Government Contracting News: While Protests Are Down, Effectiveness Rate Remains the Same

Written on November 18, 2019

Federal contract protests continued to decline in Fiscal Year 2019, dropping 16% from the previous year. At the same time, the effectiveness rate, where a protestor received some desired action, remained steady at 44%. Bid protests remain a useful tool for contractors as federal agencies take remedial action in many cases, rather than letting a protest run its full course. That’s an important takeaway. Protesting companies can live to bid again on the same opportunity almost half of the time. When a good GAO protest can be filed for about $50,000, the question becomes, why wouldn’t a company protest on an important project? One reason for the drop in the total number of protests, is that agencies may be catching on and switching procurements to government-wide acquisition contracts and similar vehicles. Task orders made against such contracts are only protest-able for DOD procurements when they are valued at $25 million or more. The civilian agency threshold remains at $10 million. Some of the most popular Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, such as GSA’s OASIS, also carry a best in class designation from OMB. The previously listed factors give agencies a powerful reason to use such vehicles. GSA OASIS task orders soared to $20 billion last year, while GSA Professional Service Schedule sales, where protests can be filed over task orders of any size, remained flat. Regardless of acquisition vehicle, the latest protest information provides important data for contractors. Timely and reasonable protests can bring good results. If you would like to reduce the risk of your award being protested, recommend that your federal customer use an IDIQ vehicle with a high threshold. See the story here for more. 

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