Bid Protests: The RAND Study of DOD Protests at the GAO and the COFC

32 Nash & Cibinic Report ¶ 10 (February 2018)

6 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018

See all articles by Steven L. Schooner

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: February 1, 2018


This short piece discusses the congressionally mandated study of bid protests of (or disappointed offeror litigation related to) U.S. defense department procurements. It describes the report, which reflects a serious and objective analysis of some frequently polarizing issues: among other things, it describes stakeholder perspectives on the bid protest system, chronicles and analyzes a decade of bid protest volume; provides some supplemental data on discrete aspects of the data set; and offers some thought-provoking recommendations. The essay generally applauds the study effort for dispelling some urban myths; reminding us that - with regard to protests - the devil is in the details; providing new insights that familiar, macro-level data had not previously revealed (e.g., the rarity with which the leading defense contractors protest to the U.S. Court of Claims); and, of course, raising interesting policy questions, that may, in turn, merit further study.

Keywords: Bid Protests, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Court of Federal Claims, RAND Study, Government Contracts, Defense Acquisition, Disappointed Offeror Litigation, Frivolous Protests

JEL Classification: H57, H83, K23, K41, L38

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L., Bid Protests: The RAND Study of DOD Protests at the GAO and the COFC (February 1, 2018). 32 Nash & Cibinic Report ¶ 10 (February 2018), Available at SSRN:

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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