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The amount of bid protests sustained by GAO has increased in 2016. During the 2016 fiscal year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) received 2,621 protests, 80 cost claims, and 88 requests for reconsideration. GAO sustained over 22 percent of those bid protests. It is also important to realize that successful bid protest efforts result from the agency taking corrective action. Thus, saving government contractors thousands in litigation fees. Our goal is to help government contractors avoid costly legal mistakes. See our representative cases.
According to GAO’s 2016 report, many of the protests were sustained for the following reasons:
- unreasonable technical evaluation;
- unreasonable past performance evaluation;
- unreasonable cost or price evaluation; and
- flawed selection decision.
Developing a strong bid protest case starts with the solicitation and finding a factual and legal basis and showing why the agency’s actions were unreasonable, violated procurement laws, or failed to follow the solicitation’s criteria. A bid protest that essentially argues that the government should have made a better decision will almost aways fail. Mere disagreement with the agency’s award decision is not a valid ground to file a protest. These are all areas where our bid protest lawyers can help.
- Prompt turnaround;
- Detailed assessment of each case;
- Competitive rates when compared to larger law firms, and
- Direct and sound legal advice to corporate executives.
Bid Protest Areas of Practice
Examples of COFC and GAO contract protest disputes we handle include:
- Solicitation defects
- Unduly restrictive solicitations
- Buy American Act disputes
- Lack of meaningful discussions
- Lowest price technically acceptable protests
- Sole source justification and awards
- Task and delivery order contracts
- Report of Late proposal submissions
- Source selection and meaningful discussions
- Undisclosed government estimates
- Past performance evaluation protests
- Responsibility and ethics integrity issues
- Procurement fraud issues
- Best value and technical evaluations
- Price realism and reasonableness
- Bid protest and corrective action
- Technical proposal risk evaluations
- Best value and trade-offs
- CPARS Ratings
- COFC appeals to the Federal Circuit Court
- SBA certificate of competency disputes
PRE-AWARD AND POST AWARD BID PROTESTS
Our government contract lawyers can represent you for numerous reasons during a pre-award or post-award GAO protest including:
PRE-AWARD GAO PROTEST
- Overly restrictive RFP requirements
- Sole source award decisions
- Full and open competition GAO protests
- Organizational Conflict of Interest
- Competition in Contracting Act violations
- Obvious and vague solicitation requirements
POST-AWARD GAO PROTEST
- Improper agency technical proposal evaluations
- CICA automatic stay GAO contract protest
- Exclusion from competitive range determinations
- Lack of meaningful discussions
- FAR Conflicts of Interest
- Adverse contractor past performance evaluations
- Improper best value procurement determinations and cost-technical trade-offs
- Native American government contracts
- Protest Intervention
Meeting procedural requirements: As a disappointed bidder or successful offeror, find the legal and factual basis for litigating or defending a protest action can be tricky. When reviewing a substantial amount of bid protest decisions, government contractors fall short of the legal requirements and overcoming the crucial “reasonableness test” and ‘rationality” arguments needed to prevail.
Complying with 4 CFR Part 21 (GAO protest regulations) can be confusing. Knowing how to articulate that the government acted unreasonably in your protest letter is often very difficult for contractors. Also, meeting the legal burden of proof or preventing your case from being dismissed is essential.
Nationwide representation: With law offices located in Washington, DC and in Colorado, at Watson & Associates, LLC, our GAO bid protest lawyers frequently represent large and small businesses that are either seeking to file a contract protest or intervene into an existing case.
Developing a strong legal position early is essential: Except for information from protective orders, we involve our clients throughout the process. We have a track record of gaining successful outcomes and meaningful results for companies nationwide.
Over 30 years of government contracting experience. We have vast experience in the various substantive areas involved at the pre-award and post-award protest stages.
AGGRESSIVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION
- Detailed assessment of the legal merits.
- Competitive rates when compared to larger firms.
- Deep understanding of the bidding and source selection process.
- CEO’s get direct feedback on the merits based on actual court decisions.
- Experience with complex procurement matters.
- Experience at GAO, Court of Federal Claims and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
After evaluating the merits of each case, our bid protest attorneys will explain the strengths and weaknesses of each case, while helping clients to make an informative decision. It is clear the contracting agencies make flawed evaluation decisions. The essential element of prevailing is to put forth the best possible case.
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When the government issues its solicitation, there may be disagreements with the terms and conditions of RFP. Our GAO bid protest lawyers help clients to address proposal defects, restrictive solicitations, and other issues that must be addressed before bid closing.
Must show that agency acted unreasonably, failed to follow solicitation requirements for violated procurement law. After the agency has received all proposals, it must conduct its evaluations. When the award decision is made, contractors often know that something has gone wrong. However, preparing a viable post-award protest letter can be cumbersome and stressful.
