Monday, April 18, 2016

GAO to Begin Charging a Fee for Filing Bid Protests

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) published a proposed rule that, among other things, will establish a new electronic filing and document dissemination system for the filing of bid protests with that organization. That's not the news. In addition to requiring each person who files a bid protest to use the new system, the proposed rule will also require the protester to pay a filing fee of $350. Heretofore, filing has been free.

Although $350 doesn't seem like much - and it isn't compared to all of the other costs associated with filing a protest including legal fees and document production - it could be a deterrent to those who recognize their chances of prevailing are slim. It will be interesting to see whether the new $350 filing fee will act as a deterrent to such filings or otherwise reduce the number of bid protest challenges.

The cost was computed by taking the actual costs that GAO has incurred to date plus estimates of future costs for hosting and maintaining the system, divided by the estimates of future bid protests over the next six years. This way, GAO can recover its development costs and cover the annual cost of maintenance over a six year period.

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