May 22, 2014

Barbara Kinosky

I have been trying to write an exciting opening sentence, but it’s hard when the topic is a report to Congress.  So without further ado, I’ll just get to the point. 

Every year the GAO releases its Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress. The report for fiscal year 2013 recently came out.   What are the numbers?

During fiscal year 2013, there were 2,298 protests filed.  The protester won 17% of the time.   In legalese that’s called “sustained.”  That’s much better than the odds in Las Vegas.   And for those of you heading there, the experts say that blackjack and craps have the best odds but certainly not the 17%.  So do you, as a COR, CO, or member of the Source Selection team avoid those odds?

The most prevalent reasons for sustained protests in 2013 were:

  1. Failure to follow the solicitation evaluation criteria
  2. Inadequate documentation of the record
  3. Unequal treatment of offerors
  4. Unreasonable cost or price evaluation. 

So, if it’s not in the evaluation criteria don’t give an offeror points for something that isn’t supposed to be evaluated. Regarding number two on the list, people, document the record.  You heard it here!  I always say (jokingly) that it’s better to write it on the back of your cocktail napkin than not to write it down at all.  Of course we have other issues if you are evaluating proposals in a bar but that will be another blog. 

We cover all of this and more in our Seven Steps to Avoid Bid Protests training class.We’ll give you the practical advice you need to avoid being on next year’s GAO report to Congress. 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and especially remember those in the military who keep us out of harm’s way. 



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