CONTRACT PROTESTS UP, SPENDING DOWN
Government contract protests are up 17% since 2012, according to a recent article by NCMA Executive Director Michael Fischetti in the Federal Times. That’s no surprise since total federal spending is down since that time. Contractors want to ensure that they have made every effort to get fair consideration for an award or, if they’re an unsuccessful incumbent, extend work during a protest to keep revenue up while planning for a transition. The traditional concern of upsetting a current or potential customer over a protest is waning, and frankly it should be. Contractors need to understand that there is nothing wrong at all with filing a protest when there is a legitimate reason to do so. While both successful contractors and buyers may find protests annoying, each group also now anticipates a protest as part of any decent-sized acquisition. Protest time-lines are built into many acquisition lifecycles. While being a “serial protestor” is counter-productive, too many companies are afraid to protest at all. Don’t be one of those firms. If you have a concern about an RFP, RFQ, or contract award that can’t be answered in some other way, a timely protest can help both you and the agency ensure a proper procurement and a good award decision.