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SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 27- July 1, 2022

Happy Fourth of July, Readers! We hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday weekend planned. Here are 3 fun facts about Independence Day: The Declaration of Independence Was Written on a Laptop. Not a modern laptop, but still. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a writing desk that could fit over one’s lap. This device was referred to at the time as a “laptop.” There is Something Written on the Back of the Declaration of Independence. According to the History Channel,

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Small Business Committee Raises Concerns to SBA About Certification Speed, Category Management

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee held a hearing to discuss how the SBA will meet Small Business Contracting goals, and specifically how the SBA can meet its goals related to socioeconomic programs. The committee challenged the Office of Government Contracting & Business Development to show how they will help grow participation in SBA’s small business development programs, and small business participation in federal contracting as a whole. The Small Busine

Back to Basics: Pre-Award Bid Protests

Many bid protests we handle at Koprince McCall Pottroff are filed after the contract has been awarded to an offeror. However, sometimes there are issues that are apparent in the solicitation that require clarification or correction prior to the bidding or proposal deadline. In these situations, potential offerors can file a pre-award protest that challenges solicitation terms, but, as with most GAO matters, there are strict deadlines that must be adhered to if the protestor wants to avoid her pr

House Passes HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H. R. 5879, clarifying the application of the price evaluation preference for qualified HUBZone small business concerns to certain contracts. If this becomes law, the Act would make sure the HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference applies to certain orders under partially restricted multiple award contracts. H. R. 5879, cited as “The HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021,” was passed by the House on June 8, 2022. The

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 20-24, 2022

Happy summer, readers! We hope you have some fun plans for the season. Here at SmallGovCon we are gearing up for some nice R & R time with friends and family. But, the first few days of summer have been anything but lazy, with much activity in federal government contracting, including updates on the new OASIS (not the latest summer trend, rather the GSA services IDIQ), rumblings on the new NDAA, and how DoD is making things easier on small businesses. As usual, please enjoy the artic

Webinar: June 23, 1:00pm EDT, An Introduction to Government Small Business Certifications, by Steven Koprince, Govology Legal Analyst

We are pleased to announce that Steven Koprince, Govology Legal Analyst and retired founder of Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC, will be kicking off his work with one of our favorite federal contracting partners: Govology! Join Steven in his new role as a legal analyst as he discusses various federal small business certification programs, including Small Business Self Certification, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) & 8(a), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran-Owned S

SBA Updates Size Standards for Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade

SBA has issued new size standards for industries in the Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade sectors. The interesting thing about these size standards is that they don’t apply to federal procurement actions. Instead, there is a different size standard for supply contracts. So, did SBA see fit to increase the supply-contract size standard? The answer is no, in the final rule, SBA did not increase the 500-employee size standard for Federal contracts in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sectors. N

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 13-17, 2022

Happy Friday and Happy Juneteenth! This year, June 19, Juneteenth, falls on a Sunday, so the federal holiday, established in 2021, will be observed on Monday, June 20. Juneteenth arose from the date of June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas–when African Americans in the state learned of their freedom due to the Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment. Juneteenth celebrations often focus on education and reflection on the path to freedom as well as the steps still needed to achieve equity

No Pay, No Need to Say: GAO Clarifies What Judgments and Settlements Require Disclosure under FAR 52.209-7

Representations and certifications are an integral part of the requirements for any solicitation. While each solicitation may require different representations and certifications, what precisely is required for a given representation or certification is generally governed by the FAR. One of the more common requirements is that an offeror provide information to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) regarding its current federal awards and recent judgments again

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 6-10, 2022

Happy Friday, Readers! We hope you had a very productive week and can take some time this weekend to relax and unwind. The start of June is proving to be a wet one here in the Midwest and the gardens and trees are loving it! Everything is so green and the spring flowers are beautiful. I’m sure the town will be filled with the sound of lawn mowers this weekend. Here are a few noteworthy articles this week, concerning federal government contracting issues, including some policy changes on the

SmallGovCon Welcomes Back Greg Weber!

Greg Weber has recently rejoined the blog and is once again one of our attorney-authors. We’re excited to have him back! Greg spent a stint in the healthcare industry, which has given him increased experience in both regulatory and transactional matters. His recent post discusses the importance of checking your emails in connection with size protests. Email is a common way the federal government gives notice, so a lot can rest on an email sometimes. Greg’s full biography can be found here. B

Leaving OHA Email on “Unread” still Counts as Receipt For Appeal Timing Rules

The SBA’s OHA administrative judges recently sent a warning to all small business contractors that they need to keep an eye on their email inboxes no matter how late in the business day it is. In a size appeal decision, OHA found that even an unread email could derail a contractor’s plans for a size appeal, depending on when it arrived in your inbox. As avid readers of SmallGovCon may recall, timeliness with emails is somewhat of a recurring topic in Federal Government Contracting. Wel

Department of Defense Unveils Plan to Address Effects of Inflation on Contracts

Inflation. A word no one likes, but it is something that is currently impacting nearly every facet of our lives. Gas prices continue to rise, grocery costs are through the roof, and everyday living expenses are taking more hard-earned money from our country’s workers than ever before. However, consumers are not the only ones feeling the effects. Costs and expenses of running a business have increased dramatically as well, and those in the federal contracting world are no exception. Questions fro

Upcoming SBA Rule Will Switch to 24-Month Calculation for Employee Size Standards

SBA has issued a final rule changing all employee size standards to a 24-month calculation. This rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2022, and and will take effect 30 days from the date it is officially published. Let’s take a closer look. This final rule actually implements two updates to SBA’s rules that, once effective, will change the way SBA calculates a company’s size to determine whether it qualifies as small for SBA’s various assistance programs.

