The contractors doth protest too much?


Contractor protests of government contract awards rose 17 percent in 2008, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week.

GAO received 1,652 cases in 2008, up from 1,411 in 2007.

At least some of the increase is due to GAO’s expanded jurisdiction over orders placed under existing multi-vendor contracts, public-private competition decisions and Transportation Security Administration contracts. These new areas of authority brought in 87 cases to the office this year. If these cases are excluded from the calculations, protests only increased 11 percent in 2008, GAO said.

We reported in September that protests of competitive sourcing decisions were contributing to a burgeoning caseload at GAO.

GAO closed 1,581 cases in 2008, which includes some holdover cases from 2007. Of those, 291 cases were decided on their merits. Only 60 cases were sustained. That’s down from 91 sustained cases in 2007. Of the cases without a formal GAO decision, 42 percent were settled by the agencies, according to the report.
The report does not encompass all protests filed in 2008. Some protests are filed directly with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.


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