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GAO: Bid Protest Cases Rose 6% in Fiscal Year 2016

Government Accountability Office report shows that the total number of protests filed with the agency to challenge federal contract awards reached 2,789 in fiscal year 2016, a figure that represents a 6 percent increase over the 2,639 recorded in the previous fiscal year.

GAO said in a letter to congressional committees published Thursday that contractors filed 2,621 bid protests, 88 reconsideration requests and 80 cost claims in FY 2016.

According to the report, the agency closed 2,734 bid protest cases and 375 of those cases were attributable to the congressional watchdog’s jurisdiction over task orders.

Susan Poling, general counsel at GAO, wrote that the agency sustained at least 22 percent or 138 of the total bid protest cases in the past fiscal year due to several reasons such as faulty selection ruling and “unreasonable” technical assessment.

“A significant number of protests filed with our office 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,” Poling added.

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