Labels and Tags

Accountability (69) Adequate documentation (6) ADR in procurement (3) Allocation of risks (5) Best interest of government (11) Best practices (19) Best value (15) Bidder prejudice (11) Blanket purchase agreement (1) Bridge contract (2) Bundling (6) Cancellation and rejection (2) Centralized procurement structure (12) Changes during bid process (13) Clarifications vs Discussions (1) Competence (9) Competition vs Efficiency (29) Competitive position (2) Compliance (33) Conflict of interest (31) Contract administration (25) Contract disputes (1) Contract extension or modification (8) Contract terms (2) Contract types (6) Contract vs solicitation dispute (2) Contractor responsibility (19) Conviction (3) Cooperative purchasing (3) Cost and pricing (13) Debarment (4) Determinations (8) Determining responsibility (34) Disclosure requirements (7) Discussions during solicitation (9) Disposal of surplus property (3) Effective enforcement requirement (35) Effective procurement management (3) Effective specifications (36) Emergency procurement (14) eProcurement (5) Equitable tolling (2) Evaluation of submissions (22) Fair and equitable treatment (14) Fair and reasonable value (23) Fiscal effect of procurement (14) Frivolous protest (1) Good governance (8) Governmental functions (26) Guam (14) Guam procurement law (12) Improper influence (11) Incumbency (12) Integrity of system (29) Interested party (7) Jurisdiction (1) Justification (1) Life-cycle cost (1) Limits of government contracting (5) Lore vs Law (4) market research (7) Materiality (3) Methods of source selection (32) Mistakes (4) Models of Procurement (1) Needs assessment (11) No harm no foul? (8) Other procurement links (14) Outsourcing (33) Past performance (12) Planning policy (33) Politics of procurement (48) PPPs (6) Prequalification (1) Principle of competition (93) Principles of procurement (24) Private vs public contract (15) Procurement authority (5) Procurement controversies series (78) Procurement ethics (19) Procurement fraud (27) Procurement lifecycle (9) Procurement philosophy (16) Procurement procedures (30) Procurement reform (63) Procurement theory (11) Procurement workforce (2) Procurment philosophy (6) Professionalism (17) Protest - formality (2) Protest - timing (12) Protests - general (37) Purposes and policies of procurement (10) Recusal (1) Remedies (16) Requirement for new procurement (4) Resolution of protests (4) Responsiveness (13) Restrictive specifications (5) Review procedures (12) Scope of contract (16) Settlement (2) Social preference provisions (59) Sole source (47) Sovereign immunity (2) Staffing (7) Standard commercial products (2) Standards of review (2) Standing (6) Stays and injunctions (6) Structure of procurement (1) Substantiation (9) Surety (1) Suspension (6) The procurement record (1) The role of price (10) The subject matter of procurement (22) Trade agreements vs procurement (1) Training (32) Transparency (60) Uniformity (6) Unsolicited proposals (2)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thumbnail view of federal protest process

Having written a lengthy "primer" on the Guam procurement process (see right side bar), I am awe struck by the simple description of the federal process provided in the article below by "Channel Voices" blogger Steve Charles on the CRN website.   

 Steve Charles is co-founder and executive vice president of immixGroup, which helps technology companies do business with the government. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on technology and the federal procurement process. He can be reached at The information he presents was adapted and digested from the book “The Inside Guide to the Federal IT Market,” published by Management Concepts Press. For more information, visit

I've extracted and pasted, as usual, so read the whole article, especially if you want to get a bead on the federal system.  I've tried to extract those parts of the piece that are very similar to, if not identical with, the Guam process: the venues and timelines do differ, but the substance is practically the same.

Lost a Federal Contract Bid? How the Protest Process Works
There are three main types of protests:
* A protest that some aspect of the solicitation itself is prejudicial to your company.
* A protest that exclusion from competitive range or other aspect of the negotiated stage of a procurement was unfairly done.
* A protest that the final selection process was flawed.
These are pre-bid, pre-award, and post-award protests, respectively.

Pre-bid and pre-award protests often get imprecisely lumped together as pre-award protests, since a pre-bid protest does occur before contract award. But the two are significantly different; protests made after government receipt of a proposal or quote have far more in common than protests made before the date bids are due.

The simplest are pre-bid protests against unduly restrictive solicitation, improper requirements bundling, ambiguous language, or unreasonable evaluation criteria.

Filing a protest with an agency or with the GAO typically causes the agency to suspend further execution of the procurement, whether the protest is filed before or after a contract award. At the Court of Federal Claims, you can ask for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction against the agency.

For better or worse, agency-level protests are relatively rare, since most protest experts doubt agencies' ability to fairly evaluate themselves. Agency-level protests also lack the kind of document disclosure process that the GAO facilitates. Keep an eye on GAO deadlines for filing a protest.

Only "interested parties" can file a protest, and for the most part it's pretty clear who is one. The legal definition of an interested party accepted by the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims is “an actual or prospective bidder or offer or whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of the contract or by failure to award the contract.” Post-award, that means an offeror. Pre-award, that means companies considering participation in the competition. Subcontractors, or potential subcontractors, are not considered an interested party.

It is possible to resolve a problem with a solicitation's requirements or evaluation criteria without having to file a protest. During some solicitations, there is a period before the response deadline during which companies can ask for clarifications, and those requests for clarification often result in ameliorative amendments to the solicitation language.

The 10-day period for filing with the GAO starts ticking when the agency delivers an “adverse action” against your protest.


For a larger icon view of the subject, consider Fox Rothschild's Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog's Government Accountability Office ("GAO") bid protest series. The third part of the series is available here, with links there to the first 2 parts.
In the first two installments, we covered who may file a GAO protest (Part 1) and what other parties can (and will) participate in the process (Part 2). Today, in Part 3, we'll discuss What May Be Protested.

No comments: