Bid protests keep rising

Bid protests filed in fiscal year 2011 continued their steady five-year climb, according to new data from the Government Accountability Office.

GAO handled 2,353 cases in fiscal 2011, compared with 2,299 in 2010 and 1,411 in 2007.

The number of protests that were sustained, however, dropped to 67 compared with 82 in 2010. The number of sustained protests was the lowest in 2009, when only 57 of 1,989 cases were sustained. In 2007, 91 cases were sustained out of 1,411 that were filed.

In its annual report to Congress, GAO said only 147 cases filed in 2011 were from GAO’s expanded bid protest jurisdiction over task orders.

2011 had the lowest sustainment rate at 16 percent for the five years covered in the GAO report. 2007 has the highest with 27 percent.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 IGiles

I agree with SP Mayor although bid protest are up the GAO is the deciding factor on whether the protest have merit. Compared to the number of government contracts that have been awarded the protest issued seem like a very small number. The individuals filing protest should use their best judgment in making that next step to file. Unfortunately some contractors don't handle losing very well, but that is what the GAO is for.

Mon, Nov 21, 2011

A little misleading because normally what happens is when an agency "realizes" they had a flaw in their process, they "settle" or the winning contractor shares the work with the protester and the protest is withdrawn.

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 SPMayor Summit Point, WV

We give more attention to the title of the process than the substance of the numbers. First, we make a big deal that protests are unique to Government contracting as if that makes them an abberation : they aren't, they are an alternative form of dispute resolution is a unique, Government controlled and favored environment. Second, look at the numbers and they tell a great story - while there may be more unhappy contractors filing the fact is GAO is determining the circumstances warrant continued confidence in how COs are handling procurements. In my opinion we make a bigger deal out of protests than is warranted - if protests weren't filed then some genius, probably located on some high Hill, would decide contractors need to exercise this right more and call for automatic suspension and debarment for failing to miss their protest quota.

Fri, Nov 18, 2011

We need our Government to charge a percentage of the contract when a bid protest is denied. This may stop serial protests from happening. Stop being sore losers and wasting precious tax dollars!

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