At Watson & Associates, LLC, our bid protest lawyers help clients to assess the merits and to promptly prepare the initial protest either to the GAO or U.S. Court of Federal Claims. We help in areas such as improper past performance evaluations, discussions, best value and trade off disputes and a wide variety of contested matters.
Representation for GAO Protest Intervenors and Awardees
Avoid interested party challenges from contracting agencies: If you are the winning offeror, deciding to intervene in an existing case litigation can have benefits. Watson’s GAO bid protest law firm frequently represent awardees or other interested parties by intervening in the case and protecting their rights to the award.
Becoming a bid protest intervenor requires government contractors to meet certain legal requirements. Watson’s government contract law attorneys guide awardees through the intervention process.
HISTORY OF FAVORABLE RESULTS
We have been extremely successful in convincing agencies to take corrective action and to avoid unnecessary public litigation. Much of our success has evolved from our ability to prepare a legally sound basis for a GAO bid protest.
Our record shows that in any GAO protest cases, government contracting agencies have often chosen to take corrective action. See our representative cases.
NATIONWIDE AND OVERSEAS CLIENTS
We help federal contractors regardless of state: With law offices in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, our GAO bid protests lawyers are geographically positioned to represent DOD contractors in various industry groups throughout the U.S. and overseas when agencies make unlawful procurement award decisions.
Our attorneys help contractors avoid costly legal mistakes: We have found that government contractors, filing a GAO protest without an attorney, are sometimes exposed to costly legal and procedural mistakes. Whether you are the intervenor or the offeror, we will make sure that your protest letter is supported by legal authority and well-grounded. We also keep a keen eye on preserving our client’s right to any potential appeals.
Protest help with pricing and best value evaluations: The vast amount of successful bid protests come from challenges to the agency’s pricing evaluations. Our government contract protest attorneys sift through the facts and seek out mistakes made by the government. In other situations, the agency’s best value and trade-off decisions may not follow the solicitation’s requirements. These are areas where our law firm can help.
Bid protest help for small businesses and large DOD contractors. Our bid protest lawyers frequently help smaller or larger business to develop sound legal arguments to show how the agency acted unreasonably or failed to comply with procurement law.
Experienced Court of Federal Claims and GAO Bid Protest Lawyers
Our government contract protest attorneys offer over 30 years of experience in federal government procurement law.
We often work clients’ corporate counsel that may not fully understand Court of Federal government contract protests and GAO bid protest regulations and the unique pitfalls.
- We have worked on the inside of the federal government and understand agency mistakes made during source selection;
- Our GAO bid protest attorneys help to overcome standard agency tactics to dismiss your case and frequently see the common mistakes made by contractors who try to represent themselves;
- We approach bid protest with supported legal authority that helps your position;
COFC and GAO bid protest rules help us formulate viable strategies that convey a strong message to the agency, which can potentially force them to take corrective action instead of making our clients spend thousands in unnecessary bid protest litigation.
Preserve your appeal rights early in the process. Our government contract protest attorneys are experienced in the various nuances that surface in GAO, agency level or Court of Federal Claims issues. We understand the importance of raising arguments during the initial protest stages. Failure to raise certain issues early may impact your future litigation rights should you decide to take your government protest to a higher level.
If you have received an adverse ruling from GAO, call us about additional remedies.
What Should You Do Before Filing a Bid Protest?
- Request a debriefing. Immediately upon receiving notice of the award, send a written request to the agency for a debriefing. Please be aware that not all debriefings are “required.” Only required debriefings delay the actual filing deadline. You do not want to miss the deadline because of confusion.
- If the procurement was NOT conducted under FAR 15 (negotiated contracting), then a debriefing is generally not required to file a government contract protest.
- Write down specific reasons for filing a government contract protest. Your attorney will want to know these factors during the initial consultation.
- Learn about the GAO bid protest process.
Call Our Court of Federal Claims & GAO Protest Attorneys
If you do not meet the short protest deadlines, will give up your rights. Call our government protest law firm if you are looking for serious solutions to intervening or challenging a government contracting agency’s error through filing GAO bid protests. Contact the Court of Federal Claims and GAO protest attorneys at the law firm of Watson & Associates toll-free at 866-601-5518 or 202-827-9750 in Washington DC. We also help with SBA size protests.
Our Government Contracts and bid protest law firm provides legal counsel to contractors throughout the United States and overseas including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Virgin Islands. Call our government contract protest attorneys today for immediate help. 1-866-601-5518.
Cities in which our CO and Washington DC bid protest lawyers offer legal counsel and intervene in bid protests include Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Houston, San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Dallas, TX; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Clara, CA; and Tampa, FL.
Watson & Associates litigate GAO cases, Court of Federal Claims Bid Protests, agencies, and the SBA. We practice exclusively in federal contract law in Washington, DC and cannot use sensitive information gathered from previously-litigated cases to cause an unfair advantage for clients.