Contractors often complain that while government contracts are good for business, the governmental bureaucracy is oftentimes more hassle than it is worth. A recent decision of the Boards of Contract Appeals and the Comptroller General drives this point home.

In this recent situation, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business was the low bidder on a Department of Veteran Affairs project. However, the contracting officer determined that the low bid was unreasonably low and the contractor was “non-responsible”.

The low bidder filed an agency-level protest, but before a decision was reached, the project was awarded to another bidder. Two days later, the low bidder prevailed and the decision that his construction company was “non-responsible” was reversed. The Comptroller General ultimately recommended that the VA terminate its award to the other bidder and make a new award to the original, low bidding construction company.

This case drives home two points. It certainly reveals the difficulties that a company can experience when dealing with the government. But, it also shows that if you are familiar with the process, you may be successful in challenging governmental action. So, how familiar are you with the challenges that you can raise when things don’t go your way with a governmental contract?