Federal Contract Protests

Federal laws give interested parties the right to protest if they can prove that a contract is improperly awarded or if they are denied a contract unfairly (Scott, 2008). Therefore, a concerned party has the right to protest over a solicitation demanding for a contract to procure property and services. During the protest phase, there are no proprietary business challenges that are made public. The prospects are left pending until they are developed (Barry, 2009). Tucker Act authorized the federal courts claims of federal contracts. In 1982, the act of federal courts granted express authority on the courts to relief protests filed earlier than the contracts. Under the act, monetary and equitable relief may be granted to protesters for costs incurred in the proposal. All protests ought to be in writing and addressed in the right format for them to be accepted (Barry, 2009).

Additionally, protests must contain the name, street and an electronic mail addresses, telephone number and an exact copy of the protester’s number. The protester or his agent must sign the protest and then recognize the contracting agency, which must have a contract number. On the other hand, there should be an accurate protest detailed with relevant documents and a declaration of protester’s interest for filing a protest. The protester should also set up the timeliness, particularly demand a declaration by the Comptroller General and affirm the type of relieve requested. Lastly, a protester may ask for a protective order and an appeal under relevant protest grounds giving the reason for protest hearing.

Various economic issues affect the protester against federal contract though given the right to protest. These are the competitiveness of an economy, the freedom in an economy, economic crisis, tenseness of the economy, or unstableness of an economy among other factors. In a competitive economy, the protests increase relatively. The increase in protest attributes to product quality and fair prices. This competitive environment poses a big problem to the protesters who in return pose a big challenge to the contract awards. For example, if some of the protests are allowed to continue they will shrink the economy and in return cause overdependence on foreigners for essential assets. The reason behind these competitions in the economy is to get the best layers for each protester

The competitive economy poses yet another challenge to get high quality products or services. This opens doors for protester whose aim is to have contracts awards in favor of their presented demands. This means that a protester who can give the best quality gets the contract award. Those protesters on the other hand, who do not present quality proposals, are denied the contract. The struggle in this economy is to produce the best proposal since the best wins.

A well-formed economy gives the protesters the unity in protesting. The protest of Belo Monte over the dam construction was possible due to the unity that the protesters had (Scott, 2008). Representatives of NGO, the native people in the United Nation and educators joined hands with Sigourney Weaver to protest over the Belo Monte contract award. They aimed at protesting because they did not want to make another mistake. The groups also never wanted a repeat of the same mistake. Well-formed economy gives protesters the right to protest to avoid recurrent or similar mistakes. On the other side, a well-formed economy is similar to an informed economy. An informed economy presents all the possible outcomes to the award of contracts. This means that protesters can protest a contract award on the bases of it consequences or outcomes, especially if they are not right. Informed and well-formed economies influence the decisions of protesters positively, thus producing positive results. This means that a federal contract is protested on a united and knowledgeable basis.

The year 2008 produced the highest challenges ever recorded since 1998. U.S. businesses federal auditors filled over 1,600 protests of Oshkosh and Marinette that faced challenges. The risks in multiyear and the possible recession in defense expenses at hand, companies find the federal contracts so attractive. As the economy softens, the federal contracts turn out to be eye catching and companies are able to obtain them. Northrop, Martin, and Boeing among other corporations filed protests that delayed a $70 billion worth of pentagon programs. The argument was that there were unannounced changes made by the military, which made it inconsistent on it evaluation (Barry, 2009). These changes were much determined by the poor economic status.

Another contributing factor on the federal contract protest is the instability in an economy. Unstable economy increases the level of protest against the federal contracts. The federal contracts awards in an instable environment are awarded for what they intend to do and not what they can actually do. On the other side, protests increase because of contract bleach and the failure to deliver. Contracts awards do not match with what is proposed and delivered. In most cases, federal contracts are awarded to contractors who present the best proposals. This is because the government in most cases is after the best proposal that addresses various suppressing issues. Protesters are aware that not all the presented contracts are realistic and therefore, they protest. For example, the case of GAO the protesters challenged the CNTPO contracts. The task was outside the capacity of the CNTPO, yet they included tasks that were unrelated to the technology development. Unstable economy exposes the government into rational decision in awarding federal contracts, this in return posses many errors in contract awards. These errors attract protests, as traced from unstable economy.

A decrease in economic award decreases the level of federal contact protest relatively. In the current economic crisis, a protest worn does not always reinvent a contract award. It shows that on no account were rules followed by the contract awarding federal agency (Barry, 2009). Very small fractions of the protesting companies get the contract awards. The likelihood of success for any filed appeal is limited. This in turn leads to re-figurations of the contract terms and rebidding as a collective measure. Federal contract awards are so expensive to protest and slow to get, but at times, it pays in the long-term. In 2008, the government purchased goods at a low price and paid less for the services, which made companies compete in favor of less multibillion-dollar deals. This means that, a decrease in economic award leads to a decrease in opportunity thus the greater consequences of losing the awards.

