How Bid Protests Are Slowing Down Procurements

DVIDS/Samuel King

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Bid protests have risen 50 percent since 2008 and the major delays they cause are now just "built into the process."

Military procurement already gets a bad rap, the process is slow and inefficient and often wrought with waste and mismanagement. But one of the things that really slows things down is the appeals process for bids.

The number of bid protests has risen dramatically, according to Federal Times. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office received 2,475 bid protests – a 50 percent increase from 2008.

 “We build time in our procurement now for protests. We know we are going to get protested,” said Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at the General Services Administration.

The problem goes further than that, though. Many companies use bid protests to “force concessions from agencies or the winning companies,” Federal Times reported. Last fiscal year, GAO upheld 106 bid protests, while 941 were settled between the parties.

 “Companies themselves can huddle together and make a deal,” Peter McDonald, director of the government contracting practice at BDO USA LLP said. “Instead of one contractor getting all of the work, they share the award with a competitor in return for having a bid protest dropped.”

Read the full story at Federal Times.

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