Contractors hoping to protect their right to file bid protests got much of what they wanted in the conference report for the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which also contained several provisions to streamline the Pentagon’s acquisitions.
In reconciling the two chambers’ bills, House members accepted a Senate provision to require the Defense secretary to study the frequency and effects of bid protests related to the same contract award filed at both the Government Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims.
Some contractors had previously objected to a Pentagon request for curbs on protests some consider “frivolous” by giving companies a deadline for filing a second one. Instead, Defense must conduct the study within 180 days and also establish a data collection system “to better track and analyze bid protest trends in the future,” a joint explanatory statement said. For contracts of less than $100,000, the Pentagon must establish by Dec. 1 an expedited bid protest process.
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