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FAR Final Rule: Increased Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds

The Federal Acquisition Regulation has officially been updated to increase the micro-purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold, effective August 31, 2020. Various federal agencies had already increased the thresholds through deviations, but this rule makes it official across the board. A few additional thresholds will increase due to inflation. Read on for the details on how this could impact federal procurement. The proposed rule to increase the acquisition thresholds

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

YouTube Tuesday: Writing Your 8(a) Application’s Social Disadvantage Narrative- What the SBA is Looking For

One of the trickiest requirements for admission into the SBA’s 8(a) program is demonstrating social disadvantage. While some groups are presumed socially disadvantaged (as discussed here), social disadvantage can also be demonstrated based on other characteristics not specifically included in the SBA’s regulations. For those characteristics, applicants must submit a “social disadvantage narrative.” In this video, I provide you the tricks of the trade you’ll need to write a successful narrative:

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

Room for Improvement: GAO Reviews Agency Oversight of Small Business Subcontracting Plans

Recently, GAO published a report on small business subcontracting plan compliance, concluding that agency oversight of these plans need improvement. As many of our readers know, some federal contracts require large business prime contractors to utilize small business subcontractors under a small business subcontracting plan, as described in FAR 52.219-9. For context, in 2019, federal agencies “awarded more than 5,000 contracts requiring a small business subcontracting plan, and obligated

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

Week In Review: July 6 – July 10, 2020

Congratulations, everyone! We’ve made it through another week. Hopefully your weekend will be full of (socially-distanced) pool parties and barbecues . . . or, at the least, an afternoon couch nap. Before we log off for the weekend, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, we’ll touch on CMMC (of course), the Alliant II cancellation, and more. Have a great weekend! CMMC requirements show up in GSA’s STARS III contract (FedScoop); New DoD Security Re

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

COVID-19 Lockdown No Excuse for Late Filing, GAO says

In a recent bid protest decision, GAO said being under a COVID-19 “Stay at Home Order” was no reason to miss a comments filing deadline. According to GAO, Sysco Corp. had originally filed the protest pro se—without an attorney—but had retained counsel prior to the agency’s response to the protest. Because the agency’s response included protected information, GAO issued a protective order and extended the deadline for Sysco to file its comments on the agency response. The deadline da

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

GAO Rules RFQ Requirement Unreasonably Restricted Competition

In recent GAO decision, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., B-418449 (Comp. Gen. May 18, 2020), GAO reminded the Marine Corps to make sure its RFQ requirements were reasonable—and in line with the underlying contract. Before we jump in, a little bit of background: in May of 2018, the Navy awarded the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (or FIAR) contracts to four vendors, including Booz Allen (for more info on the Department of Defense’s FIAR fest, click here.) Under these multiple-award ID
 

YouTube Tuesday: What is a WOSB?

With changes coming next week to the WOSB program certification process for women-owned small businesses (which we have discussed recently here and here), we thought we’d take a step back to look at the basics of program benefits and eligibility requirements. In this video, I lay out the reasons why women-owned businesses should consider participating in the program and discuss the three primary eligibility requirements: Need assistance determining whether you’re eligible? Call us!
 

Removing a Price Realism Evaluation is a Material Change, Says GAO

Price realism—the evaluation of whether a proposed price is too low—is a method the government may use to evaluate fixed price offers to ensure that offerors are proposing pricing that reflects an understanding of the work required by the solicitation. Prices that are unrealistically low can result in proposal elimination. This means price realism is an important consideration when preparing a bid. But what if an agency decides after proposal submission that a price realism evaluation will not b
 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 29 – July 2, 2020

Happy Independence Day to all of our SmallGovCon readers! I hope you are able to share some time with family and friends and observe the 4th in a way that means the most to you. Stay healthy and safe. In this short week, there were still some interesting federal contracting developments. These included debate on National Defense Authorization Act and other congressional initiatives such as the ban on equipment from certain Chinese companies, some challenges for Cybersecurity Maturity Model C
 

Joint Ventures: Is “Unequivocal Control” Required?

Fans of the blog know that we’re wild about joint ventures: they allow small business contractors to use their size status while, at the same time, leveraging their joint venture partner’s experience and capabilities. But joint ventures—particularly joint ventures under one of the SBA’s socioeconomic programs—can be tricky to create. For joint ventures between a small and a large company, the venturers first need an approved mentor-protégé agreement. And regardless, for the joint venture to
 

YouTube Tuesday: SBA and VA SDVOSB Programs- Consolidated or Still Separate?

With July 4th around the corner, we wanted to remind everyone of the government contracting opportunities available to our nation’s veterans, including the SDVOSB Program. In this video, I cover how the SDVOSB Program has changed over time and how it works now: If you are a veteran in need of assistance with government contracting matters, check out how we can help here. View the full article
 

New GovCon Handbook Arriving July 28! Procedures and Pitfalls of Size Protests and Appeals

I’m pleased to announce that my forthcoming  Koprince Law LLC GovCon Handbook, entitled Procedures and Pitfalls of Size Protests and Appeals, will be published through Amazon on July 28! In addition, I’ll be hosting an accompanying webinar through Koprince Law on August 5. If you’ve had questions about size protests and appeals, and how to prepare for them, this is the book for you. It will cover the basic (and advanced) strategies and tips that will help your company put itself in the best
 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 22 – June 26, 2020

