Contracting Out--Federal Employee Bid Protest Rights

T-OGC-90-4: May 15, 1990

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GAO discussed proposed legislation that would allow federal employees to file a protest with GAO and file a suit in federal court challenging Department of Defense decisions to contract for services previously performed by the employees. GAO noted that: (1) it generally did not review agency decisions to contract for services under its bid protest authority; (2) it limited its review of agencies' cost comparisons of in-house and contract performance to ensuring that agencies adhered to the established cost-comparison procedures; (3) it did not consider protests brought by federal employee unions or groups of federal employees adversely affected by contracting decisions; (4) the proposed legislation would expand the class of parties entitled to seek review of agencies' contracting decisions; (5) the availability of more than one forum for challenging such decisions may preclude quick and efficient resolution of disputes; and (6) an agency appeal process for federal employees affected by contracting decisions could be a viable alternative to either GAO or the courts.