the manual production which would be directed to Franklin based on the Government's obligation to "make a good faith effort to assign to Franklin... [the work] customarily given" to it. Id.7 However, while courts have not hesitated to uphold these limited requirements contracts, the Federal Circuit has refused to uphold multi-contractor agreements which on their face appear limited but actually allow the Government unchecked discretion to manipulate its requirements. See e.g. Mason, 615 F.3d at 1347 (term requirement contracts for construction work not enforceable because they allowed Government ability to have covered work performed by Government employees or others); Media Press, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986; but see Cleek Aviation v. United States, 19 Cl. Ct. 552 (1990) (upholding requirements contract for fuel together with fueling services as distinct in scope from contracts for "fuel only," thereby allowing the Government to avoid the fuel/service contract at its discretion by fashioning its particular requirements as for "fuel only" when it secured a lower price for fuel elsewhere).8 Plaintiffs seek a ruling that the D404-M Program at issue constitutes a limited requirements contract because the Government was required to call upon the different contractors for orders pursuant to a pre-arranged, discernible formula set in the D404-M agreement. The content of the IFB in the D404-M procurement is quite similar to the agreement presented in Media Press. 215 Ct. Cl. at 986. As in the instant D404-M agreement, the agreement in Media Press involved an arrangement in which the GPO utilized several contractors to satisfy certain printing requirements. As with the instant program, whenever the GPO required a print order, it had two sequences of contractors from which to choose -- the overall sequence and the abstracted sequence. Id. GPO could either first offer the order to the overall low contractor and then to each next lowest bidder sequentially, or it could choose to abstract the particular print job. In abstracting, the Government retained the authority to establish a new low bidder and numerical sequence of other bidders on each particular print order, taking into account only those variables involved in that particular order. Id. The Government could then first offer the job to the abstracted low contractor and continue pursuant to the abstracted sequence. Id. In this circumstance, the Court of Claims held that the Government retained discretion to the extent that neither party to the agreement was "... so tightly and exclusively bound to the other so as to give rise to a requirements-type arrangement." Media Press, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986. Similarly, although the D404-M agreement may initially appear to create a framework limiting the scope of the Government's discretion under the guise of a pre-arranged formula, upon closer inspection it is evident that it actually did not curtail the Government's discretion to shop amongst the sellers. See Tomcello, 681 F.2d at 772. Despite the IFB's reference to this agreement as a contract and the various limitations it placed on the Government's ability to place orders, the D404-M agreement actually allowed the Government the ultimate ability to choose which contractor to engage based upon the contractor's offered price. The Government could order from Plaintiffs, the overall low contractor, or, when it saw that it could obtain a better price by doing so, it could recalculate the price of the specific order by abstracting, and order from another firm pursuant to this method. In this regard, as with the agreement in Media Press, the agreement at issue allowed the Government the ability to pick and choose amongst the contractors to a considerable extent, and this very fact negates the possibility of the existence of consideration. See Media Press, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986. The D404-M agreement thus did not constitute an enforceable contract beyond the orders completed. Further, the record developed at the GPOBCA would not support any finding of an additional limitation on the Government's discretion in its ability to abstract described in the IFB based on geography, custom, or even reasonableness. Courts confronting unclear limitations situations have at times upheld requirements arrangements by finding, either explicitly or implicitly, that the requirement of reasonableness or good faith has qualified the buyer's discretion, and thereby, the scope of the contract, when facts presented have supported such a reading. See Locke, 283 F.2d at 523-24 (court upheld contract finding that facts presented illustrated that contractor had a reasonable expectation of business); see also Eastern Airlines v. Gulf Oil Corporation, 415 F. Supp. 429, 436 (S.D. Fla. 1975) (court upholds limited requirements contract in which airlines' ability to "fuel freight" -- buy extra fuel at other location and thereby circumvent contractor's fueling stations -- where facts illustrated past custom that fuel freighting was subject to good faith).9 In this case, there is no basis upon which this Court may read such limitation into the parties' agreement.10 Nonetheless, Plaintiffs argue that although the Media Press order contains "sweeping language" regarding the nature of the contract, that decision is not binding in the case at bar because the Media Press court merely acted to enforce an express contractual provision that allowed GPO to issue print orders to a contractor other than Media Press when the other contractor had offered the lowest price for the required work. This argument lacks merit. The court in Media Press stated that it would not enforce the language of the "contract" precisely because the GPO maintained the right to order from other contractors. See Media Press, 215 Ct. Cl. at 986. This factor caused the contract to fail for lack of sufficient consideration. Id. Plaintiffs further argue that the decision in Ceredo, 29 Fed. Cl. 346, is controlling of the requirements contract determination. The issue in Ceredo was whether consideration was valid in a requirements arrangement which provided the Government with the authority to hire other contractors on occasions when the contractor could not fulfill particular orders. Ceredo, 29 Fed. Cl. at 350-52. It was held that Plaintiff's reasonable ability to decline offers and Defendant's ability in such cases to hire new contractors did not extinguish the consideration offered by the Defendant. Id. at 350 (power of Government to sell to other contractors actually in the hands of Plaintiff); Accord Franklin, 381 F.2d 416, 418-20; A-Transport, 27 Fed. Cl. 206; but see Media Press, 215 Ct. Ct. at 986 (contractor's ability to decline offers as a basis for parties not being "tightly and exclusively bound").11 The instant controversy is distinguishable from the one in Ceredo. While the D404-M agreement did contain the feature at issue in Ceredo, it has been illustrated that the D404-M agreement fails for another reason apart from Defendant's ability to go to other contractors in the event of Plaintiffs' declination.12 Pursuant to the instant agreement, before Defendant had even offered Plaintiffs a print order, Defendant maintained the discretion to chose another contractor from the pool of contractors based on the criterion of lowest abstracted price. This feature of the D404-M agreement dilutes Defendant's promise in a manner not contemplated in Ceredo. As stated earlier, it has been held in circumstances when an agreement is susceptible of interpretation as either a requirements contract or as an unenforceable indefinite quantities without minimum agreement, that the contract should be upheld as one of the requirements type. See Goldwasser v. United States, 163 Ct. Cl. 450, 325 F.2d 722 (1963); Crown Laundry and Dry Cleaners, Inc. v. United States, 29 Fed. Cl. 506, 516 (1993). However, in this case, based on the present state of the law, the D404-M agreement is not susceptible of interpretation as a requirements contract. Although Plaintiffs may have intended to enter into a binding contractual agreement, the instrument which it signed lacks the consideration necessary to produce this result. V. CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing, it is concluded that the decision of the GPOBCA as to the relief available under the 1989 D404-M agreement is correct in that it became an enforceable contract only to the extent performed prior to its termination. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that: (1) Defendant's motion for judgment on the administrative record is ALLOWED in that, upon final conclusion of this matter, Plaintiffs' claim for additional convenience termination cost relief shall be dismissed; (2) By separate order, Pretrial Proceedings as to Plaintiffs''' breach of contract claims are reinstated for scheduled completion in the event an agreed resolution of this matter cannot be reached and trial proceedings are then required. James F. Merow Judge _______________ 1 Plaintiffs refer to the agreement at hand as the "404-M" Program. However, the invitation for bids refers to the solicitation as the "D404-M" Program. Invitation for Bids (Vol. 1, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 1, App. Exh. 1) ("IFB"). 2 Although the IFB for the 1989 D404-M contract refers to GPO Contract Terms effective December 1, 1987, the IFB was issued and the contract awarded after September 1988 when the 1988 revisions to the GPO Contract Terms went into, effect. In its rulings with respect to this agreement, the Board assumed that the IFB referred to the 1987 draft of the 1988 revisions, noting that the two versions of the regulations were substantively identical. See GPOBCA Decision and Order of March 6, 1992, (Vol. 1, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 10). 3 Plaintiffs contend that the GPO issued and ultimately canceled a second solicitation of Program D283-M, again for having failed to inform Plaintiffs. Compl. at 6. 4 The record illustrates that Plaintiffs incorporated the GPO's failure to include Plaintiffs in the D283-M program, within its 1989 D404-M claim before the GPOBCA. See Plaintiffs' Letter to GPOBCA of July 5, 1990, (Vol. 1, GPOBCA Docket 15-90, Entry No. 6). 5 The practice of conducting appellate review pursuant to the submission of summary judgment motions emerged following the decision in United States v. Carlo Bionchi & Co., 373 U.5. 709, 83 S. Ct. 1409, 10 L. Ed. 2d 652 (1963) (restricting judicial review in contract disputes clause proceedings to the administrative record). See Vista Scientific Corp. v. United States, 808 F.2d 50, 51 (Fed. Cir. 1986); Rules Governing Wunderlich Act Review, 178 Ct. Cl. XVII - XXIII (1967). The practice continues under the current RCFC 56.1. 6 Plaintiffs have argued that Media Press is a non-binding unpublished opinion. This contention lacks merit. Although the full text of this opinion was not printed in the Federal Reporter, it is available in full, published form in the Court of Claims Reporter and has been cited repeatedly as authority. See e.g. Modem Systems Technology Corp. v. United States, 919 F.2d 200, 205 (1992); Mason, 615 F.2d at 1346; Rice Lake Contracting Inc. v. United States, 33 Fed. Cl. 144, 152 (1995). 7 Under this precedent the "divided requirements" contract -- in which the Government contracts with several outfitters and promises to distribute work in roughly equal proportions amongst the contractors -- would likely also be held to preserve exclusivity. See John Cibinic, Jr. and Ralph C. Nash, Jr., Formation of Government Contracts, 806 (2d. ed. 1986). 8 Agreements in which the contractor is to perform all requirements for work which the Government cannot perform in- house have also not been upheld. See Ralph, 4 Cl. Ct. 727; David E. Boelzner, Max & Ralph: Unruly Children of Limited-Form Requirements Contracts, 23 Pub. Cont. L.J. 277, 279-285 (1994) (comparing with the administrative boards' willingness to uphold such arrangements). 9 Commentators have argued for the adoption of reasonableness or good faith as sufficient consideration on the part of the buyer in a requirements arrangement, describing the exclusivity requirement as a "formalistic" and "fictional" yardstick. See Caroline N. Bruckel, Consideration in Exclusive and Nonexclusive Open Quantity Contracts Under the U. C. C.: A Proposal for a New System of Validation, 68 Minn. L. Rev. 117, 210-212 (1983) ("Bruckel"). 10 Consideration in the D404-M framework might have been preserved if the arrangement had provided an option for Plaintiffs to match the lower abstracted price at all times. Requirements contracts in which the buyer retains the right to decide whether to purchase from a seller based on the seller's price have been upheld in cases where the seller has retained an option to match any lower price identified by the buyer. See 1A Corbin, § 159, at 58-60 (1963), cited in Bruckel, 68 Minn. L. Rev. at 143. 11 A maximum limit on the seller's production does not extinguish the consideration offered by the buyer so long as the seller retains the right of first refusal on all orders in excess of the maximum. Donald G. Gavin, Government Requirements Contracts, 5 Pub. Cont. L.J. 234, 252 (1972). 12 Tempering Plaintiffs' ability to decline any particular order under D404-M was the requirement that Plaintiffs provide an alternate date upon which it could satisfy such print order.