Oct 16 2013

Unintended Consequences of Government Contract Disputes

By: adayers

Posted in: Articles


In today's Wall Street Journal, I found the following Opinion Article (on the next to last page of section A) The Lunacy of "Fairness" in Government Contracting an Opinion written by The Honorable Bill Greenwalt on government contract disputes.  He talks about how these disputes are continuing to lead contracting officers NOT to use any discretion to obtain the best value for the government.  They are more likely to obtain the least value, using the safest decision from their perspective that is least likely to be disputed.   

In July 2013, Holly Svetz (Womble & Carlyle) came to the IDCC and gave an excellent presentation on the Award Disputes and Protests.  Her overview of Award Disputes provided information about various approaches one can follow and what might be the likelihood of success. She also covered when it is appropriate to pursue a dispute and what might be the outcomes of such a challenge to the award or contract as well as continuing contract relations with that agency. 

It seems that award disputes and protests are becoming a mainstay and competitive tool for participating in government contracting.  According to Honorable Greenwalt this is happening to the detriment of the American people and negatively impacts the value we get for our tax dollar but is the system with which companies must use to participate in government commerce.

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