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Our Washington D.C. area-based GAO bid protest attorneys have brought and defended a variety of pre-award and post-award federal and state bid protests for a wide range of government contractors. When you decide to file a bid protest or you need to intervene in a bid protest, you must act quickly and correctly. As former government lawyers, government contractors, and attorneys who individually hold decades of experience with bid protests, there is no better choice than DBL's bid protest practice group.
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FAQ - Frequently Answered Questions About GAO Bid Protests
DBL's Representative Bid Protest Cases

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Companies pursuing government contracts need experienced attorneys who understand the procurement process and complex world of bid protests. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s attorneys include former government contracting officers, government lawyers (NSA, DOD, US Army, US Marines) and private practice lawyers. Our team has advised government contractors and those seeking government contracts on all stages of a bid protest, including counseling clients on interpreting requirements of a solicitation.

We have expertise with:

  • Submitting questions to an agency regarding the solicitation.
  • Handling a notice of award.
  • Requesting a debriefing and submitting questions.
  • Counseling on protest filing timelines.
  • Analyzing protest viability, explaining the protest process and expectations.
  • Filing a bid protest, or filing a request to intervene in a bid protest with GAO and an agency.
  • Filing a bid protest or bid protest appeal with the Court of Federal Claims.
  • File an appeal with United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit.

See a representative list of recent successful protest decisions below where DBL lawyers have helped file a bid protest or defended an award representing an intervenor.

Lead Attorneys

Thomas Dunlaptdunlap@dbllawyers.comMary Pat Buckenmeyermbuckenmeyer@dbllawyers.com703-740-8749 (D)

Sound Advice, Aggressive Advocacy

The GAO bid protest lawyers at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig can counsel you regarding the advisability of a bid protest. Sometimes, after the debrief, lodging a protest is not in the client’s best interests, may not be economically sensible, or may not make sense to file based on other business considerations. In other instances, even when the basis for the protest was less favorable, we have filed strategic protests. We work with clients to make the determination that is most favorable to the client’s goals and advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our government contract attorneys have brought and defended a variety of pre- and post-award state bid protests and federal bid protests. We also have defended awards to our clients in bid protests brought by unsuccessful offerors. In those instances, we work closely with agency counsel to defend the award.

FAQs about GAO Bid Protests

When do you need to file a GAO protest? If you think that a Federal agency has failed to properly issue a solicitation, establish a proper competitive range, or fairly evaluate your proposal you should talk to a GAO bid protest attorney.

What if a bid protest is filed against me as an awardee?  You have the right to join the case as an intervenor and you should.  Our GAO protest lawyers know both the GAO and the GAO attorneys well and have defended numerous protests (awards).  Making sure that your company’s position is heard, and that the agency’s decision is well supported can not only endear you to the agency that has just awarded your company a contract but also will help ensure that the GAO’s protest decision will not be later overturned.

What is the likelihood of success for a GAO bid protest?  Our team will conduct a GAO bid protest analysis, reviewing the RFIs, RFPs, the initial solicitation, your bid, and the public award.  Much of the real detail for this analysis in most cases is often something no one can know until we file the protest and are added to the GAO protective order.  At that point, our protest attorneys will have access to the unredacted protest itself as well as the other party’s bid.  While we will be able to share that information with you, we will be able to discuss your side of the case and ultimately provide a frank analysis of your likelihood of success.

How are GAO bid protests decided? GAO bid protest law is really a combination of a set of statutes outlined in Part 21 of Title 4 of the Code of Federal Regulations and precedent-based on past decisions of the GAO (which you can search here).  The agency attorney will usually solicit the involvement of the awardee in the form of intervention by the awardee in the case.  Once each party has presented their evidence and legal memoranda, the ultimate review and decision are made by an Agency Protest Official for the General Services Administration (GSA).  The decision will usually include a detailed rationale and one of three outcomes is possible; the protest will either be sustained, denied, or dismissed.

