Protests are expensive for industry to process and for the government to defend against. The government can reduce the likelihood of protests and improve the effectiveness of the procurement process by providing training to officials involved in solicitation preparation, proposal evaluation, and source selection on lessons already learned. For example, GAO’s Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for FY2013 noted that the two top reasons for sustaining protests were failure to follow the solicitation evaluation criteria and inadequate documentation of the record. These issues continue in decisions issued during FY2014. With appropriate training, officials would understand the importance of writing a clear solicitation, then following the procedures in that solicitation, and appropriately documenting key decisions throughout the process. Identifying the training as “best practices for how to avoid a protest” would attract attention and interest.
Idea No. 95