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Government contracting is rife with opportunities for miscommunication and misperception. This can undermine trust and fuel spirals of conflict. For this article, the authors interviewed participants and analyzed Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest decisions involving Department of Defense source selections. They found agency, vendor, and GAO practices that trigger and fuel these spirals. Contracting agencies and GAO can take steps to improve communication, reduce inconsistencies, and reduce perceptions of bias, thereby mitigating costly bid protests.