There are several types of bid protests available for interested parties or disappointed bidders in federal agency procurements, including agency protests (Federal Acquisition Regulation 33.103 and Executive Order 12979), protests before the General Accountability Office, and protests filed with the U. S. Court of Federal Claims. Karen Hindson handles both pre-award and post-award bid protests and can help you determine the most suitable forum for your situation. Contact us to discuss your bid protest legal issues.
Pre-award or post-award bid protests on government contracts are most often filed with the General Accountability Office (GAO). GAO Bid Protest Procedures are at 4 CFR Part 21. Also see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 33.104. A bid protest concerning the terms of a solicitation must be filed prior to the date that proposals are due (bid opening date) in order to be timely. Pre-award bid protests may also be filed challenging an adverse agency action, such as an offeror’s exclusion from the competitive range and further participation in an ongoing procurement. Pre-award bid protests filed with GAO typically stop award of a contract until the protest is decided, absent a high level determination that it is urgent and compelling that a predecision award be made.
Post-award bid protests challenge the agency’s award decision or procedures utilized in making the contract award and are available to disappointed bidders that believe an agency has not acted in accordance with statute or regulation in conducting the procurement. The GAO gives the benefit of the doubt to agency action, frequently deferring to the agency’s exercise of discretion. However, contracting activities must conduct proposal evaluations as described in the request for proposals, and in accordance with statute and regulation. GAO generally will not substitute its judgment for the judgment of the agency contracting official, but if a violation of statute or regulation is found, or if proposals are not evaluated as stated in the request for proposals (RFP), the GAO will recommend corrective action. GAO recommendations to agencies for successful post-award bid protests may include reopening the procurement, terminating a contract awarded improperly, and payment of the successful protester’s attorneys fees and other costs of pursuing the protest.
Contact the government contract law firm of Karen S. Hindson PC, Hindson & Melton LLC’s woman-owned, veteran-owned small business with over 30 years of government contract law experience.