The GAO just published its Fiscal Year 2019 Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress and reported that there we no instances in which a Federal agency did not fully implement one of its recommendations or in which a final decision was not rendered within 100 days. As for the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests, the GAO reported the following:
- Unreasonable technical evaluation
- Inadequate documentation of the record
- Flawed selection decision
- Unequal treatment
- Unreasonable cost or price evaluation
The GAO also pointed out that a significant number of protests filed do not reach the decision stage because agencies voluntarily took corrective action in response to the protest rather than defend the protest on its merits.
Overall, the number of bid protests filed in fiscal year 2019 were down 16 percent from the prior fiscal year. Correspondingly, the number of cases heard and the number of protests sustained also decreased from the prior fiscal year. Even the sustention rate wen down from 15 percent in fiscal year 2018 to 13 percent in fiscal year 2017.
The GAO report did not attempt an analysis of why the reduced number of bid protest filings. There are probably many factors affecting these percentages. Perhaps the Government is doing a better job at awarding contracts; improving its technical evaluations, improving documentation, performing reasonable cost or price evaluations, etc. In all cases, a bid protest is alleging that someone in the Government did not do an adequate job when awarding a contract. The obvious solution is to improve the source selection process by whatever means available; employment retention, training, etc.