The logic is that, in the uncertain economy there are few people and companies willing to get into contract. Awards of contracts will be to a small percent of people and therefore, there will be fewer protesters over the said contracts. Protesters are not favored by uncertain economy and therefore, protest in smaller numbers as compared to favorable economy. The fear of these protester is to loss on their protest or to get the award of contracts and end up unpaid after their fully completion. It is a challenge for a protester to protest in this unstable economy since they have no guarantee of award to the contracts.

An open economy gives the protester the opportunity to protest over the federal contracts. The protesters bring issues long after the GAO protest. The open economy is no harsh on the protesters, but requires them to show probability in a sensible way that leads to their success. If the contract awards are not granted, protesters in the economy experience irreversible damage. This is because they use their money in undertaking these contracts as they await payments. This economy gives the protesters the chance to balance harm versus the award. The balancing is done by taking live testimonies for the government to raise issues over the protesters’ timeliness. In the open economy, the court is willing to take into consideration any alternatives to the contract protest before they can give their regards and judgment. This means that the late protests are considered to some extents.   

Protests against Federal contracts have increased at an alarming rate. The federal contract protests today are notable for their huge increase. Protests presented in the courts have gradually gone up as the years go by and the annual report conducted in 2009, accounted for a rise of 17% in the U.S. federal protests.

This was an increased noted from 1998 to 2009. A difference of ten years has accounted for such a rise. This may be because of a change in the economy or the protest world.

Stan a representative of over 300 federal contractors argued that, a company would protest a contract in the case of multilevel agreement elimination. This is for the reason that, in the current economy there is a greater impact of losing on the contract than it was earlier. GAO finds fault in most of the important awards, yet denies the protests. For example, the protest of Marinette over a $1.5 billion contract awarded to Louisiana Company for Coast Guard cutters construction in U.S. and $35 billion contract awarded to Northrop and European Contractors for construction of a tanker plane. The multilevel agreement enabled the protesting companies to protest and eliminate the awarding of those contracts.

The reason for the increase in protests are changes in federal law, protesters are granted the right to protest (Scott, 2008). This to some extent accounts for the rise in protest as compared to ten years ago. The protesters with their right to protest against federal contract have made the contracts realistic for any interesting party. This is why there is an increase in the number of federal contract protests. This means that those ambiguous contracts awards have been eliminated and the federal government has settled for contracts that are more realistic. On the other hand, there are big challenges posed to parties that are awarded the contracts. Those companies or individual awarded the contract are put on their toes to perform. It is not a mare performance but a serious and creditable performance least protesters arise over them. If a protester arises over contract awardees, the court has to take action.

Additionally, changes in economy have made it possible for the protesters to protest against the federal contracts. Improved economy gave the protesters favorable grounds for their protests. Well-formed economies give the protesters the most desirable grounds for protesting. The protesters are united and target ambiguous proposals. Their aim is always to give the best and most realistic proposals.

Protesters are well informed currently than they were few years ago. Protesters have knowledge than enable them to follow the necessary steps in protesting. This means that they are on the side of law in their protests. They understand what protesting entails and the procedures that are required. On the other hand, protesters are aware that some proposals that are awarded are ambiguous and unrealistic. This gives them the grounds to protester more than when they had no ideas of what was proposed. Therefore, knowledge is an attribute of the high rise in the number of protester.

The court investigates on all the grounds and if there are mistakes or bleach of contract on the side of the awardees’ the courts awards the protests. This means that their contract proposals may have been too ambiguous and unrealistic. They have to pay for the costs of contracting and that of damage caused. It is so critical for any awardees’ to fail in the performance. Additionally, the protesters understand that those ambiguous contract awards are catastrophic on the society. Therefore, avoidance of such errors is the best measure.

In conclusion, protester against the federal contracts should be encouraged and supported. The protester have shaped the contracts awards and enhanced the quality of those contracts. The government should protect them and help them in passing their protest for genuine issues. Proper analyses should be done to scrutinize the ideas passed forth by protesters. Their grounds should be established before ruling out their protests. The protesters should stand firm in what they believe. They should not let the economy dictate on when, why and how they should protest. As far as the protesters have realistic and genuine reasons for protesting, the court should listen to them. Lastly, the government should understand it is necessary to learn to listen and analyze the bases and the reasons for protester to protest. The protests can make them avoid falling into the hands of contractors who cannot deliver but present nice proposals.  

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