GAO Releases Updated Bid Protest Guide

Coinciding with the May 1, 2018 requirement that GAO bid protests be filed using the new Electronic Protest Docketing System, the GAO has released an updated version of its “Descriptive Guide” to the GAO bid protest process.

This Guide–the tenth edition published by GAO–is packed with useful information and tips about using EPDS and about the protest process in general.

A few EPDS-specific highlights follow.

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GAO’s Electronic Filing System: First Impressions

SmallGovCon readers may recall that, in 2016, the Government Accountability Office proposed an electronic filing system for bid protests. GAO released a pilot version of its new system earlier this year, and Koprince Law LLC has had the opportunity to test it on several occasions through our bid protest work.

Here are some first impressions on GAO’s Electronic Protest Docketing System.

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A GAO Reminder: Know Your Protest Filing Deadline

One of the first questions a contractor must ask itself before filing a bid protest with the GAO is whether its protest would be timely filed. But as a recent GAO decision highlighted, the answer to that question might not be so clear.

Contrary to a common misconception, a protest is not always timely if filed within 10 days of a debriefing. As one prospective protester learned, if the debriefing is not “required” under applicable law, a GAO protest filed within 10 days of a debriefing might be untimely.

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GAO: Email Filings Must Timely Arrive At Official Address

When bid protest document is emailed to the GAO, the document must timely arrive at the GAO’s official protest email address (protests@gao.gov), or the document is not timely filed.

As one protester recently learned the hard way, a GAO protest filing cannot be accomplished by emailing a protest document to any other email address–including the individual “gao.gov” email address of the GAO attorney handling the protest.

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