Bid Protests: The Costs are Real, but the Benefits Outweigh Them

54 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2013

See all articles by Daniel I. Gordon

Daniel I. Gordon

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: 2013


The author analyzes the costs and benefits of bid protests, with a focus on protests filed at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The author explains that the costs are often overstated, in that GAO’s reporting methodology leads observers to overstate the number of protests and the frequency of successful protests. The author also reports on research regarding what happens after GAO sustains protests, and indicates that firms that successfully protest to GAO generally do not obtain the contract that was the subject of the protest. The article also explains that the “automatic stay” of procurements triggered by a protest to GAO rarely stays in place for the maximum allowable time. The author also addresses the benefits of protests, such as the increase in transparency and accountability that they bring.

Keywords: Bid protest, sustain, Government Accountability Office (GAO), automatic stay, Competition in Contracting Act

Suggested Citation

Gordon, Daniel I., Bid Protests: The Costs are Real, but the Benefits Outweigh Them (2013). 42:3 Pub. Contract L.J. (Spring 2013), Forthcoming, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-41, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-41, Available at SSRN:

Daniel I. Gordon (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics