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RAND Corp. tells Congress that Bid Protests are Not a Problem


RAND Corp. recently submitted a report to Congress on the effects of Department of Defense bid protests, as required by the 2017 NDAA. Interestingly, RAND found:

  • Bid protests are not a significant impediment, as some in Congress have suggested. To the contrary, “bid protests are exceedingly uncommon for DoD procurements.” 
  • GAO’s 100-day deadline should stay. GAO already resolves 70% of protests within 60 days, and often needs the full 100 days for complex protests and numerous end of fiscal year protests. 
  • Task order protests are important. The higher effectiveness rate for task order protests indicates that such procurements may be more problematic and should be protestable.
  • A majority of protests are brought by small businesses. Congress should consider approaches to reduce and improve such protests. 
  • Debriefings matter. “Evasive or adversarial debriefings may lead to a bid protest in most cases.” 
RAND also recommended improving DoD recordkeeping to support future studies.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

John E. McCarthy Jr.
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2579

Christian N. Curran
Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2543

Robert J. Sneckenberg
Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2874

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