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Many public procurement systems, within the United States and abroad, have established systems for allowing vendors to challenge the conduct of procurement processes. Providing an effective domestic review mechanism for vendors who believe that government procurement officials have not conducted an acquisition lawfully brings an important measure of transparency and accountability to public procurement systems. This brief article discusses the goals of these bid protest systems, and then presents key choices that must be made in crafting such a system. For example: Where in the government is the protest forum located? How broad is the forum's jurisdiction? Who has standing to protest? What are the time limits at the forum? What evidence does the forum receive? Is the procurement put "on hold" during the protest? How difficult is it for a protester to win? What power does the forum have to provide meaningful relief? The article does not describe an ideal bid protest system, but rather presents the decisions that need to be made when constructing a bid protest system.

GW Paper Series

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 200; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 200