4 CFR § 21.0 - Definitions.

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§ 21.0 Definitions.


(1) Interested party means an actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or by the failure to award a contract.

(2) In a public-private competition conducted under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–76 regarding performance of an activity or function of a Federal agency, or a decision to convert a function performed by Federal employees to private sector performance without a competition under OMB Circular A–76, interested party also means

(i) The official responsible for submitting the Federal agency tender, and

(ii) Any one individual, designated as an agent by a majority of the employees performing that activity or function, who represents the affected employees.


(1) Intervenor means an awardee if the award has been made or, if no award has been made, all bidders or offerors who appear to have a substantial prospect of receiving an award if the protest is denied.

(2) If an interested party files a protest in connection with a public-private competition conducted under OMB Circular A–76 regarding an activity or function of a Federal agency, the official responsible for submitting the Federal agency tender, or the agent representing the Federal employees as described in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, or both, may also be intervenors.

(c) Federal agency or agency means any executive department or independent establishment in the executive branch, including any wholly owned government corporation, and any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch, except the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol and any activities under the Architect's direction.

(d) Days are calendar days. In computing any period of time described in Subchapter V, Chapter 35 of Title 31, United States Code, including those described in this part, the day from which the period begins to run is not counted, and when the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the period extends to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. Similarly, when the Government Accountability Office (GAO), or another Federal agency where a submission is due, is closed for all or part of the last day, the period extends to the next day on which the agency is open.

(e) Adverse agency action is any action or inaction by an agency that is prejudicial to the position taken in a protest filed with the agency, including a decision on the merits of a protest; the opening of bids or receipt of proposals, the award of a contract, or the rejection of a bid or proposal despite a pending protest; or contracting agency acquiescence in continued and substantial contract performance.

(f) Electronic Protest Docketing System (EPDS) is GAO's web-based electronic docketing system. GAO's website [https://epds.gao.gov/login] includes instructions and guidance on the use of EPDS.

(g) A document is filed on a particular day when it is received in EPDS by 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time. Delivery of a protest or other document by means other than those set forth in the online EPDS instructions does not constitute a filing. Filing a document in EPDS constitutes notice to all parties of that filing.

(h) Alternative dispute resolution encompasses various means of resolving cases expeditiously, without a written decision, including techniques such as outcome prediction and negotiation assistance.

[61 FR 39042, July 26, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 79835, Dec. 31, 2002; 70 FR 19681, Apr. 14, 2005; 73 FR 32429, June 9, 2008; 83 FR 13823, Apr. 2, 2018]