Morris Manning & Martin, LLP

Contractor Relief Rate Jumps to 51 Percent, GAO Report Shows


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided relief to over half of contractors protesting federal agency contract actions, the watchdog’s annual report to Congress shows.

The GAO’s protest sustain rate increased to 15% in 2020 from 13% in 2019. The effectiveness rate was 51% in 2020, an increase from 44% in both 2019 and 2018, the report said. The effectiveness rate pertains to instances when protesters convinced the GAO to sustain a protest or an agency to fix a procurement error with corrective action.

MMM's Michelle Litteken states that one of the most notable aspects of the report was the increase of parties using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), with an increase from 40 cases to 124 cases, and believes that given that all parties and the GAO have to agree to ADR, the increase suggests that everyone involved with the protest process is more open to and interested in ADR.

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