Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

I read the article under the Analysis section of Wifcon and was shocked at some of the statements:

"Source selections always carry the risk of litigation. The bad news is there is no way to eliminate the possibility of a protest because the cost is minimal—some describe it as the price of a postage stamp."

"Losing offerors are prime protest candidates. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain."

Protests are very time consuming for a corporation and the use of outside counsel can costs tens of thousands of dollars. And it's a great way to piss off a customer - sure, they shouldn't hold that against a company for future work but people are people so it's always considered.

Protests pull corporate resources from other work and other opportunities. When deciding to protest or not, it's always a tough decision and I've never referred it as "the price of stamp".

I know we have several members here on the Government and Private side. What are your thoughts and/or experience? Do you think companies protest just to "take a shot" or do you think it's a real tough business decision to risk time/money/business relationships?

Link to the article (it's only 2 pages):

NEW Dangers of Source Selections: Debriefings

By
, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services

Mr. Mlinarchik's

Source selections always carry the risk of litigation. The bad news is there is no way to eliminate the possibility of a protest because the cost is minimal—some describe it as the price of a postage stamp. The good news is there are ways to conduct source selections to minimize the likelihood of a protest. Take advantage of the following acquisition strategies to avoid litigation and save time and money.


Losing offerors are prime protest candidates. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The post-award debriefing of offerors is the Government’s opportunity to extinguish any flickers of doubt about the fairness of the source selection, so get it right and keep it tight. The debriefing session should not display any signs of inconsistency or ambiguity. Diligent debriefings deter protests by demonstrating the fairness and impartiality of the source selection process and award decision
.

Please Read:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

The guy who wrote that article just finished a term with the Air Force as a presidential management intern. He has little if any experience with source selection. His "minimal" statement is silly -- he does not know what he's talking about -- but it is not entirely wrong.

Protests can be very expensive in terms of costs incurred, but everything is relative. There are several factors to consider: size and profit potential of the prospective contract, reason(s) given for losing the competition, chances of winning the protest, chances of getting beneficial corrective action, chances of getting the contract if you get the corrective action sought, cost of pursuing the protest, etc. The cost may indeed be proportionately minimal when considered in light of all of those factors.

Generally, I don't think protests are worth the effort, but that's a personal opinion. As Daniel Gordon points out, the chances of winning are not good, and the chances of going on to get the contract are practically non-existent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally, I don't think protests are worth the effort, but that's a personal opinion. As Daniel Gordon points out, the chances of winning are not good, and the chances of going on to get the contract are practically non-existent.

I recently used some of the points Daniel Gordon has in his article to talk my CEO out of protesting an award. Great Article.

Link to post
Share on other sites

fwiw,

my guess is that most protests are precipitated by a contractor's perception of being treated unfairly, not due to a perception of simple errors by agency personnel.

If so, the best way to prevent protests would be to conduct acquisitions so that offerors and potential offerors don't think you're being unfair.

My guess, providing MORE information to all potential offerors, and unsuccessful bidders, is going to PREVENT protests. Agencies seem to believe that they open the door to protests by revealing information, but that may only be the case is there is bad faith to be concealed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about most protests, but my company makes a very detailed cost/benefit analysis prior to protesting any loss. We ordinarily use in-house counsel, but a protest is still too expensive in terms of costs and resources to undertake one that's not founded on solid protest grounds or because our feelings are hurt.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jason Lent

If you're the incumbent and an unsuccessful offeror, I think considering to protest and be all-but-assured 3-ish months of work would be a really easy decision (the headache you cause the CO notwithstanding).

The best kind of game to play is the one where you win even when you lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...