RAND Corp. recently submitted a report to Congress on the effects of Department of Defense bid protests, as required by the 2017 NDAA. Interestingly, RAND found:

  • Bid protests are not a significant impediment, as some in Congress have suggested. To the contrary, “bid protests are exceedingly uncommon for DoD procurements.”
  • GAO’s 100-day deadline should stay. GAO already resolves 70% of protests within 60 days, and often needs the full 100 days for complex protests and numerous end of fiscal year protests.
  • Task order protests are important. The higher effectiveness rate for task order protests indicates that such procurements may be more problematic and should be protestable.
  • A majority of protests are brought by small businesses. Congress should consider approaches to reduce and improve such protests.
  • Debriefings matter. “Evasive or adversarial debriefings may lead to a bid protest in most cases.”

RAND also recommended improving DoD recordkeeping to support future studies.