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Recent bid protests have caused large disruptions in resource and operational planning in the Air Force, even leading to the cancellation of the Combat Search and Rescue helicopter program. Some tactics that the Air Force could use to counter such protests in the future include recognizing a bid protest as an adversarial proceeding, giving greater attention to how the Government Accountability Office views a bid protest; simplifying and clarifying selection criteria and priorities; explaining how its cost estimates are developed; involving attorneys in external review of bids; and gathering new data on the costs imposed by different forms of protests.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    How Source Selections and Bid Protests Work

  • Chapter Three

    Patterns for Bid Protests During FY 1991-2008

  • Chapter Four

    Protests Sustained in the CSAR-X and KC-X Source Selections

  • Chapter Five

    Synthesis of Findings

  • Chapter Six

    Potential Changes in Air Force Policy or Practice

  • Appendix A

    A Simple Model of the Pattern of Protests and Protest Outcomes

  • Appendix B

    Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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