Christopher R. Yukins, Lynn David Research Professor in Government Procurement Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program, led a study commissioned by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to explore potential reforms to agency-level procurement contract disputes, commonly called bid protests.
Working with Ben Smith, JD ’20, and Madison Plummer, Class of ’21, Professor Yukins prepared an extensive report, "Stepping Stones to Reform: Making Agency-Level Bid Protests Effective for Agencies and Bidders by Building on Best Practices from Across the Federal Government,” that helped frame ACUS’ pending recommendations for reform.
“This is exactly the type of unique and practical experience available to GW Law students studying law in the nation’s capital in one of the world’s leading government procurement programs,” said Professor Yukins. “I am so pleased that our work will have a significant impact on shaping government policies.”
GW Law Associate Dean Alan B. Morrison and Professor Jonathan R. Siegel have also worked with ACUS for many years, drawing on their deep expertise in constitutional and administrative law. Both are participating in the ongoing ACUS initiative, which will yield further recommendations on improving agency-level bid protests. (In addition to Associate Dean Morrison and Professor Siegel, Senior Associate Dean Emily Hammond is an ACUS Public Member and Professor Richard J. Pierce, Jr. serves as an ACUS Senior Fellow.)
The ACUS initiative has now become part of a broader mandate by Congress to reform bid protests in the federal government. The conference report accompanying H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021, Section 886, pending before the President, specifically cited Professor Yukins’ report:
“The conferees note that an academic study recently examined the agency-level bid protest process at various federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, and reported on that study to the Administrative Conference of the United States. The conferees direct the Department to consider these recommendations among those it might make to improve the expediency, timeliness, transparency, and consistency of agency-level bid protests.”
The ACUS report will be addressed in a broader DoD report on reform of bid protests, due by September 1, 2021. The study by Professor Yukins is slated for republication in the Public Contact Law Journal, a co-publication of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association and GW Law.