Bid Protest/Appeals Process

Learn how to protest or appeal an award

Please refer to your solicitation documents for bid-specific protest and appeals processes.

GSA-Procurement prides itself on the establishment of fair and competitive contracting procedures and the commitment made to following those procedures. The following is provided in the event that bidders wish to protest the bid process or appeal the recommendation to award a contract for this project once the Notices of Intent to Award/Non-Award have been issued. Bid protests submitted prior to issuance of the Notices of Intent to Award/Non-Award will not be accepted by the County.

  1. Any Bid protest by any Bidder regarding any other Bid must be submitted in writing to the County’s GSA–Office of Acquisition Policy, ATTN: Contract Compliance Officer, located at 1401 Lakeside Drive, 10th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612, Fax: (510) 208-9720, Email: GSA-BidProtests@acgov.org, before 5:00 p.m. of the FIFTH (5th) business day following the date of issuance of the Notice of Intent to Award, not the date received by the Bidder. A Bid protest received after 5:00 p.m. is considered received as of the next business day.
    • The Bid protest must contain a complete statement of the reasons and facts for the protest.
    • The protest must refer to the specific portions of all documents that form the basis for the protest.
    • The protest must include the name, address, email address, fax number and telephone number of the person representing the protesting party.
    • The County Agency/Department will notify all bidders of the protest as soon as possible.
  2. Upon receipt of written protest, GSA–Office of Acquisition Policy, or designee, will review and evaluate the protest and issue a written decision. The GSA–Office of Acquisition Policy, may, at its discretion, investigate the protest, obtain additional information, provide an opportunity to settle the protest by mutual agreement, and/or schedule a meeting(s) with the protesting Bidder and others (as appropriate) to discuss the protest. The decision on the bid protest will be issued at least ten (10) business days prior to the Board hearing or GSA award date. The decision will be communicated by e-mail, fax, or US Postal Service mail, and will inform the bidder whether or not the recommendation to the Board of Supervisors or GSA in the Notice of Intent to Award is going to change. A copy of the decision will be furnished to all Bidders affected by the decision. As used in this paragraph, a Bidder is affected by the decision on a Bid protest if a decision on the protest could have resulted in the Bidder not being the apparent successful Bidder on the Bid.
  3. The decision of the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy on the bid protest may be appealed to the Auditor-Controller’s Office of Contract Compliance (OCC) located at 1221 Oak St., Room 249, Oakland, CA 94612, Fax: (510) 272-6502 unless the OCC determines that it has a conflict of interest in which case an alternate will be identified to hear the appeal and all steps to be taken by OCC will be performed by the alternate. The Bidder whose Bid is the subject of the protest, all Bidders affected by the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy’s decision on the protest, and the protestor have the right to appeal if not satisfied with the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy’s decision. All appeals to the Auditor-Controller’s OCC shall be in writing and submitted within five (5) business days following the issuance of the decision by the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy, not the date received by the Bidder. An appeal received after 5:00 p.m. is considered received as of the next business day. An appeal received after the FIFTH (5th) business day following the date of issuance of the decision by the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy shall not be considered under any circumstances by the GSA or the Auditor-Controller OCC.
    • The appeal shall specify the decision being appealed and all the facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the appeal.
    • In reviewing protest appeals, the OCC will not re-judge the proposal(s). The appeal to the OCC shall be limited to review of the procurement process to determine if the contracting department materially erred in following the Bid or, where appropriate, County contracting policies or other laws and regulations.
    • The appeal to the OCC also shall be limited to the grounds raised in the original protest and the decision by the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy. As such, a Bidder is prohibited from stating new grounds for a Bid protest in its appeal. The Auditor-Controller (OCC) shall only review the materials and conclusions reached by the GSA-Office of Acquisition Policy or department designee, and will determine whether to uphold or overturn the protest decision.
    • The Auditor’s Office may overturn the results of a bid process for ethical violations by Procurement staff, County Selection Committee members, subject matter experts, or any other County staff managing or participating in the competitive bid process, regardless of timing or the contents of a bid protest.
    • The decision of the Auditor-Controller’s OCC is the final step of the appeal process. A copy of the decision of the Auditor-Controller’s OCC will be furnished to the protestor, the Bidder whose Bid is the subject of the Bid protest, and all Bidders affected by the decision.
  4. The County will complete the Bid protest/appeal procedures set forth in this paragraph before a recommendation to award the Contract is considered by the Board of Supervisor or GSA.
  5. The procedures and time limits set forth in this paragraph are mandatory and are each Bidder’s sole and exclusive remedy in the event of Bid Protest. A Bidder’s failure to timely complete both the Bid protest and appeal procedures shall be deemed a failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Failure to exhaust administrative remedies, or failure to comply otherwise with these procedures, shall constitute a waiver of any right to further pursue the Bid protest, including filing a Government Code Claim or legal proceedings.

For Additional Assistance

For questions, contact:

GSA Procurement & Support Services
Phone: (510) 208-9700