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I Think Thou Protest

Dec 13, 2017

In the words of William Shakespeare, “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”  However, this is not true when protesting an award of a state contract.  Protesting is your right as a bidder during the solicitation process.  There are many misconceptions when it comes to filing a protest.  For example:

  • I will be shut out from bidding on future bids with the state.
  • It does no good, the state is not going to review my protest.
  • I will make Purchasing mad.

Some of these ideas may have been true many years ago.  However, in today’s ever-changing procurement process, it is always expected that a losing bidder will file a protest.  I want to share with you some helpful hints that will save you time, and a great deal of frustration, as you consider a protest.

  1. In most cases, you will usually only have five business days to file a protest.
  2. You can only file a protest if you submitted a bid as the prime contractor on the solicitation.
  3. As soon as you receive the award recommendation indicating the award went to another vendor, request a copy of the winning bid.You will need to do this through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
  4. Immediately upon receiving the Bid Evaluation document, start reviewing the areas where your bid was deficient.
  5. Be specific in your protest.Make sure that you state the section number or title within your bid and the sections of the Request for Proposal (RFP) which you are challenging.
  6. Focus on the facts.Do not get emotional or make statements which cannot be backed by information contained in either the RFP or your bid response.
  7. Because of the short protest window, start working on your protest during the bid process.
  8. Even if you have not received all the information that you believe you need for the protest, you should still submit your protest.Having a protest on file will at least give you standing with the state.

If you have any questions on how MLC can help your business before, during, or after the procurement process, please feel free to contact me at 517.372.2560 or tony@mlcmi.com.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.