GAO reports 12% drop in protests filed during 2022 fiscal year

The facade of the GAO building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Cory Doctorow/Flickr)

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The Government Accountability Office has recorded a 12% year-on-year reduction in the number of protests filed for the 2022 fiscal year.

In an update to Congress, GAO said it received a total of 1,658 cases over the period, which represents a 12% decline from 1,897 in the 2021 fiscal year.

GAO each year issues a report to Congress in which it discloses bid protest trends and outlines the total number of solicitation complaints received during the prior fiscal year.

Of the 1,658 cases, 1,595 were bid protests, 43 were cost claims and 20 cases were requests for reconsideration, according to GAO.

The number of contract award complaints filed with GAO has fallen substantially since fiscal 2017 when it recorded a total of 2,596 cases being opened.

Federal contractors seeking to challenge a contract award are able to file a complaint either at the agency level, with the GAO, or at the Court of Federal Claims.

Technology companies often choose to file a protest with the GAO because under the Competition in Contracting Act, the awarding agency must pause contested solicitation awards if certain timeline criteria are met.

In its update to Congress, GAO also noted that only one federal department declined to implement the recommendations of the office in connection with a bid protest during fiscal 2022: the Department of the Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command.

According to GAO, despite its findings that the Navy’s evaluation of the awardee’s proposal was not consistent with the terms of the solicitation, the department did not reopen discussions and request revised proposals.

GAO noted also that out of the protests sustained during the 2022 fiscal year, the most prevalent reasons for doing so were unreasonable technical evaluations, flawed selection decisions and flawed solicitations.

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Congress, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Navy, U.S. Court of Federal Claims
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