What’s Protests Got to do With It?

By the Numbers: According a recent Rand Report, DoD and non-DoD protest activity approximately doubled between 2008 and 2016. All is not lost, however, as the portion of contracts protested is still less than .3 percent. The congressionally-mandated report was ordered as part of the 2017 Defense authorization bill to prevent restraints on a company’s ability to file protests.


  • Enhance the quality of the post-award debriefings was one of the main recommendations.
  • Be careful in considering reductions in the time for resolving disputes
  • Be careful in considering restrictions on task-order protests
  • Consider expedited processes for contracts under $0.1 million
  • Consider approaches to reduce small business protests such as changes to the debriefing process

In concurrence, the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act also called for increased emphasis on post-award debriefings and included a pilot program for protester payment of Government costs for denied GAO bid protests.

Final Word: Are the numbers of protests going up, down, or sideways?


According to the GAO annual reports from 1995 through 2917, total cases including cost claim and requests for consideration dipped for awhile but have been steadily climbing upward.


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