The first step in how to meet GAO protest deadlines is to know them. Second, you must understand when time deadline starts to run or begins. You always ask your self when did you learn about the problem, or when should you have learned about the problem. The earlier of the two starts the clock for counting the deadline.
What are the GAO Protest Deadlines
There are three basic GAO protest deadlines. These are very strict rules to give the protestor the benefit of the doubt to have your case heard on the merits. However, there must be a balance between your rights and the government’s ability to promptly move along its procurement.
First, under GAO protest deadline rules, when you are challenging the contents of the solicitation on its face, you must file the protest either before bid opening, or the deadline for receipt of final proposals.
These types of pre award protest must be based upon obvious concerns about the RFP. These are commonly referred to as patent ambiguities.
Second, and the most common, under the GAO protest deadline regulations, protests must be filed within 10 calendar days or when you knew, or should have known about the basis for the challenge. Many companies forget about the latter. This leaves the agency an advantage of trying to get you case dismissed if they have information.
You simply cannot rely upon receiving an email or regular U.S. mail. Always check the agency website of fbo.gov for publications of award.
The Exception to Tradition Bid Protest Deadlines
When there is a negotiated procurement, and you request a debriefing within three days after receipt of your notice, then the 10 day count is tolled (postponed) until after the debriefing.
You should not file a bid protest before the debriefing is given. Contractors must we well aware that questions posed after the debriefing is closed do not postpone the protest deadline any further. In addition, if you ask a question during the debriefing and the government tells you that they will get back to you, you must not take it to mean that the debriefing is not over. Simply ask.
For help meeting GAO protest deadlines or to litigate your case, call the government contract protest lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC in Washington DC or Colorado. Call 1-866-601-5518.
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