Will charging $350 prevent protests? No.
I have mixed emotions about this. First, how do you define “frivolous?” These are always business decisions, especially losing incumbents to get 3 more months of extra revenue, at a minimum. Large firms are unaffected, and small firms are as well.
I always thought about a “winner take all” position, where all expenses are paid by the party who does not prevail. However, that would have a chilling effect on small businesses, accountability, and the government contracting community as a whole.
With larger contracts, protests are more or less automatic. That is the current state of government contracting, and it is not going away. I believe the best strategy is for government to take into account the protest as part of the acquisition planning schedule, follow procedures and policy to the letter, document thoroughly, conduct meaningful and transparent debriefs, and create confidence in the contract award decision.
Perspective: Many firms are looking for corrective action as a result of a protest, which is in the 40-50% range of protests. Overall, protests of all contract actions, on a whole, are less than 1%.