METHINKS THOU ACTUALLY PROTESTS TOO LITTLE
Even though protests are part of government contracting life, many companies that Allen Federal runs into are actually more reluctant to file a protest than they should be. Companies will lose business they could otherwise win out of concern that they will harm their customer relationship. While it is perfectly appropriate to be considerate of customer relationships, it’s important to remember, too, the business interests of those who are financially backing your company. Relationships that don’t produce business don’t do much for company valuation. Indeed, almost all federal acquisition officials expect a protest on any good size or mission-critical project. Time is built into the acquisition lifecycle to address protests. Still not convinced? Well over half of the protests filed at GAO over the past several years have resulted in acquisitions being withdrawn so that some remedial action could be taken. In other words, you have a better than 50-50 chance of getting something you want out of a protest. At a minimum, that’s a chance to bid again on the same project, but with better intelligence. While it’s true that neither customers nor federal agencies like “serial protestors”, there is every reason to file a protest when a valid business interest is at stake. Lastly, get known as a “no protest” company and run the risk of never having some offers even be reviewed. Why bother with the government market at all at that point?