Ch.10 – GAO Protests

The Authority of the GAO in Bid Protests:

Since 1985, GAO has had detailed regulations governing bid protests over federal procurement actions.  These regulations were promulgated to implement the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA).  The regulations have been revised over time to implement statutory and other changes.  Most recently, the regulations were revised, effective January 1, 2003, to conform the regulations to current practice and otherwise improve the efficiency and efficacy of the bid protest process at GAO.  The revised regulations appear in Title 4 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Part 21.

ADR in bid protests at the GAO:

The GAO has “Express” and “Alternative” options available, including ADR, to help speed the normal 100-day default adjudication process.  ADR in GAO protests is described succinctly within 4 CFR 21.10(e) as follows:  “GAO, on its own initiative or upon request by the parties, may use flexible alternative procedures to promptly and fairly resolve a protest, including alternative dispute resolution . . .”  For more information, GAO’s Descriptive Guide is a useful resource.

Types of ADR:

GAO offers three types of non-binding ADR: outcome prediction, litigation risk, and negotiation assistance.  The parties may request ADR at any point in the bid protest process, or GAO may initiate ADR or provide other types of feedback without the agreement of all parties.  GAO attorneys have great flexibility in the conduct of ADR and may tailor the proceedings consistent with the requirements of the situation.  ADR may be used in all kinds of cases–protests, requests for consideration, and cost claims.  For more information, visit the subpages below.


Subpages (4): GAO ADR Practice Tips | Litigation Risk ADR | Negotiation Assistance ADR | Outcome Prediction ADR