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Anticipating and Dealing With Award Protests

If the RFP described the proposal review process and this review process was followed precisely, there should be few grounds for protest about proposal review. This does not mean that protests will not be filed, however. There are other grounds to use to seek overturning an award. These include reviewer bias, potential reviewer conflict of interest, the winner not following the same technical or cost proposal specifications, different information provided to the winning and losing bidders and so forth. This is why the sponsoring agency needs to exercise extreme care in the bidding and review processes. Procedures need to be followed precisely, and complete notes on the review of each proposal maintained. If the sponsoring agency can demonstrate the care that it took in the bidding and bid review processes, the award is less likely to be challenged, or if challenged, less likely to be set aside by a mediator or a court.

Summary

National, state and local level agencies engage in assessment activities for various purposes, including certification of adults, program certification, student accountability, educator evaluation and system accountability. Sponsoring agencies need to procure the services of one or more contractors (to select or develop, administer, score, report and use tests in order to do these activities effectively), but this can be dauntingly complex and lengthy This chapter described the step-by-step process for securing these testing services, including planning for the requisition, developing the bid document, conducting the competitive bid process, evaluating the proposals and negotiating with the apparent winner. If these suggestions are followed, individuals should be able to carry out these activities with confidence.

References

Accountability Works. (2002). Model contractor standards & state responsibilities for state testing programs. Washington, DC: Education Leaders Council.

Council of Chief State School Officers. (2003). Quality control checklist for processing, scoring, and reporting. Washington, DC: Author.

Council of Chief State School Officers and Association of Test Publishers. (2010). Operational best practices for statewide assessment programs. Washington, DC: Author.

Council of Chief State School Officers and Association of Test Publishers. (2013). Operational best practices for statewide assessment programs—Version 2.0. Washington, DC: Author.

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