A biased bid selection process represents one of the biggest threats for procurement officials. Such bias leads to a bad selection decision for a government contract, wasting taxpayer money. Moreover, it may lead to a procurement bid protest. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) put out a report in 2017, which found that a “flawed selection decision” was one of the top four reasons for successful bid protests – and over 22% of bid protests succeeded that year.
So how should procurement officials protect their procurement selection process from bias? Doing so requires a basic grasp of behavioral science research on cognitive biases and how to defeat them…
Nicole Pottroff, Equity Partner, Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC says that “the ever-developing field of psychology has the ability to shine some light on bias in the procurement process. This is where litigation consultants and expert witnesses can provide substantial benefit.” As she notes, “when it comes to bid protest, we generally tell clients we like to take the shotgun approach: throw all reasonable grounds of protest at the reviewing body or court, and see what sticks.” As a result, “utilizing a litigation consultant or expert witness to make the case for bias—while I focus on other arguments—is a solid gameplan. It is one that puts the client in the best position for success in a bid protest world where the majority of protests do end in dismissal.” Given “the standard of review being such a high bar for bias, it would be incredibly supportive to a plaintiff’s case to have scientific support for such a protest ground.” … Read the full article here.
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