The costs of filing a bid protest can dissuade some protesters from submitting bid protests. One silver lining for protesters is a recommendation for reimbursement of costs upon a sustained decision. However, even when GAO says a protest is “clearly meritorious”, the protest may still be dismissed prior to GAO issuing a decision.
What happens when an agency takes corrective action in the face of a likely sustained GAO decision? One protester recently found out.
While GAO regulations allow GAO to recommend an agency reimburse a protester’s costs if the agency takes corrective action, recouping costs can still be an uphill battle.
In AeroSage, LLC, B-416381.6 (Comp. Gen. Mar. 13, 2019), decided before GAO last week, a protester requested $26,450 in costs, but was only reimbursed its initial filing fee, approximately 1 % of that amount.
As Koprince Law attorneys have discussed in depth, GAO will in some instances award costs for a clearly meritorious protest where an agency does not take corrective action before the due date for the agency report. But what are the standards for a “clearly meritorious” protest?
It’s instructive to look at a recent GAO decision that reviewed protest grounds dealing with past performance evaluation and a requirement that the Army be able to set up the proposed product within 60 seconds.