Congress recently concluded the conference on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY18 NDAA passed earlier this year.
Pilot Program Will Require Contractors to Reimburse the Department of Defense for Protest Processing Costs
Among other significant procurement provisions in the bill that came out of conference, Section 827 of the 2018 NDAA includes a three-year pilot program that will require that large Department of Defense (DoD) contractors – those with revenue in excess of $250 million during the previous year in FY17 constant dollars – reimburse DoD for “costs incurred in processing covered protests” if a protest is “denied in an opinion” issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). This provision, which is similar to legislation proposed by the Senate last year, reflects Congress’ belief that contractors are taking advantage of the GAO protest system by filing frivolous protests that are delaying properly awarded contracts and imposing unnecessary costs on DoD. As it appears now, the provision will take effect two years after the bill is signed.