GAO Submits its Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017

November 15, 2017

On November 13, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published its Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017. The report is required under CICA, wherein GAO must provide Congress a summary of every instance where an agency did not fully implement a recommendation by GAO in connection with a protest and a "summary of the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests.” 31 USC § 3554(e)(2). Notably, GAO also includes statistics relating to bid protests.

 

The report is instructive as it provides contractors with some insight into the bid protest process and what arguments are viewed as persuasive. Here are some takeaways:

  • Number of cases filed decreased to 2,596 (2,789 in FY16)

  • Sustain Rate dropped to 17% (23% in FY16)

  • Effectiveness Rate increased to 47% (46% in FY16)

The Effectiveness Rate is important for contractors because it is based on a protester obtaining some relief, either from GAO sustaining the protest or the agency taking corrective action. Below are GAO's most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests during FY17:

  • Unreasonable technical evaluation

  • Unreasonable past performance evaluation

  • Unreasonable cost or price evaluation

  • Inadequate documentation of the record

  • Flawed selection decision

A copy of GAO's Report to Congress may be found HERE.

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