Whether contemplating filing a government protest, or intervening into a bid protest that is already filed, CEOs must make a quick decision. Protest deadlines are very short, and there is not much time to think. Regardless of the decision, CEO’s must always make sure to get a debriefing – even for winners.
Decision Whether or Not to File a Government Contract Protest
CEO’s that are familiar with the contracting process know the importance of making the decision of whether or not to file a government contract protest. The first thing companies want to look at is whether or not there is a viable problem in the bidding and evaluation process, or in the solicitation for pre-award protest.
If there is something wrong with the outcome, most CEOs validate the possibilities with a government contracts attorney or bid protest lawyer that understands the process. Only when there is some legal merit, should CEO’s take the next step. The cost of litigation is expensive.
- To stand a chance of getting through the bid protest process, nothing matters unless there is legal merit.
CEOs also look at the harm of future relationships with their customers. Although this is a viable business question, the reality is that the customer may be violating the law.
High-caliber procurement officials should not look at the filing of a government protest as a negative. Instead, they should focus on keeping the procurement process in tact. However, the reality is that some agencies tend to view protesting contractors in a negative light.
The bottom line for any CEO that is contemplating filing a government contract protest is to look at the resources spent preparing the proposal. If there is legal merit to the protest allegation, the question of whether or not to file rests with being ok with the wasting the resources already spent, and a balance of the possibility of gaining additional company revenues.
Do You Need To Intervene in a Government Protest?
Government contract protest litigation can also mean the CEOs must make the decision whether or not to intervene into the protest lawsuit.
Established government contractors do exercise their rights as an intervenor because of the amount of revenues at stake. Others take advantage of bid protest intervention simply because the government’s interests may not be the same as the awardee CEO. Intervening merely allows your company to have a say in the process and to protect any rights you as a CEO may have in the outcome.
Note: protestors still have to meet the interested party requirements.
Government Protest Outcomes
CEO’s sometimes are misguided as to the results of government protests. The reality is that as a protestor, you are looking to get a second bite at the apple. If you show that the agency did, in fact, make a mistake in the process, GAO only has certain levels of authority.
The role of a judge in any government protest is not to reevaluate proposals to change the outcome. Instead, courts can only inquire to the reasonableness of the agency’s actions/ decision.
At the end of the day, the result is either: re-evaluation; re-solicitation or in many cases the agency simply elects to take corrective action.
As a CEO seeking help with filing or intervening in a government protest, call our bid protest lawyers for immediate help at 1-866-601-5518.