Senate Seeks to Disincentivize Certain Protesters in 2017 National Defense Authorization Act

Albert B. Krachman and Lyndsay A. Gorton

Krachman, Albert. B. Lyndsay A. GortonOn June 14, 2016, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) for Fiscal Year 2017, S. 2943, by a vote of 85-13.  The final bill grants to the military a $602 billion budget, and includes what Senator Harry Reid has called “several needed reforms,” which include bid protest reforms.  The bill, drafted by the Senate Armed Services Committee (“SASC”), includes language that would amend statutes related to bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) to require a “loser pays” scheme and the withholding of profits on bridge contracts.  President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA when it crosses his desk due to provisions unrelated to the proposed bid protest reforms.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the NDAA on May 18, 2016, by a vote of 277-147.  The House bill, H.R. 4909, does not include similar bid protest-related provisions to those in the Senate bill, and only requires that the Secretary of Defense enter into a contract with an “independent entity with appropriate expertise to conduct a review of the bid protest process related to major defense authorization programs.”  The “independent entity” would be required to submit interim findings on bid protest trends by March 1, 2017, and a final report of findings by July 1, 2017. Continue reading “Senate Seeks to Disincentivize Certain Protesters in 2017 National Defense Authorization Act”