Solicitation Protest Procedures



Failure of a proposer to comply with these protest procedures will render a protest inadequate, untimely, and will result in rejection of the protest. In no event shall a protest be considered if all submittals are rejected or after a contract has been executed.

Protests will only be accepted from interested parties whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of the contract or refusal to award a contract.  The Director of Supply Management will consider all such protests, whether submitted before or after the award of a contract. Notice of any protest and the basis therefore shall be given to all offerors or potential vendors.  Protest submissions should be concise, logically arrange and clearly state the grounds for the protest. All Protests must be in writing and addressed to the Director of Supply Management at purchasing@cota.com and include the following information.

*    Name, address, telephone number, and email address of protestor;

*    Identification of the solicitation number and name;

*    A detailed statement of the legal and factual grounds of protest, including attachments of relevant documents; and

*     A statement as to what relief is requested.

The Director of Supply Management, at their discretion, may make a decision regarding the protest without requesting further information or documents from the protestor. If the protestor later raises new grounds or evidence that was not included in the initial protest but which could have been raised at that time, the Director of Supply Management will not consider such new grounds or evidence.

All protest documents submitted to the Supply Management Department shall be logged into a protest file folder.

Protests Before Award

Protests before award must be submitted as specified below.  If the written protest is not received by the time specified, evaluation process shall continue in the normal manner unless the Director of Supply Management, upon investigation finds that remedial action is desirable, in which event such action shall be taken.

The protests addressing the adequacy of Invitation for Bids, Requests for Proposals, including without limitation, the pre-award procedure, the Instructions to Bidders, General Terms and Conditions, specifications and statement of work, must be filed at the Supply Management Department no later than five (5) days before bid opening date or solicitation closing date.  Thereafter, such issues are deemed waived by all interested parties.  Bids received shall not be opened and proposals will not be evaluated prior to the resolution of the protest unless the Director of Supply Management determines that:

  • The items to be procured are urgently required; or
  • Delivery or performance will be unduly delayed by failure to make the award promptly; or
  • Failure to make prompt award will otherwise cause undue harm to COTA or the state or federal government.

In addition, when a protest against the making of an award is received, and the Director of Supply Management determines to withhold the award pending disposition of the protest, the bidders whose bids might become eligible for award shall be requested, before expiration of the time for acceptance of their bids, to extend the time for acceptance (with consent of sureties, if any) to avoid the need for re-advertising.

Where a written protest has been filed prior to award, the contract shall not be awarded until five (5) days after the matter is resolved.

If award is made, the Director of Supply Management shall document the file to explain the need for an award and shall give written notice of the decision to proceed with the award to the protestor, and as appropriate, to others concerned.

Protests After Award

Protest against award must be filed with the Supply Management Department and within five (5) days immediately following the award.  The protest shall be received by the Director of Supply Management.  The contractor/awardee shall in any event be furnished with the notice of protest and the basis, therefore.  Also, when it appears likely that an award may be invalidated and a delay in receiving the supplies or service is not prejudicial to COTA’s interest, the Director of Supply Management shall consider a mutual agreement with the contractor to suspend performance on a no-cost basis.

Protest Remedies

If the protest is upheld, the Director of Supply Management will consider all circumstances surrounding the procurement in its decision for a fair and reasonable remedy, including the seriousness of the procurement deficiency, the degree of prejudice to the protesting party or to the integrity of the competitive procurement system, the good faith

efforts of the parties, the extent of performance, the cost to the Court, the urgency of the procurement, and the impact of the recommendation(s). The Director of Supply Management will recommend any combination of the following remedies:

  • Terminate the contract for convenience;
  • Re-compete the contract;
  • Issue a new solicitation;
  • Refrain from exercising options to extend the term under the contract, if applicable;
  • Award a contract consistent with statute or regulation; or
  • Other such remedies as may be required to promote compliance.

Decision on Protest

The Director of Supply Management shall render their decision in writing within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the written protest and shall provide notice of such decision to all interested parties.

The decision of the Director of Supply Management is final.


  1. “Days” refers to working days of the federal government.
  2. “File or submit” date of receipt by COTA.
  3. “Interested Party” includes all bidders/offerors that have a substantial economic       interest in a portion of the RFB or RFP.