This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-04-355R 
entitled 'GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal 
Year 2003' which was released on January 30, 2004.

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United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 



January 30, 2004: 

The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert: 
Speaker of the House of Representatives: 

Dear Mr. Speaker: 

This letter responds to the requirements of the Competition in 
Contracting Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. § 3554(e)(2) (2000), that the 
Comptroller General report to Congress each instance in which a 
federal agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by our 
Office in connection with a bid protest decided the prior fiscal year. 
There were two such occurrences during fiscal year 2003. 

The Two Fiscal Year 2003 Protests: 

(1) Consolidated Eng’g Servs., Inc., B-291345, B-291345.2, Dec. 23, 
2002, 2002 CPD ¶ 220. 

The first occurrence of an agency not fully implementing a bid protest 
decision involved a two-phase competition, pursuant to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76, to select a commercial 
offeror to compete against the government’s “most efficient organization
” (MEO) under the A-76 cost comparison process for the operation, 
maintenance, and repair of the Pentagon Heating and Refrigeration 
Plant (H&RP) in Arlington, Virginia. 

Consolidated Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI) protested the 
Department of Defense’s (DOD) rejection, as technically unacceptable, 
of its proposal--the only one received from a commercial offeror in 
the private-sector portion of the A-76 competition--at the second 
phase of the competition, essentially for lack of relevant experience. 
We sustained CESI’s protest by decision of December 23, 2002, 
concluding that neither the contemporaneous evaluation record nor 
testimony elicited at a hearing that we conducted in this matter 
reasonably supported the agency’s decision. We recommended that the 
agency reinstate CESI’s second-phase proposal into the competition and 
compare it with the government’s MEO in accordance with the procedures 
set forth in OMB Circular A-76 and the Revised Supplemental Handbook. 
We also recommended that CESI be reimbursed the reasonable costs of 
filing and pursuing its protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. 

After we issued our decision, the agency did not request that we 
reconsider it or modify our recommendation for corrective action. 
Rather, DOD advised that while it would reimburse CESI its costs, it 
would notify our Office when a final decision was made as to how DOD 
would proceed with respect to the remainder of our recommendation. 
Subsequently, the agency advised that after a review of all of the 
facts surrounding the procurement, it was “unable to” implement our 
recommendation that CESI be further considered for award in the A-76 

We reported the matter to the Congress on June 30, 2003, pursuant to 
31 U.S.C. § 3554(e)(1), which requires our Office to report any case 
in which a federal agency fails to fully implement a recommendation of 
the Comptroller General contained in a protest decision concerning the 
award of a federal contract. We recommended, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 
3554(e)(1)(B), that in order to preserve the integrity of the 
procurement process and the public/private competition process under 
OMB Circular A-76, the Congress consider an inquiry into DOD’s failure 
to satisfactorily explain its decision not to comply with our 
recommendation for corrective action. 

Enclosed is a copy of our June 30 report, as well as a public version 
of our decision explaining in greater detail the particulars 
surrounding this procurement. 

(2) Symplicity Corp., B-291902, Apr. 29, 2003, 2003 CPD ¶ 89: 

The second occurrence involved a bid protest filed in our Office on 
January 24, 2003 by Symplicity Corporation. In its protest, Symplicity 
contested the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) award of a task 
order to TMP Worldwide, Inc. (d/b/a Monster Government Solutions) 
under TMP’s Federal Supply Schedule contract, pursuant to OPM request 
for quotations (RFQ) No. SOLO30000003, for online federal employment 
information services. 

By decision of April 29, we sustained Symplicity’s protest, in part, 
because TMP’s quotation included two labor categories that were not on 
its General Services Administration schedule contract, and OPM 
recognized but failed to realize the importance of this during the 
evaluation. We also sustained Symplicity’s protest of OPM’s evaluation 
of quotations with respect to systems integration costs. We 
recommended that OPM evaluate vendors’ quotations to determine whether 
the proposed services were within the scope of their respective 
Schedule contracts, and that OPM reopen discussions with all vendors 
whose quotations were in the competitive range, and request and 
reevaluate revised quotations. We also suggested that OPM may want to 
amend its RFQ to further clarify its systems integration needs. On May 
19, we dismissed OPM’s request that we reconsider a portion of our 

By letter of July 21, 2003, OPM notified our Office that it declined 
to follow our recommendation, arguing that the recommendation was “
incompatible with the best interest of the Federal Government” and 
that “[n]ational security demands and critical domestic needs underlie 
the Government’s vital need for efficient recruitment and hiring 

On August 5, we reported the matter to Congress pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 
§ 3554(e)(1). In our report, we made a made a number of observations 
about OPM’s position and, in order to preserve the integrity of the 
procurement process, we recommended, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 
3554(e)(1)(B), that Congress consider an inquiry into OPM’s failure to 
fully and promptly implement our April 29, 2003 recommendation. We 
stated that such inquiry would help to identify any significant harm 
to the procurement system that may have resulted from OPM’s actions 
and, together with any other congressional action, will serve to 
preserve faith in the procurement system. 

Enclosed, in addition to copies of our April 29 and May 19 decisions, 
is a copy of our August 5 report, which more fully describes the 
protest decisions and the circumstances of OPM’s failure to implement 
our recommendation. 

Fiscal Year 2003 Bid Protest Statistics: 

With respect to the remainder of fiscal year 2003 bid protest 
activity, during the fiscal year we received 1,269 protests (including 
48 cost claims) and 83 requests for reconsideration, for a total of 
1,352 cases. We closed 1,244 cases: 1,181 protests (including 40 cost 
claims) and 63 requests for reconsideration. Attached for your 
information is a chart comparing the bid protest activity for fiscal 
years 2001-2003. 

A copy of this report, with the enclosure, is being furnished to the 
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on 
Government Reform. A similar report is being furnished to the 
President of the Senate. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

Anthony H. Gamboa: 
General Counsel: 


Bid Protest Statistics for Fiscal Years 2001-2003: 

Cases Filed: 
FY 2003: 1,352 (up 12%[1]); 
FY 2002: 1,204 (up 5%); 
FY 2001: 1,146 (down 6%).  

Cases Closed: 
FY 2003: 1,244;  
FY 2002: 1,133;  
FY 2001: 1,098. 

Merit (Sustain + Deny) Decisions: 
FY 2003: 290 (issued in average of 79 days); 
FY 2002: 256 (issued in average of 79 days); 
FY 2001: 311 (issued in average of 79 days). 

Number of Sustains: 
FY 2003: 50;  
FY 2002: 41; 
FY 2001: 66. 

Sustain Rate: 
FY 2003: 17%; 
FY 2002: 16%; 
FY 2001: 21%. 

Effectiveness Rate (reported)[2]: 
FY 2003: 33%; 
FY 2002: 33%. 
FY 2001: 33%. 

ADR[3] (cases used): 
FY 2003: 120; 
FY 2002: 145. 
FY 2001: 150. 

ADR Success Rate[4]: 
FY 2003: 92%; 
FY 2002: 84%; 
FY 2001: 84%. 

FY 2003: 13% (74 cases); 
FY 2002: 5% (23 cases);  
FY 2001: 12% (63 cases). 

[1] From the prior fiscal year. 

[2] Based on a protester's obtaining some form of relief from the 
agency, as reported to GAO. 

[3] Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

[4] Percentage resolved without a formal GAO decision. 

[End of enclosure] 

[End of report]