GAO: Protester Identity Must Match Offeror Identity

In order to protest a procurement at GAO, the protester must be an “interested party.” An interested party is an “actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of the contract or by the failure to award the contract.”

But does the identity of the protester have to be the same as the offeror under the procurement? GAO recently offered some guidance on that question.

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Get Your Novation Before Filing a Bid Protest with GAO

Only an “interested party” can bring a GAO bid protest. This generally means that a protester must be “an actual or prospective bidder or offeror” with a “direct economic interest” in the contract’s award.

You might ask: is there such a thing as an offeror without a direct economic interest in the outcome of the contract award? It can happen–and a novation may be relevant. In a recent case, GAO held that a pending novation meant that the protester didn’t meet the standard necessary to file a protest.

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