Contractors can challenge U.S. agencies’ contract awards at the Government Accountability Office. After dropping nearly 50 percent from 1992 to 2001, bid protests are on the rise. Agencies often reimburse successful protesters a portion of their legal fees. Losers and contractors defending their successful bids against protests are on the hook for their costs.

Sources: GAO, Labor Department CPI inflation calculator, data compiled by Bloomberg | Graphic: Bloomberg Government July 31, 2011
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