Monday, February 3, 2014

Federal Bid Protests Decline Slightly in 2013

Bid protests on federal procurements declined 2% in 2013 over bid protests filed in 2012.  There were a total of 2,429 bid protests filed with the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), down from 2,475 filed in 2012. 

First year of decrease:  The decrease marks the first time in a number of years that the number of protests actually declined.  The following shows the percentage change in bid protests since 2006.
  • 2006 to 2007 - 6% increase
  • 2007 to 2008 - 17% increase
  • 2008 to 2009 - 20% increase
  • 2009 to 2010 - 16% increase
  • 2010 to 2011 - 2% increase
  • 2011 to 2012 - 5% increase
  • 2012 to 2013 - 2% decrease 
Reasons for protests:  GAO reports the following as the most prevalent reasons why they sustained protests filed with them during the 2013 fiscal year:
  • Failure to follow the solicitation evaluation criteria
  • Inadequate documentation of the record
  • Unequal treatment of offerors
  • Unreasonable price or cost evaluation 
More Information:  Click here to read the complete GAO report to Congress on bid protests (7 pages) 

Practical Tips:  Make sure you have a comprehensive and independent quality control process for reviewing your solicitation documents before they are advertised to ensure that the selection process and requirements are clear.  Your solicitation documents should also define your agency's protest procedures, which may be partially governed by your state law.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2014 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC


Cynthia Shick said...

The trend is interesting - The leveling seems to generally coincide with an improving economy. What factors do you think may be contributing to the leveling off of the occurrences of protests?

Mike Purdy said...

That's my guess as well about the leveling off of bid protests. The spike seems to coincide with the problem economy and the leveling off seems to affirm what we are seeing with the improvement in the economy.