Protest Process for Government Contracting

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A contract protest refers to a written opposition by an interested party to the contract award of a company that claims that either the contract was not qualified or was not to be awarded. The protest may include the termination or revocation of contracts due to the improper award of contracts, the proposal to award a contract, the cancelation of requests, or the conversion to private-sector performance of government employee functions. Protests are focused on repetitive congressional interests because of the consequences of protest missions and operations. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the venue responsible for the public hearing and decision-making of protests involving federal acquisitions.

Contract protest’s purpose is to create an objective, unbiased and impartial platform for resolving federal contract disputes. Contract parties may object to the granting of the contract to individuals other than themselves (Arena et al., 2018). The Procuring Office, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the United States Court of Federal Claims are the three entities that usually manage contract protests. The procuring agency is a government agency.

The Making of the Contrast Protest

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is not the only body that has the power to protest government procurement tenders. Federal allegations from the United States and the procurement department are also able to hold bid hearings. However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) forum is considered to hear more offers than the Federal Court in the United States. Based on the outlined legislation, any interested party or the imminent supplier whose direct interest has been impacted by a failure to enter into an agreement or award the agreement may organize a bid protest (Arena et al., 2018). As a result, the term “interested party” implies that several contractors can file bid protests with the GAO.

The Government Accountability Office maintains that the contractors are both contracting partners and potential selection candidates to qualify as stakeholders next in a protest line. The contractors shall have apparent economic interests in the contract following their requirements. For example, Congress is generally very interested in the offers because of agencies and activities on missions or where these offers are notable. Therefore, some organizations can also choose not to obey the recommendations of the accountability bureau if they are not binding (Teo, & Loosemore, 2017). If a company has a set-aside agreement, anyone will say the company has not qualified, and the contract should not be awarded. The protest may be about the size of the company or its status as a small business. Any interested party may argue that a winning company does not conform to size requirements and therefore does not qualify under the reserved rules for the contract.

Importance of Protest Process to Government Contracting

The laws and regulations outlining the problems can lead to bidding protests with GAO and causing the people to protest. In law, during the federal procurement process, Gao could hear protests about the breach of federal procurement. However, there are situations in which GAO is not allowed to hear protests (Rimmer, 2016). These include qualification issues when the companies involved are small. People allowed to bring such protests included any interested party economically to lose from the bidding process. Whether such a contract is awarded or fails to be awarded could be individual bidding or prospective bidders.

The protest procedure guarantees that public agencies can lodge complaints about problems or difficulties when entering a contract with the federal government. If there were not such a system, the public would be disappointed with several unresolved problems. Second, if such an organizational interest mechanism were deemed non-existent, the companies would not be prepared to enter into bid contracts that would raise prices in the internal market (Teo, & Loosemore, 2017). Thirdly, protest mechanisms ensure that procurement authorities and government agencies are responsible by emphasizing and fixing errors in their conduct. The procurement mechanism maintains high standards of honesty and a high degree of transparency. Finally, taxpayers’ money is used effectively, and no waste is avoided.


GAO is a forum to ensure the protection of the interests of individuals or businesses willing to perform transactions with the federal government. Parties are also concerned about ensuring that the tendering process is carried out equally and those appropriate complaints are submitted to the agency concerned with any irregularities. However, in comparison to those held in the Federal Court, hearings with GAO are less formal. GAO is a cheaper place to offer protests than the Federal Court of Claims. This system enables agencies to make their grievances known, ensures that procedures in procurement are accountable, and retain a high degree of honesty. Although there may be costs to gain from contract protests, protests may hinder the rapid and efficient acquisition of goods and services required by the government due to orders that remain in effect. However, the procuring agencies’ fears for future protests could lead to issues in decisions that have much higher advantages than protest costs. Thus, the procurement of non-federal agencies is not approved by GAO. The office also faces no obstacles in establishing organizations where a prospective contractor is responsible for the illegitimate award of the contract.


Arena, M., Persons, B., Blickstein, I., Chenoweth, M., Lee, G., Luckey, D., & Schendt, A. (2018). Assessing Bid Protests of U.S. Department of Defense Procurements: Identifying Issues, Trends, and Drivers. Journal of Business Research, 90, 26–39. Web.

Rimmer, A. (2016). Consultants oppose government proposals for contract changes. BMJ, 45(7), 156–239. Web.

Teo, M. M., & Loosemore, M. (2017). Understanding community protest from a project management perspective: A relationship-based approach. International Journal of Project Management, 35(8), 1444–1458. Web.

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