GAO: Bid Protests Fell 12% in Fiscal 2021

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The number of disputed federal contract awards reached 1,897 during the government’s 2021 fiscal year, down 12 percent from the 2,149 cases filed in the preceding year, according to an annual bid protest report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

GAO submitted data to Congress showing FY 2021 was the third year in a row challenges to contract terms or awards have decreased. Procurement law experts at the government audit office have offered explanations for the decline.

Nextgov reported Ralph White and Kenneth Patton, both managing associate general counsels at GAO, attribute the declining protests partly to enhanced debriefing procedures.

Patton told the publication that the debriefing process offers additional information meant to help companies think over a protest.

He also believes the use of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts with provisions allowing agencies to buy goods and services from multiple vendors could reduce the number of federal contracting disputes.

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