The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its annual report to Congress detailing its bid protest statistics for the 2012 fiscal year. As has been the case in recent years, protests filed at GAO continue to rise. Protestors filed 2,475 cases in the 2012 fiscal year, which is a 5 percent increase from the 2011 fiscal year. However, this 5 percent increase is not as large of an increase as in years past. For example, the 2009 fiscal year saw a 20 percent increase in bid protest filings from the previous year, whereas the 2010 fiscal year was up 16 percent from 2009.
Of the 2,475 cases filed in the 2012 fiscal year, only 570 were sustained, resulting in an 18.6 percent sustain rate. However, the effectiveness rate, which GAO tracks to determine whether the protester obtained some form of relief from the agency, such as corrective action, was 42%. This statistic is good for protesters, considering that corrective action often results in a second bite at the apple that most protesters are looking for. Also notable from GAO’s report are the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) statistics. ADR was used in 106 protest cases, and 80% of those cases were resolved without a formal GAO decision after ADR.