Disappointed government contractors and their legal counsel weigh the benefits of filing bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) versus the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). One of the key benefits to filing a protest with the GAO is that, under the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) automatic stay provision, a GAO protester who satisfies statutory timing requirements is entitled to a stay of the procurement process through the GAO proceedings. This means the government may not move forward or authorize performance by the apparent awardee while the protest is pending. A recent bid protest involving engineering contractor NIKA Technologies addressed a key deadline for protesters seeking to invoke the CICA automatic stay in Department of Defense (DOD) procurements.

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