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SmallGovCon Week in Review: April 5-April 9

As I drove into work today, the redbuds are in full bloom. The purple flowers are the first to appear, after a long, cold winter and it’s a pretty sight and a sure sign that spring is here. Hope you are able to enjoy some nice spring weather this weekend and immerse yourself in the beauty in your part of the world. But before you start the weekend, catch up on some key news in the federal contracting world. This included contractors anticipating the next big spending bill, new picks for lea

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

SBA’s Plans For New Rules in 2021 and Beyond

SBA has issued its regulatory agenda for what rules it plans to roll out later this year. Here is a rundown of the key rules. SBA recently released its semiannual Regulatory Agenda, which is a summary of current and projected regulatory actions, and invited the public to comment. Below, I summarize some of the key proposals. Alternative Size Standards for Loans. SBA has proposed “an alternative size standard for loan applicants that do not meet the small business size standards for

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

Event: Government Contracts Update with UTSA PTAC

My colleague Steven Koprince and I will be providing a Government Contracts Legal Update 2021 in cooperation with The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development PTAC. We will provide a comprehensive update on the most important government contracting legal changes of late 2020 and the first months of 2021. The event will take place on April 13 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (CDT). Be sure to check out the registration link if you are interested! The post Event: Government

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

If You Plan to Use the SBA’s Template Joint Venture Agreement, Read This First

If you’re setting up your first joint venture under the SBA’s rules, you may be tempted to download the SBA’s template joint venture agreement and use it as-is. But, as of the date of this post, the SBA’s template joint venture agreement is outdated–and it also has some other quirks and potential problems you should know about. If you’re planning to use the SBA’s joint venture template, read this first. Outdated Provisions If you’ve been following my posts on SmallGovCon (and I

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

SmallGovCon Week in Review: March 29-April 2

Hard to believe it, but March has come and gone and now we’re one quarter of the way through 2021! As you try and figure out where the year has gone this weekend, peruse these government contracting updates that reflect on what has occurred and what could happen during the rest of 2021. Some of the key stories this week included a DOD review of CMMC, the PPP Extension Act, and an extension on for expiring SAM.gov registrations. NEW: GSA Providing Automatic 180-Day Extension of Expir

Koprince Law Announces Nicole Pottroff as Partner

Koprince Law LLC, a boutique federal government contracts firm in Lawrence, KS, is pleased to announce that that Nicole Pottroff has now been elevated to partner status with the firm! Nicole’s legal practice focuses exclusively on representing federal government contractors. Among her many professional accomplishments, Nicole recently co-authored the totally revamped “Koprince Law LLC GovCon Handbook Volume 4: Second Edition – The 8(a) Program.” She is as comfortable with 8(a) narratives as

Past Performance Isn’t Always a Required Evaluation Factor, Says GAO

For companies trying to break into the government market for the first time, past performance can seem a bit like the old chicken-and-egg conundrum. Sometimes it can appear like a company can’t win a government contract without a strong record of past performance–but can’t build a past performance record without contracts! And with the government’s continued movement away from lowest-price, technically acceptable evaluations, past performance seems increasingly important. But that doesn’t

Small GovCon Week in Review: March 22-26

Our hometown Jayhawks basketball team didn’t fare so well in the NCAA tournament. That’s alright; spring is right around the corner. And with it some nice weather across the country. Hope you are able to enjoy the outdoors this weekend. But before the weekend arrives, this week brought some interesting updates in government contracting, including the details on the regulatory freeze from the Biden administration, IT modernization developments, and preparing for a CMMC assessment. Ti

OHA: Prime-Subcontractor Teams are Different than Joint Ventures for Size Purposes

The ostensible subcontractor rule says that, for a small business or socioeconomic set-aside such as 8(a), the small business prime contractor must perform the primary and vital parts of the contract and can’t be unduly reliant on a subcontractor. If the small business is found to violate the rule, the size of the small prime contractor and the large subcontractor are grouped for size purposes, which can result in loss of award. But the ostensible subcontractor rule is different from SBA’s joint

Event: Understanding & Obtaining HUBZone Certification – Update 2021

Live Govology Webinar: April 8, 2021, 1:00-2:30pm EDT Instructors: Steven Koprince & Shane McCall In late 2019, the SBA issued a final rule, making several changes to the HUBZone program. Join us as we discuss these changes as well as SBA’s related guidance and provide an overview of the HUBZone program’s requirements, including: Ownership, control, and other HUBZone eligibility criteria. Benefits: HUBZone set-asides, sole-source contracts, and price preference. The principal of

Update: DUNS Not “Done” Until Spring 2022

GSA has recently announced that the long anticipated DUNS Number transition to the new Unique Entity ID (UEI) Standard has been pushed back to April 2022. We first blogged on GSA’s intention to swap out the DUNS numbering system for the UEI Standard in July 2019. We also “demystified” the DUNS-to-UEI-transition in a later blog, getting into a few of the details released in GSA’s Q&A on the topic. As we explained, GSA initially anticipated a transition date of December 2020. But clea

SBA’s Change to Joint Venture Bank Account Rule is Another Trap for the Unwary

If you are part of a joint venture between a small protege and its large mentor under the SBA’s Mentor-Protege Program, heads up: the SBA recently amended its list of mandatory requirements for joint venture agreements to cover what happens to funds left over in the joint venture bank account at the end of a project. Like the revised recordkeeping rules I discussed in an earlier post, the new required provision only applies to mentor-protege joint ventures pursuing small business set-aside c

Small GovCon Week in Review: March 15-19

March Madness begins today and as residents of a city where basketball reigns supreme (Lawrence, Kansas) I can tell you that we are all beyond excited about the NCAA tournament. We have our brackets completed and locked in so let the games begin! We are also seeing signs of Spring as the temperatures are warming, the rain is falling and the plants are starting to look green and bright after a long, cold winter. It’s a season of change which is also true in the world of government contracting