This week, the dust cloud coming to US shores could bring some negative impacts to certain parts of the country, but it could also result in more vivid sunsets and sunrises. There’s often a silver lining but it can take a while to figure out what it is sometimes. There were also some big impacts and silver linings in the world of federal government contracting this past week. These included an increase in the ceiling of the 8(a) STARS II GWAC, some rumblings from the Pandemic Oversight Commi
 

Thank You to the House Contracting and Infrastructure Subcommittee

Participating as a witness in a Congressional hearing is among the highlights of my career. It was an honor to be selected to provide insight on the Defense Production Act and its utilization of America’s small business base. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure to participate in a virtual hearing addressing the utilization of small businesses in Defense Production Act procurements. I was asked to provide testimony about the Defense
 

GAO Holds that Protest Was Late Despite Post-Debriefing Questions

Some contractors mistakenly believe that debriefings or post-debriefing questions always extend the deadline for filing a protest with GAO. In some cases they do, but in others they don’t. In cases where they don’t, a protester must file its protest within 10 days of knowing the basis for its protest. Otherwise, GAO will dismiss the protest as untimely, without any regards to the protest’s merits. Let’s examine the sad tale of a recent protester in Centerra Integrated Facilities Services
 

YouTube Tuesday: The Trade Agreements Act

The Trade Agreements Act (or TAA) is applicable to a wide array of federal government contracts. Wondering how it might apply to you? In this video, I describe the TAA and how it applies to federal contractors: View the full article
 

Clean-Up on Aisle “FAR”: Joint Venture and Subcontracting Plan Rules Get Modernized

Joint ventures and small business subcontracting are two issues near and dear to the hearts of many small business federal contractors. Well, the Federal Acquisition Regulation will soon be updated with respect to both of these topics. The new rules will align with SBA’s rules and remove any inconsistencies. Let’s dive in! Joint Ventures It has taken nearly four years for the FAR joint venture rules to be updated, but it’s good that they will be. The proposed FAR rule on joint ventur
 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 15 – June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteenth to our SmallGovCon readers! And Happy Father’s Day as well. The next few days can be a time to reflect on the state of our nation. And to say thanks to a father or father figure. If you need a new podcast to check out, my colleague Haley Claxton was recently featured on an episode of the The Big Bid Theory podcast. The episode just came out and is full of helpful information about set-asides for small business contractors. Give it a listen! This week saw some interesting
 

Back to Basics: SBA’s OHA Reminds Area Offices How to Apply the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule

We’ve discussed the “ostensible subcontractor rule” quite a few times on the blog (including most recently here and here) because it is one of the most frequent grounds for size protests. It’s also frequently misunderstood. A recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, Contego Environmental, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6054 (May 19, 2020), demonstrates how even SBA Area Offices can misapply the rule and provides useful reminders to contractor looking to avoid violating it. As a refresher, t
 

Ian Patterson to Testify Before Congress on Defense Production Act and Small Business

All of us Koprince Law are experts in the field of government contracting. But Senior Associate Ian Patterson has now been recognized by Congress for his prowess in the field, as he will testify before Congress on June 24. Read on for the details on this exciting event. Ian will provide expert testimony before the House of Representative’s Small Business Committee at a hearing entitled An Overview of the Dynamic Between the Defense Production Act and Small Contractors held by the Subcomm
 

YouTube Tuesday: Why Should You File Bid Protests at GAO?

We here at Koprince Law have been seeing a lot of GAO bid protests lately, but for those of you unfamiliar with the Government Accountability Office and what it means to file a bid protest, this video is for you: For more information, check out our helpful Handbook or, if you need assistance filing your GAO Protest, learn more about how we can help here. View the full article
 

GAO Awards Costs After Agency Unduly Delays Corrective Action

GAO recently awarded the reasonable costs of filing and pursuing a protest to an agency’s evaluation and award decision, after finding that the agency unduly delayed corrective action in response to a clearly meritorious protest. Let’s take a look. Markit! Forestry Management, LLC–Costs, B-417910.3 (Apr 7, 20200), involved a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service solicitation for vegetation removal and silvicultural treatments for national forests in and around the Rocky Mountain
 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 8 – June 12, 2020

Happy Friday and welcome to another addition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review. Mark your calendars as my colleagues will be providing government contracting insights in multiple forums in the next few weeks. And, of course, there are some interesting updates from the world of federal contracting this past week. Matthew Moriarty (along with other esteemed guests) will be speaking on the topic of CMMC – Cybersecurity Status on Jun 23, 2020 from 8:15 – 9 am central. You can register here.
 

GAO: Single Instance of Disparate Treatment Prejudiced Protester

A GAO protest can rest on a number of different grounds. One of the most fertile, however, is disparate treatment. That is, GAO is particularly sensitive to arguments that a procuring agency wasn’t even-handed in evaluating the same features or omissions in competing proposals. Disparate treatment was the theme in a recently sustained GAO protest: Battelle Memorial Institute, B-418047.3 et al. (Comp. Gen. May 18, 2020). In the underlying procurement issued through a task order on the O
 

Congress Changes the Rules on PPP Loan Forgiveness, but Questions Remain

Newly passed changes to the Paycheck Protection Program are designed to make it easier for small businesses to have their loans forgiven. The Paycheck Protection Program has been around since the end of March and provides funds for small businesses to retain employees and keep operating during the global coronavirus pandemic. If used properly, the business should have all or a portion of the loan forgiven. The new law eases some of the restrictions on how that money can be spent. C
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