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GAO: Bid Protest Cases Down 2% in FY 2020; Thomas Armstrong Quoted

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the total number of protests filed with GAO to challenge federal contract awards reached 2,149 in fiscal year 2020, reflecting a 2 percent drop from the 2,198 cases recorded in FY 2019.

GAO told congressional committees in a letter released Wednesday that contractors filed 2,052 bid protests, 41 reconsideration requests and 56 cost claims in FY 2020. The congressional watchdog closed 2,137 bid protest cases and 417 of those cases were associated with GAO’s jurisdiction over task orders.

Thomas Armstrong, general counsel at GAO, said in the letter the agency sustained 15 percent of the total bid protest cases in FY 2020 due to flawed solicitation and unreasonable technical assessment, among other reasons.

“It is important to note that a significant number of protests filed with our Office do not reach a decision on the merits because agencies voluntarily take corrective action in response to the protest rather than defend the protest on the merits,” Armstrong added.

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