FY2023 GAO Protest Statistics: Dramatic Increase in Sustain Rate Is Illusory, but Increase in Overall Filings Is Real
The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has released its Annual Report to Congress summarizing bid protest activity for Fiscal Year 2023 (GAO-24-900538). Although there is a seemingly drastic increase in the number of protests sustained, the real trend worth noting is an uptick in protests filed at GAO—reversing a recent trend that had seen GAO protest numbers falling.
With the full context in hand, the FY 2023 GAO protest data mostly show a steady continuation of recent trends: the number of sustains and sustain rate remains largely the same as FY 2022, “effectiveness” remains high and stable (57 percent), and the hearing rate remains low at two percent (22 for the year). The meaningful increase in cases filed at GAO shows that protesters still view GAO as a valuable protest forum, even as an increasing number of protesters opt for the more fulsome document production and (at times) less deferential analysis they expect at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
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