In a recent bid protest decision, GAO said being under a COVID-19 “Stay at Home Order” was no reason to miss a comments filing deadline.Continue reading
We here at Koprince Law have been seeing a lot of GAO bid protests lately, but for those of you unfamiliar with the Government Accountability Office and what it means to file a bid protest, this video is for you:
The breadth and depth of protests heard by GAO may lead even a seasoned government contractor to overlook the limitations of GAO’s jurisdiction.
As one contractor recently found, the GAO generally will not consider protests based on an allegation that the agency should not have referred an adverse responsibility determination to the SBA for a certificate of competency review.Continue reading
So, the GAO sustained your bid protest? Perhaps surprisingly, a sustained protest doesn’t necessary mean GAO will recommend that the agency cancel the award and re-open the solicitation. You may just walk away with your bid preparation and protest costs.
We’ve been following GAO’s plan to implement its Electronic Protest Docketing System (“EPDS”) with great interest. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to test-drive the new system (tl/dr: it’s a very user-friendly system, but there are a couple of minor improvements that would make it even better).
Just yesterday, GAO released a final rule implementing EPDS. Here are the most important takeaways.
GAO bid protests filed by small businesses are (statistically speaking) less likely to succeed than protests filed by large contractors, according to the RAND Corporation’s recent bid protest study.
The disparity isn’t the result of discrimination against small businesses, but rather a product of other factors: primarily, the motivation to protest, the understanding of the protest system, and access to legal counsel. RAND raises an important point, but offers no fair and easy solution. Perhaps, given that protests overall are “exceedingly uncommon,” a solution isn’t needed–but it’s wise to think about whether there are ways to help small businesses become better educated about bid protests.
Readers of this blog will know that the GAO interprets its protest timeliness rules quite strictly. A recent GAO case provides us with an opportunity to review a nuanced piece of those timeliness rules. Specifically, how withdrawal of an agency-level protest affects the deadline to file a GAO protest, and what counts as a withdrawal of an agency-level protest versus an “initial adverse agency action.”
In this case, the protester lost its GAO protest rights by trying to pursue its agency-level protest with an inspector general’s office rather than with the contracting officer.