The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently issued a 2017 statistical report—covering the government’s fiscal year October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. During this time, 652 suits filed were filed at the Court and 1,035 suits disposed of within the 12 month period. Of the suits filed, over 42% were contract dispute or protest related, almost 15% taking cases, and 8% tax related. With the overall disposal rate of cases increasing by 82% over the previous year, the Court had its most productive year out the past 12 years. Plaintiffs seeking relief at the Court received around $1.3 billion in judgments and settlements—a nearly $500 million increase from 2016 and the largest amount since 2007. The government, on the other hand, was awarded only $4.3 million in counterclaims, sanctions or offsets.
Under the Court’s non-monetary jurisdiction—i.e. its bid protest jurisdiction — there were 129 cases filed, and the court disposed of 133. This means that contractors seeking injunctive relief rose by 14% from the previous year, and is approximately 13% higher than the Court’s five year average of protests filed per year. Contract Pre-Award or Post-Award Bid Protest Injunction cases made up 20% of the Court’s suits filed and almost 13% of the disposed claims in FY17.
The statistics reveal that the Court remains busy with a diverse caseload and continues to be an optional forum for bid protest cases. As noted in our prior post, whether the Court’s bid protest caseload will increase in years to come due to potential changes at GAO is yet to be seen, these statistics underscore that the Court is prepared to handle the workload.