GAO Publishes Final Rule for E-Filing of Bid Protests – Effective May 1st
For years bid protest filings at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have been done by e-mail (or even fax, mail or hand delivery). In January 2014, Congress directed GAO to establish a electronic filing and document dissemination system (not unlike the PACER system used by federal courts), and authorized GAO to charge a filing fee to those filing bid protests. Since that time, GAO has been working on developing an electronic filing system, which GAO calls “EPDS.” The process has taken longer than most expected, but in February 2018 GAO announced EPDS was almost ready and started handling some protests on EPDS as part of a pilot program. Today, GAO issued the final rule for EPDS, and announced that rule would take effect on May 1, 2018. This means that starting in May all bid protest at GAO must be filed through EPDS (protesters will no longer be able to file protests by email) and GAO will charge a $350 fee for filing a protest.
Given the short and strictly enforced time limits for filing protests at GAO, those who file bid protests should consider signing up for an account immediately at https://epds.gao.gov/, and familiarize themselves with the new rules well before they take effect May 1st. GAO has provided handy instruction manuals and videos for EPDS at https://www.gao.gov/legal/bid-protests/file-a-bid-protest.