Every fiscal year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases data regarding bid protest filings and compares them with prior years. For FY 2015, GAO’s report shows an increase in the number of protests filed. More significantly, there also was an increase in the number of protests sustained or resolved via corrective action.
The number of cases filed with the GAO — 2,639 — reflects an increase of 3% compared to the prior year. GAO also closed more cases this year than in the prior year — 2,647, compared to last year’s 2,458. Of those 2,647 cases, only 587 resulted in formal decisions of which 68, or 12%, sustained the protest.
The most commonly sustained grounds for protest were:
- unreasonable cost or price evaluation
- unreasonable past performance evaluation
- failure to follow evaluation criteria
- inadequate documentation of the record
- unreasonable technical evaluation.
Although the 12% sustain rate is low, the figure is somewhat misleading because of the number of cases in which the agency takes voluntary corrective action. The effective rate of cases, which combines both cases that were sustained or resulted in agency corrective action,was 45% in FY 2015, constituting a 2% increase from the prior year and the highest effective rate in the past 5 years.
More details, including comparisons to the previous four years, can be seen in the chart below.
A copy of GAO’s report can be downloaded at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674134.pdf