On January 11, 2021, Paul Debolt was quoted in Federal News Network on the Government Accountability Office’s (GOA) fiscal 2020 report to Congress on bid protests.
According to the article, the report notes that the effectiveness rate, which measures how often an agency takes corrective action or a protest is sustained, jumped to 51% from 44% in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The agency says the sustain rate is 15%, which is up from 13% the year before. At the same time, however, the number of protests dropped for the second year in a row. Experts say there are several reasons for the decrease.
Debolt said enhanced debriefings help vendors understand agency decisions and address long-standing problems of not doing a good job articulating the award rationale.
“A lot of the questions are focused on concerns they have about the initial information about why the agency made the decision they did,” he said. “As long as the agency is thorough and relatively transparent in award decisions, there are a lot of companies who decide not to protest. The other thing that factors in to a protest is whether the disappointed offeror is the incumbent. Based on my experience, if a company is the incumbent and the contract is significant enough, they will look pretty hard at filing a protest. But if an incumbent didn’t get the award and the agency can articulate their reasonable basis, many will walk away and not throw good money after bad.”
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