As U.S. Government Contracts Dwindle, Losers Protest More

April 29, 2012

The U.S. government's push to reduce spending on contracts has left it fending off the most challenges in 16 years from unsuccessful bidders.

Contractors filed 2,353 protest-related cases during the last fiscal year with the Government Accountability Office, which arbitrates contract disputes.

That's up 18 percent from the 1,989 cases filed when federal contract spending peaked in fiscal 2009 and the most since 1995, when more than 2,500 were filed, according to GAO data.

Federal contract spending has declined as agencies seek cuts as part of efforts to reduce the U.S. deficit. With fewer opportunities, companies such as UnitedHealth Group and IBM have fought for lost work. 

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