Federal Contract Protests

Track federal government protests in HigherGov

GAO protests, formally known as U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protests, are a legal process where businesses can challenge the process of awarding of federal government contracts before or after formal award.

Protests can potentially substantially delay the award and start of contracts and in some cases can result in a solicitation needing to be re-bid or result in a change in winner. On average, bid protests are resolved in 45 days, with a legal deadline of 100 days.

HigherGov maintains a list of protests and also indicates on a contract opportunity page if a protest has been filed. If when the GAO Protest is decided there is an associated GAO Decision (most common with Denied or Sustained protests), that will also be included on the related protest page.

Learn more about when protests are likely to fail or succeed in our year-end bid protest analysis.

Protest Statuses

Protests can have one of the following statuses:

  • Open: The GAO has not yet made a decision on the protest

  • Withdrawn: The contractor withdrew its protest either because they decided not to proceed with the protest or because the agency took voluntarily corrective action to address the protested issue

  • Dismissed: The GAO found that the protest had a technical or procedural flaw or the agency took voluntarily corrective action but the protest had not yet been withdrawn

  • Denied: GAO did not find merit in the protest

  • Sustained: GAO agreed with the protest argument and has issues=d a decision recommending the agency to take appropriate corrective action

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