Proposal Protests – Part 2

  |  March 27, 2009

Each has unique pros and cons and can vary widely in expense.

Historically, GAO was a home team umpire. I have seen many truly one-sided decisions from GAO. But with the advent of the General Services Board of Contract Appeals (GSBCA), they improved and, during the last couple of years, have done a fairly good job.

Many kinds of protests exist. Most firms do not understand very much about this. One can do a proxy protest. In this type, a firm that does not wish to reveal itself hires another to run the protest. This provides the secrecy and the first firm provides the funds.

Another type of protest is the decoy protest. I know that HUD is coming out with a big one I want to win, but I also know they have made mistakes in the past. So I protest early on a bid I have little interest in, in order to educate them before the big one.

Much more could be discussed. Protests are one of the most important items in the entire government selling process. Any firm doing $10 million per year, which does not protest, at least once a year may be failing to maximize their federal sales. Even IBM understands this. During the GSBCA era, IBM filed 25 protests in a three-year period and won 21 of them. But even IBM can make mistakes, as we saw in the case which brought us the IBM rule.



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