Many, including the former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, believe bid protests are worth it. Among chief factors that lead many to believe that a protests are warranted:
- The relatively low cost to file a protest with Government Accountability Office (GAO);
- An over 40% chance of that the protester will obtain some form of relief; and
- The potential to receive a partial or full award of your attorneys fees costs incurred in bringing the protest.
Where: Disappointed bidders on a contract being let by a federal government agency have a choice of filing a bid protest in four different places: (1) the agency giving the award; (2) the GAO; (3) the Court of Federal Claims; and (4) the disappointed bidders local federal district court.
Each forum has it pros and cons. However, the GAO is by far the most popular forum for filing a bid protest on a federal contract award because of the detailed rules for hearing and the speed at which the matter is disposed of. Indeed, the GAO will rule on a bid protest within 100 days of a protest being filed with it. Moreover, with few exceptions, a claim filed with the GAO results in an automatic stay of award of the contract subject to the dispute.
When: A post-award bid protest must be filed with the GAO within ten (10) days. While there is no set time frame for filing a bid protest with either the Court of Federal Claims or a local federal district court, because bid protest filed there seek preliminary injunctive relief, they should be filed as soon as possible. In fact, any delay in filing a bid protest with the federal court may result in the claim being denied.