According to the GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2016, published in December, the GAO received 2,789 cases: 2,621 protests, 80 cost claims, and 88 requests for reconsideration. The GAO closed 2,734 cases during the fiscal year: 2,586 protests, 61 cost claims, and 87 requests for reconsideration. Of the 2,734 cases closed, 375 were attributable to GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction over task orders.
Most Prevalent Grounds for Sustaining Protests
Of the protests resolved on the merits during fiscal year 2016, the GAO sustained over 22 percent of those protests. According to the GAO, the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2016 fiscal year were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation;1 (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation;2 (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) flawed selection decision.
Voluntary Corrective Action by Agencies
Notably, a significant number of protests filed with the GAO do not reach a decision on the merits because agencies voluntarily take corrective action in response to the protest rather than defend the protest on the merits. Agencies need not, and do not, report any of the myriad reasons they decide to take voluntary corrective action.
Here is a chart produced by the GAO for Bid Protests from 2012-2016:
|Merit (Sustain + Deny) Decisions||616||587||556||509||570|
|Number of Sustains||139||68||72||87||106|
|ADR5 (cases used)||69||103||96||145||106|
|ADR Success Rate6||84%||70%||83%||86%||80%|
|Hearings7||2.51% (27 cases)||3.10% (31 cases)||4.70% (42 cases)||3.36% (31 cases)||6.17% (56 cases)|