By Heather Mims
GAO recently released its bid protest statistics for fiscal year 2017. The number of bid protests filed saw a slight decrease from 2016 but, overall, the effectiveness rate remained fairly even.
Specifically, 2,596 cases were filed at the GAO in fiscal year 2017, which is down 7% compared to the 2,789 cases that were filed in fiscal year 2016. However, the GAO’s “effectiveness rate,” which includes voluntary agency corrective active and sustained protests, remained virtually unchanged at 47% in fiscal year 2017, compared to 46% in fiscal year 2016.
In its statistics, the GAO also noted its most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests in the past year. For 2017, these grounds were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) inadequate documentation of the record; and (5) flawed selection decision.
An example of a protest where the GAO ruled that the agency had inadequate documentation is Threat Management Group, LLC. Threat Management Group protested the issuance of a task order as outside of the scope of the underlying ID/IQ contract and thus the agency should have competed the requirement. In examining the record, the GAO noted that there was no documentation of the specific services the awardee was requested to perform under the task order. The GAO twice requested additional documentation from the agency, which it was unable to provide. In sustaining the protest, the GAO found that the record was so limited that it could not conclude that a task order was within the scope of the underlying contract and the agency had not produced any relevant documents to demonstrate otherwise.
In its report each year, the GAO includes a chart showing the statistical changes for the past five fiscal years. Among other things, this chart indicates that the success rate for ADR was the highest this past year (at an astounding 90%) out of the prior five years. Additional information can be found in the below chart:
About the Author:
Heather Mims is an associate attorney at Centre Law & Consulting. Her practice is primarily focused on government contracts law, employment law, and litigation. Heather graduated magna cum laude from the George Mason School of Law where she was the Senior Research Editor for the Law Review and a Writing Fellow.