GAO’s annual bid protest report is a fall tradition for federal contracting attorneys. It’s perhaps not quite as tasty as stuffing in my book, but always interesting. In it, GAO summarizes its slate of bid protests for the previous fiscal year, and we can glean insights from how the protest numbers have changed from prior years.
Here are some key points from this year: (1) the key effectiveness metric, showing numbers of sustains and corrective actions at GAO, was up again to 51% for the 2022 fiscal year and (2) total bid protest numbers are down slightly, continuing a trend from the last few years.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has offered participants in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program the opportunity to tell Congress about their views and experience in the program.
In 2020, the GAO Bid Protest effectiveness rate crossed the 50% threshold, higher than we’ve seen it in any recent year. Overall, cases filed went down a mere 2% year over year.
GAO issues its yearly report as a requirement under statute. Congress is particularly concerned with knowing 1) which federal agencies didn’t follow GAO’s recommendations in bid protests and 2) if GAO did not issue a decision in 100 days. As like most years, GAO was “pleased” to report that all agencies followed its recommendations, when given, and that it timely (within 100 days) decided all bid protests.
Fraud is an ever pressing concern in federal contracts, and the federal government goes to great lengths to minimize the risks to introduce fraud into the procurement system.
Unfortunately, a recent GAO report highlighted how complex ownership structures can be leveraged to obscure fraudulent contracting activities. Worse still, complex ownership structures are most frequently leveraged to perpetrate small business set-aside fraud.
Have you ever felt like you were screaming into the void when submitting your comments to a proposed rule in the Federal Register? That your well thought out comments were being drowned out by a mass of other comments on a proposed rule or attributed to someone else? Have you wondered what agencies do with all that information you send them when you submit a comment on a proposed rule?
Well, GAO seems to have the same questions and concerns regarding the proposed rule comments process and has taken time these past few months to examine how agencies wade through comments on proposed rules, publish them, and clearly attribute identities to them.