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 30-June 3, 2022

Happy June, Readers! Can you believe it’s the start of summer already? This year is certainly flying by. I hope you have lots of fun summer plans with family and friends. I know that I’m looking forward to it. We’ve included several articles that hopefully provide some good information concerning federal government contracting today. Enjoy the weekend! Small Business Size Standards: Notification of Two Virtual Public Forums on Size Protest [FedReg] 4 Tips for Winning Government Inf

GAO Sustains Protest for Converting Best-Value Evaluation into LPTA

In a recent decision, GAO sustained a protest arguing that the agency had actually converted a best-value tradeoff procurement into a lowest-priced, technically acceptable competition. GAO held that the agency had not properly followed the evaluation criteria. In the protest, AT&T Mobility LLC (AT&T) protested a RFP award under a DHS for cellular communications services and equipment. AT&T Mobility LLC, B-420494 (May 10, 2022). The solicitation established that the award wo

Memorial Day 2022: A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day started on May 30th, 1868 as a day of remembrance for Civil War veterans. According to History.com, the date was chosen because it wasn’t tied to any particular battle. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This Act established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Setting the Standard: How the SBA Determines Size Standards for Small Businesses

In a recent post, we examined some proposed new size standards for manufacturing and other industries that utilize employee-based size standards. This probably got many of you wondering: How does the SBA determine what the size standards should be? It’s a good question, and today, we’re going to look at just that. Hopefully, this will provide some insight as to the SBA’s approach to setting size standards. The SBA revised its size standards methodology most recently back in April 2019. T

Back to Basics: EDWOSB Eligibility

Last week, Nicole Pottroff went through the basics of eligibility for participation in the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (“WOSB”) Federal Contracting Program. Today, I’ll walk you through the additional eligibility requirements for participation in SBA’s Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (“EDWOSB”) Program as stated in 13 C.F.R. § 127.200(a). If it has you feeling a little déjà vu, there is good reason for that. Eligibility requirements for the SBA’s WOSB and EDWOSB Progra

Coming Soon: The SmallsCast Podcast

We invite you to tune into this informative podcast series hosted by The Smalls with discussions on federal government contracting. I just taped an episode with Nate Moser and it was a blast! In it, I discussed what we do at the firm to assist our federal government contracting clients, including things like drafting joint venture and mentor-protégé agreements. The podcast comes out in June and I hope you will give it a listen. The Smalls is nonprofit consortium of Government Contractors,

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 16-20, 2022

Happy Friday, Readers! We’ve been as busy as bees this week here at SmallGovCon. We hope you have had a productive week, as well. The flowers are blooming, the crops are growing and the grass is greening up nicely here in Kansas. Here are a few articles on the happenings in federal government contracting this week. Have a great weekend! The Federal Contract Spending Trends For The Last 5 Years [ExecGov] Class Waiver of the Nonmanufacturer Rule [SBA] Construction Company Agrees to Pay $2

Buy American Act Thresholds Are Going Up

As we’ve written about, it seems like there have been more changes to the Buy American Act and domestic preferences in the last few years than in decades before that. Recently, the FAR Council issued a final rule that spells out how the domestic content thresholds will increase over the next few years. This rule is effective October 25, 2022, so contractors need to be preparing for it now. Originally passed in 1933, the Buy American Act (BAA) supports the policy of federal agencies proc

Back to Basics: WOSB Eligibility

To level the playing field for women business owners, the Federal Government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses participating in SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (“WOSB”) Federal Contracting Program. Ideally, those contracts are for specific industries where WOSBs are historically underrepresented. And in fact, the Government even has certain WOSB contracting goals to encourage such set-asides. So, its easy to see why the WOSB Program can be a great opportunity for small busi

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 9-13, 2022

Happy Friday blog readers! Hope you are having a nice week. Kick back and relax with the latest federal contracting updates. This week saw some interesting federal contracting news. GAO has issued a new report on ways the federal government can potentially save billions of dollars in spending and improve efficiency of its programs. Additional stories include an article I’m quoted in from Bloomberg Law discussing U.S. agencies requests for brand name items in contract proposals. Read on for t

Should We Discuss This? Agencies Required to Enter into Discussions with All Offerors in Competitive Range

If you google “GAO discussions,” you will likely see a multitude of results talking about “meaningful discussions.” Source selection authorities (SSA) are given a large amount of discretion beyond that. Despite the high level of discretion SSAs have, there are still certain boundaries that they must work within. These boundaries are premised on the fairness principle that is woven throughout the FAR and other procurement rules. In particular, the process of discussions must fit within these boun
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