Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001


In 2000 - 2001, a judicial and General Accounting Office (GAO) ruling precluded federal employee unions from protesting the government's alleged violation of the rules governing the contracting-out procedure because the parties lacked standing. These rulings illustrate how outdated procedures have insulated the government from challenge, and have become matters of particular importance as the government increases its practice of contracting-out. Although these rulings have not closed the tribunal doors to federal employee unions, they have made protests much more difficult, leaving federal employee unions without a forum to protest violations. To better serve the needs of contractors - and the public - the authors suggest fresh executive, judicial, and congressional looks at the matter, as contracting-out protests are uniquely situated to be dealt with by any of the three branches of government.