It’s no secret that more contract awards are getting protested. But it might be a little too simplistic to chalk it up to desperation among contractors that see opportunities dwindling.
Don’t get me wrong, that is one reason why the numbers are increasing — by 5 percent in 2014, as I reported in November. But a panel of procurement experts pointed to a couple other reasons: more missteps by a more inexperienced government acquisition workforce, and the disintegration of the “protest stigma” that once existed in the industry.
In the case of the former, John Lubratich, chief financial officer at Herndon-based ViON Corp., noted one example where an award was supposed to be sole sourced to single company, only to morph into a competition among select companies that held contracts under a specific procurement vehicle. Multiple companies protested, arguing they should’ve been given an opportunity to compete, and the agency opted to take corrective action and start over.
“It was a bait-and-switch,” Lubratich said Wednesday at a panel discussion hosted by the Washington Business Journal and Baker Tilly.
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