What remedies are available when a bid protest is sustained?

A bid protest is a legal action that is designed for use in a situation where a party is dissatisfied with the way a government contract is awarded, handled, or otherwise organized. Usually a bid protest occurs when a government contract is awarded to a business or provider and someone else– either a government official or another provider– protests the way the decision was made. The bid process for government projects must comply with certain requirements, including transparency and objectivity, in order to ensure that public funds are spent wisely. When the government chooses a company or entity to do a job or manage a project, various requirements must be met. If those requirements aren’t met, a bid protest can arise.

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What can I do if I’ve lost my bid on a public contract? Can I file a lawsuit?

If your company was not selected in its bid for a government procurement contract, then you should consider filing a bid protest. A bid protest against a bid decision is a legal action that is available to any interested parties who may be dissatisfied with the government’s decision. An’interested party’ in this situation means a party that bid but was not selected, or a government official. Protests are only allowed in situations where there was concern that the contract was awarded, handled, or otherwise organized improperly.

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If my small business prevails in its lawsuit against the federal government, will I recover any court costs or attorney’s fees?

Most U.S. courts do not allow for the recovery of legal fees for prevailing parties except for in exceptional situations – a lawsuit against the government is one such exception. If you are an interested party filing a bid protest, then having that protest sustained will often result in some form of restitution if that is appropriate to the circumstances of the case. For instance, if you should have received the bid, or have suffered other losses due to this process, a court might be inclined to provide monetary compensation commensurate with your losses.

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Government Contracts: Bid Protests

A bid protest may be filed by an “interested party” if it is believed that an award or proposed award of a government contract was not completed in accordance with the law. There are a number of requirements when contracting with either the federal or state government that have been passed in an effort to protect public funds and public interest. Parties who believe those requirements are not fulfilled can file a bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability office or with the relevant state or local department.

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