Key Takeaways from GAO's Annual Bid Protest Report

Thomson Reuters' Westlaw

Authored Article


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued to Congress its annual bid protest report.

As discussed below, this year's report is noteworthy for multiple reasons, including that it shows that protesters received some form of relief from the procuring agency in more than half of the protests filed with the GAO in FY 2020, and the GAO's use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) increased by 210% in FY 2020.

The report is also noteworthy in that it includes, for the first time, "flawed solicitation" as one of the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests.

What is GAO's bid protest annual report to Congress?

The Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA), 31 U.S.C. § 3554(e)(2), requires the Comptroller General to report to Congress each instance in which a federal agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by the GAO in connection with a bid protest decided the prior fiscal year and each instance in which a final decision in a protest was not rendered within 100 days after the date the protest is submitted to the GAO (there were no such occurrences during FY 2020).

CICA also requires that the GAO include in the annual report a "summary of the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests" during the preceding year. Moreover, the GAO includes in the report "data concerning [its] overall protest filings for the fiscal year."

Republished with permission. The full article for, "Key Takeaways from GAO's Annual Bid Protest Report," was published by Thomson Reuters' Westlaw in January 2021 and can be found here.