At some point, most construction companies will lose out on a bid. For companies that wish to learn why their bid did not win, they can request a debrief. As your Jacksonville construction attorneys, we highly recommend that you take that step. It’s a great way to get feedback on why you were not awarded the bid, and if you discover that the awarding entity was unjust with their decision, you can protest the bid.
When it comes to bid protests, there are 3 different types:
A pre-bid protest is one where some part of the solicitation itself is unjust to your construction company.
A pre-award protest is when your company was unjustly excluded from the competitive range of the negotiation state.
A post-award protest is one where the final state of the process had mistakes or flaws.
How Are They Different?
Pre-bid and pre-award protests tend to get grouped together in a pre-award protest category, because a pre-bid protest occurs before the contract award. However, these ‘pre’ awards are both notably different.
Pre-award and post-award protests alike can be successful if it can be proved that the agency held biased discussions with another company during negotiations, if the agency misunderstood your price, or if the agency awarded a bid based off of different criteria than what was named in the solicitation.
The contracting agency, the GAO, and the Court of Federal Claims are the three main options when it comes to filing a protest:
When you file a protest with an agency, or even with the GAO, they will typically suspend further execution of the procurement, regardless of whether the protest is filed before or after a contract award. When you file a protest at the Court of Federal Claims, you have the option to inquire about a preliminary injunction against the agency.
If you happen to file first with an agency and it’s rejected, you still have a chance to file with the GAO or the court. With the GAO, you will have a 10-day filing period after an agency rejection. If the time limit for turning in a solicitation response happens to land during the 10-day period after an agency rejection, you may still have the right to advance with the GAO protest.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.