Event: Winning Relationships: Best Practices for Teaming, Mentor-Protégé & Joint Venture Agreements

You won’t want to miss this free event on Thursday, March 25, 2-4:00pm EDT, hosted by Michelle Gardner-Ince, Director of the Women-Owned Veteran Small Business Initiative (WVOSBI). This session will include a panel discussion by seasoned legal and successful business professionals Jackie Lopez, Sharon Athas Cote, John Devore, and our very own Koprince Law LLC, Managing Partner, Shane McCall. This panel discussion will allow women business owners the opportunity to address operational, relat

Event: Special Two-Session 8(a) Course with Jackie Robinson-Burnette

Mention Jackie Robinson-Burnette to anyone who participated in the 8(a) Program between 2014 and 2017, and you’re sure to get a big smile. As the SBA’s Associate Administrator of 8(a) Business Development, and then the Deputy Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, Ms. Robinson-Burnette quickly became well-known for working tirelessly on behalf of small businesses, assisting them with a rare blend of knowledge, savvy and empathy. That is why I am so exci

GAO: No SBA Certificate of Competency Review Needed for Failure to Adequately Explain Technical Approach

For small businesses, the SBA’s Certificate of Competency process can offer a powerful “second bite at the apple,” essentially allowing a small business to appeal to the SBA if a procuring agency finds the small business non-responsible. But the SBA CoC process is limited to findings of non-responsibility under FAR Part 9. As GAO recently held, there is no right to appeal to SBA if the proposal was rejected for failing to adequately explain the small business’s technical approach. G

Koprince Law Discusses Teaming for Federal Contractors on Contracting Officer Podcast

I’m excited to announce that I am featured on the Contracting Officer Podcast, hosted by Kevin Jans and Paul Schauer! The episode is available here and, in it, I discuss three common forms of contractor relationships: Teaming Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, and the federal Mentor-Protégé Program. Be sure to check out this episode and the plethora of other podcast topics, helpful to both beginning and experienced federal contractors. The post Koprince Law Discusses Teaming for Federal Con

SmallGovCon Week in Review: Mar. 8 – Mar. 12, 2021

Happy Friday, SmallGovCon readers. The new movie Yes Day comes out today: a day where parents let kids be in charge for a day. And yes, we may be doing a similar thing at our house. For federal contractors, it may feel like it is always Yes Day when responding to government requests. But it can help to know just when you have to say yes to the government, and when you don’t have to. Staying up to date with the latest in federal contracting can help when responding to the government. The upda

8(a) Joint Venture Fraud Allegations Lead to False Claims Act Settlement

The SBA’s joint venture rules can be strict. Mistakes like failing to update a joint venture agreement, inserting ambiguous provisions in a joint venture agreement, or relying on an expired mentor-protege agreement can be costly. Good faith mistakes are one thing–the joint venture may lose out on a contract, but probably won’t face other penalties. But when the government believes that a contractor knowingly violated the joint venture rules, the repercussions can be much more serious–as se

GAO Finds Agency’s Technical Evaluation Inadequate, but Refuses to Invalidate Award

Leasing office space in a flood plain seems like a bad idea. Most people want an office with a view, but not a view of their office desk floating down a first-floor hallway. In a recent protest decision, GAO said that the agency failed to adequately document its evaluation, despite its own solicitation requirements. But even when your protest is sustained, GAO may still recommend the award remain in place. How can that be? Follow along, while I lead you through what you need to know.  

Happy International Women’s Day From SmallGovCon!

We at SmallGovCon just wanted to take a minute to wish all the amazing women out there a Happy International Women’s Day! And we would like to send a special shout-out to all of our WOSBs and ESWOSBs while we are at it! Here’s to commemorating women’s history of achievement and celebrating the bright future to come! The post Happy International Women’s Day From SmallGovCon! first appeared on SmallGovCon - Government Contracts Law Blog.View the full article

SBA Answers Questions on 8(a) Program Extension

For those who didn’t see it, SBA recently put out guidance on how the 8(a) program term extension will work. The guidance provides some nice examples of how the process will play out. The guidance has some straight forward scenarios for how SBA will process the 8(a) term extension. Remember, there is still time until March 15 to provide comments on SBA’s 8(a) term extension rule. Here are some of the highlights. Who is Eligible? Firms that were in the 8(a) Program between March

SmallGovCon Week in Review: Mar. 1 – Mar. 5, 2021

Next week is spring break in these parts. The weather should be great and I hope all of our readers are able to enjoy it! It’s also getting down to the finals of the college basketball season. It won’t be the same as last year for the KU Jayhawks, but they should still have a good showing in the tournament. This week saw some important updates in federal contracting, such as a prediction on defense spending under the Biden administration, a delay of independent contractor status rules under

Event: Service Contract Act & Davis-Bacon Act “101”

The Biden administration recently announced plans to increase enforcement of the federal prevailing wage laws for contractors–the Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act. Non-compliance with these laws can be grounds for severe sanctions. (Heck, the DOJ just announced another False Claims Act settlement in a prevailing wage case yesterday!) If you’re new to the world of prevailing wage laws, or just need a refresher, please join me on March 18 for an introductory “101” look at the SCA an

FAA Updates Its Rules to Embrace HUBZone Program

Until now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not participate in the SBA’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Contracting Program. But as of January 2021, it looks like that may be changing! Historically, the FAA did not incorporate any HUBZone goals into its Acquisition Management System (AMS) Contract Clauses. In fact, the FAA website’s FAQ sheet still states, “[t]he FAA has not established a HUBZone goal and is exempt from the SBA Goal Setting Guidelines in
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