Bid protests to federal contract awards and procurements must be filed only through an electronic dockets system, except if they contain classified material or have format restraints, says the U.S. Government Accountability Office in new filing rules that take effect May 1. Protests will not be accessible to non-parties under the new system, “unlike the PACER system in federal courts,” says an analysis by law firm Crowell & Moring. GAO also set a first-ever $350 protest filing fee, which is not meant to “discourage or reduce protests,” says the legal review. GAO will decide if that cost is reimbursable. The new rules also set a new 10-day filing deadline “for when the basis of a protest was known or should have been known,” resolving a conflict that dates to 2015, and they clarify other filing ambiguities, says a review by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitt­man LLP. Of nearly 2,600 GAO bid protests filed in fiscal 2017, protestors won relief in 47% of cases, says the agency.