The Keys to the Kingdom: Obtaining Injunctive Relief in Bid Protest Cases Before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Once upon a time, in bid protests before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), an award of bid preparation and proposal costs was the most relief that a successful plaintiff could hope to secure. The primary goal of today’s bid protests, however, is not simply to recover the costs incurred in preparing a bid or proposal, but to force some change in the Government’s conduct of a procurement via injunctive relief. In a preaward bid protest, for example, a protester ordinarily seeks to change the parameters of a solicitation, while, in a postaward bid protest, a plaintiff protester may seek an order to disqualify the putative awardee or to require the Government to reconsider the plaintiff’s proposal. Often, securing a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction is a necessary first step on the road to permanent injunctive relief. In addition, modern bid protest practice frequently involves litigating the Government’s override of the automatic statutory stay imposed by the Competition in Contracting Act upon the filing of a timely bid protest at the Government Accountability Office.