4 CFR § 21.1 - Filing a protest.

§ 21.1 Filing a protest.

(a) An interested party may protest a solicitation or other request by a Federal agency for offers for a contract for the procurement of property or services; the cancellation of such a solicitation or other request; an award or proposed award of such a contract; and a termination of such a contract, if the protest alleges that the termination was based on improprieties in the award of the contract.

(b) Protests must be filed through the EPDS.

(c) A protest filed with GAO shall:

(1) Include the name, street address, email address, and telephone and facsimile numbers of the protester,

(2) Be signed by the protester or its representative,

(3) Identify the agency and the solicitation and/or contract number,

(4) Set forth a detailed statement of the legal and factual grounds of protest including copies of relevant documents,

(5) Set forth all information establishing that the protester is an interested party for the purpose of filing a protest,

(6) Set forth all information establishing the timeliness of the protest,

(7) Specifically request a ruling by the Comptroller General of the United States, and

(8) State the form of relief requested.

(d) In addition, a protest filed with GAO may:

(1) Request a protective order,

(2) Request specific documents, explaining the relevancy of the documents to the protest grounds, and

(3) Request a hearing, explaining the reasons that a hearing is needed to resolve the protest.

(e) The protester shall furnish a complete copy of the protest, including all attachments, to the individual or location designated by the agency in the solicitation for receipt of protests, or if there is no designation, to the contracting officer. The designated individual or location (or, if applicable, the contracting officer) must receive a complete copy of the protest and all attachments not later than 1 day after the protest is filed with GAO. The protest document must indicate that a complete copy of the protest and all attachments are being furnished within 1 day to the appropriate individual or location.

(f) No formal briefs or other technical forms of pleading or motion are required. Protest submissions should be concise and logically arranged, and should clearly state legally sufficient grounds of protest. Protests of different procurements should be separately filed.

(g) Unless precluded by law, GAO will not withhold material submitted by a protester from any party outside the government after issuing a decision on the protest, in accordance with GAO's rules at 4 CFR part 81. If the protester believes that the protest contains information which should be withheld, a statement advising of this fact must be on the front page of the submission. This information must be identified wherever it appears, and within 1 day after the filing of its protest, the protester must file a final redacted copy of the protest which omits the information.

(h) Protests and other documents containing classified information shall not be filed through the EPDS. Parties who intend to file documents containing classified information should notify GAO in advance to obtain advice regarding procedures for filing and handling the information.

(i) A protest may be dismissed for failure to comply with any of the requirements of this section, except for the items in paragraph (d) of this section. In addition, a protest shall not be dismissed for failure to comply with paragraph (e) of this section where the contracting officer has actual knowledge of the basis of protest, or the agency, in the preparation of its report, was not prejudiced by the protester's noncompliance.

[61 FR 39042, July 26, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 79835, Dec. 31, 2002; 73 FR 32430, June 9, 2008; 83 FR 13823, Apr. 2, 2018]