Title

The Private Attorney General Meets Public Contract Law: Procurement Oversight by Protest

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 1991

ISSN

00914029

Publisher

HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY

Language

en-US

Abstract

In this Article, protests are analyzed, from both an economic and legal perspective, as a decentralized mechanism for oversight of the competitive procurement process. Attention focuses on the protest process at the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals (hereinafter "the Board" or "GSBCA"). It is argued that protests are an effective means of deterring and correcting agency problems among procurement personnel and, consequently, accomplishing the procurement objectives of the government. Drawbacks of the protest process are identified, explanations are offered for the existence of these negative side effects, and solutions are proposed. In addition, protests are compared to centralized oversight methods, i.e., audits. Furthermore, we assess the trade-offs between granting greater decision-making discretion to procurement personnel and controlling agency problems.

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