U.S. Government Bid Protest Education Center


What You Need to Know About Bid Protests

How to Protest without Antagonizing
Contractors often worry whether a bid protest will antagonize the Government Customer and hurt the client’s chances for other Federal Government Contracts.
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Bid Protest Primer
A bid protest is a right created by statute that allows government contractors to challenge an agency’s decision regarding the ground rules for a procurement and the eventual award decisions made by the agency.
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What is a bid protest?
A bid protest can ensure your proposal gets a fair chance or an opportunity to defend your award. An experienced attorney will maximize success.
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Who can file a protest?
Before the award, any potential bidder. Afterward, an interested party.
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Do I need a Bid Protest Attorney?
Because GAO timelines are driven by regulation and only an outside attorney can access the full procurement file, you should consider hiring an attorney.
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Why should you file a protest?
If there’s reason to believe that either the proposal itself, or the evaluation of bids was unfair or didn’t comply with the law.
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When must you file?
PRE-AWARD: You can challenge the terms of the proposal any time prior to the contract award.
POST AWARD: A post-award protest must be filed WITHIN TEN DAYS of notification of the award.
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Where can you file?
AGENCY: You can file a protest with the awarding agency.
GAO: This is usually the best place to file, but has a better chance of success with a Bid Protest Attorney
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Tips on Reading an RFP
WEBINAR: Valuable information on how to read a U.S. Government Request for Proposal (RFP) so that you can optimize your chances of winning the bid while also minimizing your risk of having your award protested.
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Need help with a bid protest?  Use the form below or call 703-226-1865.

Government Protest Statistics

  1. All entries in this chart are counted in terms of the docket numbers (‟B” numbers) assigned by our Office, not the number of procurements challenged. Where a protester files a supplemental protest or multiple parties protest the same procurement action, multiple iterations of the same “B” number are assigned (i.e., .2, .3). Each of these numbers is deemed a separate case for purposes of this chart. Cases include protests, cost claims, and requests for reconsideration.
  2. From the prior fiscal year.
  3. From the prior fiscal year.
  4. Of the 2,200 cases closed in FY 2019, 373 are attributable to GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction over task or delivery orders placed under indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts.
  5. Based on a protester obtaining some form of relief from the agency, as reported to GAO, either as a result of voluntary agency corrective action or our Office sustaining the protest. This figure is a percentage of all protests closed this fiscal year.
  6. Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  7. Percentage of cases resolved without a formal GAO decision after ADR.
  8. Percentage of fully developed cases in which GAO conducted a hearing; not all fully-developed cases result in a merit decision.

Source: https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702551.pdf

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