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Polly A. Myers is a staff attorney in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice, where her practice focuses primarily on government contracts including litigation of bid protests before the US Court of Federal Claims and the Government Accountability Office. She has also represented clients in False Claims Act litigation, Small Business Size Determinations, and issues involving Multiple Award Schedule issues, and advised clients in requests and defense of Freedom of Information Act requests.

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Yet another unwary government contractor has been turned away by GAO because it failed to file its protest on time. Unsuccessful offerors that contest evaluation issues (rather than solicitation defects) have 10 days to file protests at GAO. That generally applicable 10-day deadline is tolled when a “debriefing” is required in FAR Part 15 (and certain Part 16) procurements. But that tolling rule doesn’t apply when the FAR only requires that the agency provide an “explanation” to disappointed offerors (e.g., in FAR Parts 8, 12, and 13 procurements)—and does not mandate a “debriefing.” GAO’s decision in Gorod Shtor illustrates this rule by dismissing the protest of an offeror that fell into this bid protest trap.
Continue Reading Tricks of the Protest Trade: A Required “Explanation” Does Not Toll GAO’s Limitations Period—As a Mandatory “Debriefing” Does