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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1991




Hofstra University School of Law




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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