An interested party to a contract that is subject to the Office of the State Comptroller’s approval may file an initial protest of a contract award with the Office of the State Comptroller’s Bureau of Contracts. However such a protest may only be filed after the contracting agency has made an award with respect to the contract and (i) the contracting agency itself does not have protest procedures; or (ii) the contracting agency has not provided notice of protest procedures in the solicitation documents; or (iii) the facts that give rise to a protest are not know to, and could not have reasonably been known to, an interested party prior to the date by which the protest was required to be filed with the contracting agency.
Furthermore, any protest to the Office of the State Comptroller must be in writing and must contain factual and/or legal allegations upon which the protesting party challenges the contract award. If the interested party was given notice of the contract award, it must file an initial protest within ten days of the contract award. If no notice was given, however, then the interested party may file a protest at any time after the contract award but before the Office of the State Comptroller’s approval of the award.
Thereafter, the contracting agency may file an answer to the protest within seven days of the filing of the protest or simultaneously with the delivery of the contract to the Bureau of Contracts. Furthermore, the successful bidder may also file an answer to the protest, but not later than the date to which the contracting agency is required to file its answer. The protesting party may then file a reply to the answer(s) within three days of the filing of the answer.
The Office of the State Comptroller may summarily deny a protest that does not include factual or legal allegations, or where the protest only raises issues of law already decided by the courts or by the Bureau of Contracts. If a protest is not denied, the Bureau of Contracts will determine if a fact-finding hearing is necessary and whether additional issues must be addressed by the parties.
Finally, a written determination will be issued by the Bureau of Contracts addressing all the issues raised. All participants in the protest will be provided a copy of the determination which, in turn, will be made part of the procurement record.