If your company does business with the federal government, the chances are high that you have heard the phrase “bid protest” before. But what exactly is a bid protest, and what must every contractor understand about the bid protest process?
Protesting a proposed contract award to another vendor is a highly-specialized area of the law for several reasons. Each agency has a unique set of rules and regulations governing its procurement process dealing with bid protests which must be followed. Further, the deadline to submit a bid protest is usually very short, and the format and method in which to submit it in may be specific. The reasons for the bid, and an understanding of the agency’s protest procedure, must be determined very quickly.
The bid protest process is one of the most important tools available to government contractors. Federal contractors who believe the government improperly awarded a contract to a competitor may file a protest before one of several different forums. Protests often delay performance of a contract until they are resolved. Acting quickly is imperative, as contractors forfeit many of their protest rights if they fail to meet very short and strict deadlines. Our bid protest team can help clients:
- Prepare for written or oral debriefings, including drafting questions and coaching client personnel who will participate in the debriefing;
- Attend oral debriefings held at the agency site;
- Analyze and submit bid protests to federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Court of Federal Claims, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) and other boards where relevant;
- Pursue protests addressing a wide variety of issues, including sole source contracts, small business set-asides, organizational conflicts of interest, Federal Supply Schedule contracts, task orders under ID/IQ contracts, unreasonable past performance or technical evaluations, and cost-technical tradeoffs;
- Represent awardees in interventions to protect their contract award where another contractor has protested the award
- Participate in alternative dispute resolution before ODRA
- Advise on the benefits and disadvantages of filing a protest, and counsel on protest alternatives