Shrinking Budgets, Acquisition Workforce Mistakes Drive Bid Protests, Experts Say

May 10, 2013

Data from the Government Accountability Office clearly show an upward trend in the number of bid protests, and procurement analysts told BNA there several explanations for the increase.

Chief among these, they said, are smaller federal budgets that allow for fewer overall contracts, along with a shrinking, less skilled acquisition workforce prone to mistakes.

Total federal spending on contracts fell to $516.8 billion in FY 2012 from $538.6 billion in FY 2011, according to USASpending.gov. Spending rose only 19.6 percent from $432.1 billion in FY 2006.

At the same time, contractors filed 2,475 protests, cost claims, and requests for reconsideration with GAO in fiscal year 2012, a five percent increase from FY 2011 and a 94 percent increase from the 1,274 protests filed in FY 2006.

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