The most recent U.S. Government Accountability Office figures suggest the percentage of contractors winning some form of relief after filing bid protests has kept rising for more than 15 years, but the increase has failed to translate into meaningful benefits for protesters, attorneys say.
While the “effectiveness rate” of bid protests has gone up steadily since the GAO first started reporting that figure in fiscal year 2001 — particularly as agencies voluntarily take more protests to corrective action — the GAO only measures effectiveness based on the broad idea of protesters getting “some form of relief,” according to attorneys.
“What a corrective action is supposed to be, essentially, is a narrowly tailored remedy to correct whatever the defect was. [But] I’ve seen it more than once where an agency will go back and repaper the record,” said Franklin Turner, co-leader of McCarter & English LLP’s government contracts and export controls practice group. “There is a sense, sometimes … it’s almost as if the government has a preordained outcome for the procurement.”