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  • Are You Considering Filing a Bid Protest?

    What is a bid protest?

    A bid protest is a challenge to the award or proposed award of a contract for the procurement of goods and services or a challenge to the terms of a solicitation for such a contract.

  • What kinds of bid protests can be filed at GAO?

    Protests may be filed against procurement actions by federal government agencies.

  • What kinds of protests cannot be filed at GAO?

    Protests may not be filed against procurement actions by nonfederal government agencies, such as state, local, or foreign governments, or actions by certain exempted federal agencies, such as the Postal Service. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.5) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide.

  • Who can file a bid protest at GAO?

    Only "interested parties" may file protests. In the case of a solicitation challenge, an interested party is generally a potential bidder for the contract. In the case of a contract award challenge, an interested party is generally an actual bidder that did not win the contract. In addition, other factors, such as the bidder’s standing in the competition and the nature of the issues raised may affect whether it qualifies as an interested party. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.0(a)) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide.

  • When must a protest be filed?

    In general, a protest challenging the terms of a solicitation must be filed before the time for receipt of initial proposals. A protest challenging the award of a contract must be filed within 10 days of when a protester knows or should know of the basis of the protest (a special case applies where, under certain circumstances, the protester receives a required debriefing). Please be aware that the regulations regarding the timely filing of protests depend on the circumstances of each case and are strictly enforced. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.2) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide.

  • How is time calculated for filing deadlines?

    "Days," under GAO’s regulations, means "calendar days." In the event a deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday, or other day when GAO is closed, the deadline is extended to the next business day. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.0(e)) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide.

  • I was awarded a contract and was told that the award has been protested — what must I do, and what am I allowed to do?

    Parties that have been awarded a contract are permitted to participate in a protest as an intervenor. They are not required to do so, however, as it is the agency’s responsibility to respond to the protest.

  • Are employee unions or representatives allowed to file protests or participate as intervenors?

    Government employees and their representatives may participate as protesters and intervenors in protests involving competitions conducted under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. For more information, see our Bid Protest Regulations (4 C.F.R. § 21.0(a)(2), (b)(2)) and Bid Protests at GAO: a Descriptive Guide.

  • Do I need an attorney to file a protest or participate as an intervenor?

    No. Parties may file a protest or participate as an intervenor without being represented by an attorney. However, only attorneys are permitted to have access to material subject to a protective order.