Do You Feel Left Out? Bid Protests 101
A few times I have gotten questions from clients who have felt left out of doing work with the government and want to know more about the bid protest process because they feel the decision of a contracting officer or government agency regarding a contract bid or awarded contract was unfair. To do this, you first must make sure that you qualify as an “interested party”. To be considered an interested party, the FAR 33-1 states that your company must be “an actual or prospective offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or by the failure to award a contract”. Once you discern your status, you must follow a very specific procedure, and the government is obligated to respond to them as long as they are procedurally correct.
Ideally, the government contracting realm is impartial and fair, but sometimes competitors feel that someone has been or is about to be awarded a contract on bogus or questionable grounds. They feel that in their case, the process for a bid was not designed to allow competitors the opportunity to bid on a fair and even playing field. The company can then open a case through the contracting officer at that agency (the recommended channel) or file their protest directly to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Over the past few years, Bid Protests have been increasing. Companies filed 2,299 Protests in fiscal 2010, a 16 percent increase from the 1,989 filed in 2009. The trend has continued to grow since 2007. From 2007 to 2010, the number of cases has climbed by 62 percent.
For more information on this please visit http://www.gao.gov/.
About Steve Young
Steve serves as the Director of the Technology Resale division. Steve manages all aspects of Winvale’s GSA Schedule contracts. Steve also leads the company in RFP/RFQ responses where Winvale is the Prime Contractor. Responsible for over 60 manufacturers on Winvale’s GSA Schedule contracts, Steve insures that each manufacturer’s products or services are compliant and within scope of each GSA contract.