Protests Rise; Winners Fall: GAO Releases Its Latest Protest Statistics


While the number of protests has steadily increased over the past five years, the success rate for protesters in Fiscal Year 2011 was at its lowest during that time. GAO reported to Congress its Bid Protest Statistics for Fiscal Year 2011 on November 15, 2011 and it reflects a bit of a tougher year for protesters but no real significant changes from last year.

There were 2,353 protests filed in 2011, including 144 cost claims and requests for reconsideration, but GAO sustained only 67 protests, a mere 16 percent. This compares to 2,226 filed cases and a 19 percent sustain rate in 2010. Moreover, it is a huge departure from the 27 percent sustain rate in 2007. GAO reported that the "effectiveness rate," which GAO defines as instances where a protester obtains "some form of relief from the agency, as reported to GAO," remained constant from last year at 42 percent. On the bright side, however, while fewer protesters were successful, all federal agencies reported that they fully implemented the GAO recommendations in those sustained protests.

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