Office of the New York State Comptroller

Procurement and Disbursement Guidelines

Bulletin Category: Procurement & Contracting
Bulletin Number: G-232
Date Issued: 07/10/2008 Date Last Updated:
Bulletin Name: Contract Award Protest Procedures
Purpose:

The purpose of this Bulletin is to set forth the Office of the State Comptroller's (OSC) Contract Award Protest Procedures ("Protest Procedures") to be used when an interested party1 challenges a contract award by a State agency.2

 

Background:

The objective of the State procurement process is to facilitate each agency's mission while protecting the interests of the State and its taxpayers and promoting fairness in the contracting community. To this end, it is imperative that interested parties be provided an opportunity to raise their concerns with respect to the legal and/or factual basis of a State agency's contract award.

 

Applicability:

The Protest Procedures apply to all contract awards subject to the approval of OSC pursuant to Section 112 of the State Finance Law, or otherwise submitted to OSC for its approval, including but not limited to:

  • Expenditure contracts over $50,000;
  • Revenue contracts over $10,000;
  • Single/Sole Source procurements;
  • Emergency procurements;
  • Mini-bid procurements; and
  • Contract amendments.

 

Protest Procedures :

As described below, and as set forth in such Protest Procedures, there are two types of protests that may be filed with the Comptroller: (1) an appeal of a protest decision made by the procuring agency; and (2) a direct protest to the Comptroller.

 

Appeal of
Agency Protest
Determination:

Where the contracting agency has a protest procedure and has provided notice of such procedure in the solicitation documents, a protest generally should be filed initially with the contracting agency. Upon receipt of the contracting agency's determination of a protest, an interested party has ten days to file an appeal of the contracting agency's determination with OSC. The appeal must be in writing and must be served on the contracting agency, the successful bidder (unless the successful bidder is the appealing party) and any other party that participated in the protest conducted by the contracting agency. However, even where no appeal is filed with the Comptroller, as part of its review of a contract award, OSC will review the allegations raised in the protest and the contracting agency's determination.

Protests concerning procurements undertaken by OSC must initially be filed with the OSC Director of Financial Administration pursuant to OSC's procedures for protests of OSC procurements. An interested party that wishes to appeal a determination made by the OSC Director of Financial Administration may file an appeal in the manner described for an Appeal of an Agency Protest Determination.


Initial Protest
Filed with OSC:

An interested party may file an initial protest with OSC after the contracting agency has made a contract award where: (i) the contracting agency does not have a written protest procedure; (ii) the contracting agency has not provided notice of its protest procedure in the solicitation document; or (iii) the facts that give rise to the protest are not known to, and could not have been reasonably known to, an interested party prior to the date by which a protest was required to be filed with the contracting agency.

The protest must be in writing and filed with OSC within ten days of notice of the contract award. If the interested party is not provided with notice of the contract award, the interested party may file a protest with OSC at any time after the contract award and prior to OSC's approval of the contract.

 

Agency
Responsibility:

Contracting agencies are strongly encouraged to: establish agency protest procedures; provide notice of their protest procedures, if established, in their solicitation documents; notify nonselected bidders of the contract award; and provide timely debriefings.

 

Questions: Questions regarding this Bulletin should be directed to:

New York State Office of the State Comptroller
Bureau of Contracts
(518) 474-4622.


1"Interested party" means a participant in the procurement process and those whose participation in the procurement process has been foreclosed by the actions of the contracting agency.

2 "State agency" means: (i) all State departments, boards, commissions, officers or institutions, as well as the City University of New York; and (ii) any public authority, public benefit corporation, or other quasi-public entity that submits its contracts to OSC for its approval.