A bid is an objection to a federal government’s activity regarding a bid award. This includes soliciting or canceling an award. Once a government agency makes its final decision regarding a winning bidder, bidders who did not win the bid have an opportunity to protest if they question the validity of an award.
As Jacksonville construction lawyers, we’ve seen a growing number of bid protests due to the competitive nature of construction and thoroughly understand the bid protest process. However, before challenging a bid, we believe there are important things you should consider first.
Do You Have Rights to Protest?
Can you prove that you are an offeror with an immediate economic interest in a particular contract? You must prove that you would be affected by the outcome of the agency’s awarding or failure to award you a contract.
Debriefings are important following the awarding of a bid for the winner of the bid, but especially for the losing party. According to the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR), you have the right to a debriefing; however, you must request one by writing within three days of losing a bid. Be advised that although recommended, keep an eye on filing deadlines because a debriefing could affect your ability to file a timely protest.
Pre-Award or Post-Award Protests
A protest can occur before or after an award. With that said, it’s important to know exactly what you’re protesting and what forum you’ll use to protest. The FAR has different guidelines and deadlines for filing depending on the forum level you choose to file. Filing can be done at the agency level, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) level.
- Pre-award protests are for bidders who wish to challenge an aspect of an agency’s solicitation. If you feel an agency’s solicitation hinders you from competing fairly you must follow proper protest procedures which includes filing the protest before the proposal submission deadline.
- Post-award protests relate to the proposal submittal. If you have an interest that is affected by an award and you want to challenge the award or prospective award, you must follow the procedures and timelines for post-award process depending on your forum selection.
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.