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GAO Affirms SBA Rule: Only Joint Venture Members, not the JV, Need Facility Clearance

For years, it had been difficult for joint ventures to get Facility Security Clearances to go after DoD contracts where a facility clearance was required. The DoD and many contracting officers had long required that the joint venture entity itself, rather than each individual joint venture member, have the FCL. SBA thought it had fixed this problem when it updated its joint venture rules in November 2020 to eliminate the need for the joint venture to have an FCL, as we wrote at that time. But Do

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Event: The Ins & Outs of the Nonmanufacturer Rule

The nonmanufacturer rule is one that is commonly misunderstood in the federal government contracting realm. But it is also one we encounter quite often in our role assisting federal contractors. On September 21, please join my colleague, Steven Koprince, and me as we dive deep into the nonmanufacturer role, tackling the ins and the outs of the rule and answering some of your questions surrounding it. The webinar will be hosted by our friends at the Iowa State University CIRAS PTAC, and it is

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

SmallGovCon Week in Review: September 13-17, 2021

Happy Friday, Readers. It’s sad that summer is coming to an end but the good news is that fall is upon us which means it is time for cool weather, falling leaves, and football! It seems everyone is filled with optimism at the start of the season. Here’s hoping your favorite team is victorious and in between games here’s a few interesting articles on what’s going on in federal government contracting this week. Have a great weekend! Go Team! Class Deviation—Limitations on Subcontractin

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

From Eight Days to 105 Days: The Incredible Lengthening of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program Timeline

In February 2017, the SBA announced that applications for its new All Small Mentor-Protégé Program were being processed, on average, in just eight days. Fast forward four-and-a-half years, and the SBA’s mentor-protégé application processing timeline has gotten just a wee bit longer. As in, 105 days. Unfortunately, that’s no typo. If you’re looking to establish an SBA-approved mentor-protege relationship, you better be willing to wait more than three months for your application to

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Small Business Being Acquired by a Large Business? For Multiple Award Contracts, the 180-Day Rule Doesn’t Apply to Task Orders, says GAO

You may recall a post of ours back in April 2021, where we discussed a little-known change to SBA’s size determination rules that occurred in October 2020. SBA created an exception, at 13 C.F.R. § 121.404(g)(2)(iii), to the usual “size is determined at offer date” rule. Now, prior to award, when a small business is part of a merger or acquisition after it makes an offer on a solicitation, the business has to recertify its size, and depending on when that acquisition occurred, if the business is

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

SmallGovCon Week in Review: September 6-10, 2021

Welcome to Friday, SmallGovCon readers!  Now that the weather is cooling off a little, we hope you’re able to enjoy the great outdoors a little more.  However, before you head outside, maybe you’d like to take a few minutes to check out some articles we’ve selected for you about federal government contracting.  We’d especially like to turn your attention to our first featured article about National PTAC Day coming up next week with a special shout-out to them for all the great work they do suppo

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Five Things You Should Know: NAICS Code Appeals

NAICS codes are limited in what they can challenge, but can have a powerful effect on a procurement. A NAICS code appeal can challenge the size limit attached to a specific government procurement. This can level the playing field by limiting to smaller businesses, or expand the size of businesses that are able to compete. So, it’s good to know a NAICS code appeal works. 1. What is a NAICS Code? A NAICS code is a six digit code assigned to various industries under the North American I

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Reminder: Joint Ventures Must Be Registered in SAM

Like any other offeror, a joint venture must be registered in the System for Award Management. And, as one joint venture recently learned the hard way, if a JV is not registered in SAM by the award date, the missing registration could prove costly. The GAO’s bid protest decision in Continuity Global Solutions-Secure Me WLL Security, JV, B-419875 (Aug. 12, 2021), involved a State Department RFP for the provision of local guard services at the United States embassy in Bahrain. The RFP wa

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

SmallGovCon Week in Review: August 30-September 3, 2021

Happy Labor Day weekend, Readers! Here are 5 fun facts about Labor Day according to Google: -The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. -By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

FAR Update: Good Faith in Small Business Subcontracting

For many contracts, large businesses must establish and have the government approve a subcontracting plan that details the goals and efforts the large prime contractor will take to award subcontracts to various types of small businesses. Well, how does the government hold large businesses accountable for these goals? The FAR will soon have a final rule addressing good faith efforts to comply with a small business subcontracting plan. Back in late 2019, SBA updated its own rules on subco

SmallGovCon Week in Review: August 23-27, 2021

Hello and happy Friday to all of our readers. It’s an exciting and busy time in Lawrence, Kansas with all of the college students flowing back into our city. It was also another busy week in federal government contracting. Enjoy the articles that we have put together for you. Have a great weekend and stay cool. GSA hits 11 years of top marks on small business procurement scorecard [FedNewsNet] Army Issues Solicitation for $10B IT Enterprise Solutions-4 Hardware Contract Vehicle [GovCon

SBA Suspends Bona Fide Place of Business Requirement for 8(a) Construction Contracts

SBA’s requirement that 8(a) participants maintain a bona fide place of business in the geographic location of any 8(a) construction contracts has been an encumbrance for many federal contractors–even prior to the global pandemic. But fortunately, SBA has recently recognized the additional challenges that COVID-19 has caused for 8(a) contractors seeking to comply with this rule. And as such, SBA has suspended this requirement in an effort to help our nation’s small disadvantaged businesses during

House Subcommittee Proposes New SBIR/STTR Phase III Transition Pilot Program

Congress is at work on the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act–major annual legislation that often includes significant changes to the laws impacting government contractors. This year’s NDAA promises to be no different. Among potential changes: the House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems has proposed to establish a pilot program to help transition more Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees to Phase III. The Subcommittee proposes to add a Section 822 t

