What can I do if Iï¿½ve lost my bid on a public contract? Can I file a lawsuit?
UPDATED: December 13, 2019
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
If your company was not selected in its bid for a government procurement contract, then you should consider filing a bid protest. Winning bids in procurement contracts must be allocated according to a set of very particular rules and regulations – not just low cost. Depending in part on the size of the contract, there can be many rules and regulations restricting: 1) the type of good or service in question, 2) characteristics of recipient companies, 3) selection procedure, 4) implementation procedure, and more. If any of these rules or regulations are found to have been violated, your bid protest will be sustained. Then you will be entitled to a remedy as well as restitution where applicable. The exact nature of the remedy/restitution will always vary based on the nature of the violation that led to the protest.
What Is a Bid Protest?
A bid protest is exactly what it sounds like – a protest against a bid decision. It is a legal action that is available to any interested parties who may be dissatisfied with the government’s decision. An “interested party” in this situation means a party that bid but was not selected, or a government official. Protests are only allowed in situations where there was concern that the contract was awarded, handled, or otherwise organized improperly. Because the bid process for procurement contracts must comply with special government rules and regulations, there are sometimes mistakes in the execution of this process. Transparency and objectivity enable wiser spending of public funds, and the challenge of a bid protest is part of ensuring that transparency.
How Can a Bid Protest Be Remedied?
Should the case move forward through a court of law, you will be entitled to one or more remedies. In most situations, the remedy takes the form of a correction to the contract or a correction its procedure. There are also restitutions that may be possible. For instance, in some cases, if the issue caused major inconvenience or loss for the protestor, the court will award monetary damages as restitution for the losses that you incurred.
Procedural irregularities in government bids are complex issues. If you were involved in a bidding situation and believe that such regularities exist, then you should consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to find out what your options are.