MITRE’s Contract Protest Diagnostic Tool helps Federal Government agencies proactively identify acquisition errors and mitigate protest exposure in the contract protest process.
MITRE’s Contract Protest Diagnostic Tool helps Federal Government agencies proactively identify acquisition errors and mitigate protest exposure in the contract protest process. The tool uses a step-by-step intuitive interface to guide acquisition professionals through a series of interview questions that can identify unforeseen errors and areas of protest risk exposure, as well as propose mitigation measures.
While most acquisition professionals have a good understanding of such relevant regulations as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), they may not be as well versed in bid protest case law, which also governs contract formation. Our tool helps fill this knowledge gap, preventing situations in which acquisition professionals can be caught off guard by seemingly hidden rules established through protest case law. The goal is to prevent instances of corrective action or sustained protest — both of which lead to delays, additional costs, and overall disruption to the government’s mission.
The Contract Quality & Protest Diagnostic Tool is designed to help Government agencies to proactively identify acquisition errors and mitigate protest exposure during the procurement process, rather than after a protest is filed. Our approach involves application of existing regulations, case law and lessons learned to:
- Provide a consolidated one-stop-shop for all things protest-related, geared for the contracting, program management, and contract attorney professionals.
- Provide an organized and efficient framework to quickly access on-point protest case law.
- Collect information throughout the acquisition (via step-by-step intuitive interface) to identify contract errors and potential protest exposure.
- Provide prescriptive actions to reduce risk and help Government agencies avoid making common mistakes that could result in legitimate protest grounds.
This proposed model could serve as a critical enabler to assist Government acquisition teams to improve the quality of their contracts, promote stronger compliance with procurement laws and regulations, and reduce the Government’s overall exposure to bid protests. The result would be faster procurements, more efficient use of Government resources, improved public trust in the procurement process, and less disruption to mission.
This tool is currently in the advanced prototype stage and is ripe for transition to all acquisition agencies within the Federal government. This tool contains contract lessons learned from previous contract protest events (via published GAO and U.S. Court decisions), and delivers those lessons to the contracting, program management, and contract attorney professionals in a way that enables proactive diagnosis and mitigation during the acquisition process. Using this tool, acquisition professionals can apply those critical lessons and avoid having to receive an unfavorable ruling from GAO or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
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