GAO: Meaningful Discussions Must Disclose Proposal Weaknesses Discovered After a Corrective Action

Given the amount of competition in most solicitations, the ability of a contractor to receive feedback on its proposal can provide valuable information to help the contractor hone its response to best address the key factors sought by the agency in its solicitation. On those rare occasions when an agency reopens its solicitation and provides feedback to the individual offeror’s initial proposal, the contractor is provided such an opportunity–except when the contractor gets left out of the feedba

FAR Final Rule on Limitations on Subcontracting

It has been a long time coming, but the Department of Defense, in conjunction with the GSA and NASA, are finally issuing a final rule amending the FAR guidance regarding limitations on subcontracting. In this post, we are going to explore just what these changes are and what they mean for government contractors such as yourself. The hope is this brief summary and analysis will provide you some insight as to just what the new rules do. If you can believe it, this latest rule change is bas

CIO-SP4 Amendment 11 Removes a Small Business Requirement

A quick update on CIO-SP4. NITAAC has issued amendment number 11 to CIO-SP4. It moves the deadline to August 27, and takes out some confusing language about small business teams. Specifically, it has removed the language saying: “The small business prime must demonstrate how they will comply with the LOS by including in their Small Business Teaming Agreement the specific level of effort and how each will ensure compliance with 52.219-14.” That is now deleted. That is the only chang

SmallGovCon Week in Review: August 15-20, 2021

Happy Friday to all of our SmallGovCon readers and we hope you had a great week! This week saw some interesting federal contracting developments, such as several announcements from the SBA including an announcement to increase the amount of federal contracting dollars that go to small, disadvantaged businesses as well as the appointment of key Small Business Administration staff. Jay Bonci was also sworn in as the Air Force CTO, this week. Read on for other news in federal government contrac

Number of Small Businesses Awarded Federal Government Contracts Has Dropped 12.7% in Four Years

The number of small businesses receiving government contracts dropped yet again in Fiscal Year 2020–and the four-year decline is 12.7%. In its FY 2020 goaling scorecard, the SBA reported that 45,661 distinct small businesses received contracts in the top 100 NAICS codes. The previous fiscal year, 46,661 distinct small businesses received contracts. Four years ago, when SBA first started including this statistic in its annual reports, the number stood at 51,866. Clearly, the numbers are

CIO-SP4 Amendment 10: More Changes and No Delay

Amendment 10 clarifies obligated dollar values, how to have subcontracted federal work counted, restrictions to contractor participation in task areas, evaluation of contractor program manager(s), establishing a static date from which to calculate the three-year look-back for corporate experience relevance, and evaluation of labor rates. Needless to say, there is a lot of things packed into Amendment 10, and here’s the kicker, proposals are still due August 20th! With little time to digest,

GAO: Multiple Contracts With Single Agency May Increase Conflict Risk

As federal contractors begin to become engaged in multiple programs for a particular agency, the potential for the firm to encounter a situation where it finds itself involved in an organizational conflict of interest (OCI) may increase. This is particularly true with respect to “impaired objectivity” OCI, which is when a firm’s ability to render impartial advice to the government is or might be undermined by the firm’s competing interests. These OCIs often arise in service contracts where the c

SmallGovCon Week in Review: August 9-13

Happy Friday the 13th, Readers! In doing research on the origins of why Friday the 13th became an ominous day on the calendar, I found a lot of theories.  Dr. Simon Bronner, a professor of American studies and folklore at Pennsylvania State University says that Friday the 13th is just a convenient milestone for people who are looking to trace bad luck to a certain cause—but there’s nothing special about the date itself. Apparently, the number 13 is considered lucky in some countries, like Italy,

Does the SBA’s Rosy Spin on Goaling Achievement Hurt Small Businesses?

“Overpopulation crisis solved!” That’s the sort of headline I expect the SBA’s press team would write the day after a global thermonuclear war. Obviously, I’m exaggerating a wee bit to make my point, but the SBA’s press release on FY 2020 small business goaling achievement follows a pattern I’ve seen across several Presidential administrations and SBA Administrators: when it comes to reporting on the small business goals, the SBA fervently emphasizes the good news while almost entirely ig

GAO: Non-Procurement Regulations No Grounds for Protest

The grounds for GAO protests are numerous, ranging from vague terms in a solicitation to showing that an awardee’s proposal lacked needed information. However, they are not unlimited. One protester argued that the terms of a solicitation were inconsistent with regulations concerning mortgage insurance. Unfortunately for them, that isn’t something GAO will consider. NOVAD Management Consulting, LLC (“NOVAD”) was the incumbent for a contract providing loan servicing support services for th

GAO’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference – Too Little, Too Late

The costs of filing a bid protest can dissuade some protesters from submitting bid protests. One silver lining for protesters is a recommendation for reimbursement of costs upon a sustained decision. However, even when GAO says a protest is “clearly meritorious”, the protest may still be dismissed prior to GAO issuing a decision. What happens when an agency takes corrective action in the face of a likely sustained GAO decision? One protester recently found out. Iron Mountain Informat

SmallGovCon Week in Review: August 2-6

Happy Friday, All. We hope you had a productive week (or if you were on vacation, hope you were able to just tune out). Here are some highlights in federal government contracting including news on the contracting dollars in the 2020 fiscal year , a bill aimed at enhancing small business participation in the federal marketplace passing in the Senate, and an announcement to nominate former HUD appointee to lead federal procurement. Enjoy your weekend! Federal Government Awards Record-Break
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