GAO ADR Practice Tips

Since the ADR provided by GAO is unique to that forum, practitioners should keep the following tips in mind:

  • ADR does not toll the requirement in the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) that the protest be resolved within 100 calendar days.
  • The parties may request ADR, or GAO may sua sponte decide to offer it.
  • The GAO attorney who conducts the ADR will be the same attorney who writes the final decision if the ADR fails.
  • ADR is generally provided orally and may not be recorded.
  • It may be helpful for clients to participate in ADR; however, the parties should be mindful of limitations imposed by protective orders.
  • ADR may be used in a protest, request for reconsideration, or cost claim.
  • GAO may provide partial ADR at the discretion of the GAO attorney if some, but not all, of the protest issues are appropriate for resolution through ADR.
  • In addition to the three types of ADR (outcome prediction, litigation risk, and negotiation assistance), a GAO attorney may, at any time, provide informal feedback regarding the protest issues.
  • ADR at GAO is a flexible process that may be tailored to the individual circumstances of each protest, so communication with the GAO attorney handling the protest is essential.