How much time do I have to file a GAO bid protest?  The answer is that “it depends”, or “not a lot”.  Generally, the timeline for most protests is “10 days”, unless you require a CICA stay post-award, in which case it must be filed within 5 days.  The 10-day period however varies in when it starts to run, depending on whether it is a pre-award protest, post-award protest, the type of contract, and whether you are seeking a CICA (Competition in Contracting Act) automatic stay.  The deadlines for the Court of Federal Claims are more forgiving and you can read more about that on our Court of Federal Claims information page.  Typically bid protests must be filed on an abbreviated timeline. The deadlines vary based on numerous factors, such as the forum where the protest is filed, the type of protest (e.g., pre-or post-award), the date of a debriefing, and the date on which the client first learned the information forming the basis of the protest grounds, In some instances, that could mean a day or two to analyze the protest issues, creating a strategy for protest filing, and writing the protest. There are many reasons to protest or not. Understanding those reasons is a fact-intensive knowledge-based exercise specific to each unique set of circumstances that we can help you understand.

In the bid protest area of government contracts, DBL attorneys are experienced representing clients before state and federal agencies and various bid protest forums. This includes representation before the various federal agencies, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the three main bid protest forums.

Representative Bid Protest Cases:

MindPetal Software Solutions, Inc., B-418016, Dec. 20, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ __. Successful representation of awardee in defending its award against protester’s claims of improper agency evaluation. Further, GAO found protester was not an interested party to raise other challenges where GAO determined agency reasonably determined protester’s proposal was technically unacceptable.

Warmore, Inc., B-417450, B-417540.2, July 9, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ __. Successful representation of the awardee against protester’s claims of an improper sole-source contract and alleged defects in the solicitation. GAO further concluded protester was not an interested party to challenge the solicitation as ambiguous because the agency had properly determined only one source was responsible.

Environmental Chemical Corporation, B-416166.4, Jun. 12, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 217. Successful representation of one of six awardees, where protester protested, among other things, the agency's technical and cost realism evaluations and the agency's corrective action taken in response to another protest. GAO found protesters had not shown competitive prejudice on either of those grounds.

Falken USVI, LLC, B-416581.2, Jan. 2, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 49. Successful representation of the awardee in defense protested that the agency failed to properly evaluate proposals and determine eligibility and unequal treatment.

Grant Thornton, LLC, B-416733, Nov. 29, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 411, recon. denied, B-416733.2, Mar. 18, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 110. Successful pre-award protest challenging the terms of a solicitation as unduly restrictive.

FMS Investment Corp. v. United States, 139 Fed. Cl. 221 (2018), order amended by, 2018 WL 4691444 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 1, 2018). Successful representation of protester against an agency’s decision to cancel a solicitation. The Court held that the agency's decision either lacked a rational basis or was insufficiently documented, and permanently enjoined the agency from canceling the solicitation.

CBE Group, Inc. v. United States, 138 Fed. Cl. 230 (2018). Successful defense of an award term task order where the Court held that the protestor lacked standing because it was not eligible for award, it did not have a direct economic interest, and it waived its right to challenge the agency's decision because it waited too long to do so.

Technology, Automation & Management, Inc. (TeAM), File: B-418063.3; B-418063.4, October 2, 2020. Successful representation of awardee as intervenor regarding award by the General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Services, for program and technical management services to support the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Protester raised multiple challenges to the agency’s evaluation of quotations and source selection decision, including that the agency’s technical and price realism evaluations were flawed, awardee has unequal access to information organizational conflict of interest (OCI), and the agency’s best-value tradeoff decision was improper.

(Non-Public Decision) - Successful representation of awardee as intervenor regarding award by the General Services Administration, Federal Supply Schedule, for construction management services. Protester raised multiple challenges to the agency’s evaluation of quotations and source selection decision, including challenging the professional qualifications of awardee. Corrective action was taken allowing awardee to revise its proposal and retain the contract.
If you have questions about Bid Protests, call our team at (800) 747-9354 or email

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