In addition to increased business at year-end, the government contracting community also sees increased protest activity.  Here are three tips to companies thinking about protesting, or needing to protect themselves in the event one of their awards is protested. 

1.  Know What You Want:  Are you seeking a stay of action during an active procurement?  GAO agreeing with you that the agency was wrong and needs to do the buy again?  Something in between?  Always be prepared to answer the question “What is it that you want?”

2. Don’t Become Known as A “No Protest” Company: If your company has a “no protest” policy chances are your bids aren’t getting a full review, especially at year-end.  A company that won’t protect its interests gets a reputation your firm does not want.  Protect yourself and your rights.  If you feel something was done incorrectly, protest.

3. Even If You Win, Protect Your Interests:  Ever read a GAO protest decision?  Chances are you’ve seen three sets of attorneys listed near the end.  One set is for the government agency and another for the protestor. The third, however, is for the company that originally won the award.  Your firm wants to protect that win and be on top of things should a re-compete become necessary.  One last thought:  Most CO’s understand that protests are part of the procurement landscape these days.  So long as your action isn’t totally frivolous it is unlikely that you’ll upset your customer by filing a proper protest.