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Koprince Law LLC

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  1. The United States Court of Federal Claims (COFC) has ruled that an agency has to conduct a small business Rule of Two analysis before it can use an existing multiple-award indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (MAIDIQ) contract vehicle to procure services. This is a landmark decision, given that GSA Schedule contracts are exempt from the Rule of Two. The COFC’s decision in Tolliver Grp., Inc. v. United States, No. 20-1108C, 2020 WL 7022493 (Fed. Cl. Nov. 30, 2020), arose out of the Department of the Army’s decision to cancel two General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Suppl
  2. Happy Friday to our SmallGovCon readers! This weekend, I’ll be watching my hometown Chiefs as they begin their journey towards repeating as Super Bowl Champions. Hope you all have have a nice weekend. But before the weekend, be sure to check out some important federal contracting updates. This week saw a number of key updates for government contractors, including a commentary on GSA bid protest success, a number of GSA acquisitions, and a GSA supply chain security measure. When it comes to bid protests, vendors playing with even money at GAO [FedNewsNet] GSA kicks starts 2021 wit
  3. Let’s face it: most people won’t look back on 2020 with anything remotely approaching nostalgia. Here at Koprince Law LLC, we are eager to turn the page and move on with 2021, too. But small businesses shouldn’t forget 2020 completely. The year brought many important developments, including major changes to some key government contracting rules that our readers should remember. So here, in a nutshell, are the most important 2020 government contracting changes and legal developments for small businesses. SBA Small Business Size & Affiliation Rules Contractors operating
  4. SBA has issued its rule allowing for an extension of 8(a) program terms by one year, as directed by Congress. The rule will be effective immediately on January 13, (barring some publication delay). Read on for the key terms from the new rule. Here are the key highlights from the extension rule: Eligibility. All firms that were in the 8(a) program on March 13, 2020 through September 9, 2020 are eligible for the extension. Firms that were terminated, early graduated, or voluntarily withdrew during this period are not eligible. Automatic Extension. For firms currently in the 8(a) p
  5. The SBA’s ostensible subcontractor rule can be a minefield for small prime contractors, who must be careful to avoid risk factors for affiliation with their large subcontractors. But not every small prime need worry about ostensible subcontractor affiliation. As a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision confirms, the ostensible subcontractor rule does not apply to procurements for manufactured products. OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Invisio Communications, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-6084 (2020) involved a Marine Corps RFP seeking proposals to provide Hearing Enhancement Devi
  6. I was going to wish a Happy New Year to our readers, and I still hope people are having a nice start to the New Year. But the recent violence in the Capital has cast a pall over the start to this year. As citizens of this fine country and people striving to improve federal government services, I think we can agree it was an event that should never be repeated. But, as federal contractors know, the government continues to function and we bring you these recent federal contracting updates, including reports on spending in the last fiscal year, relief funds going to contractors, and an expan
  7. The DoD, NASA, and GSA have proposed new rules aimed at providing transparency for reverse auctions after GAO reports in 2013 and 2018 signaled the need for guidance on reverse auctions to achieve cost savings and reduce fees. As context, the FAR was amended in 1997 to allow for the use of reverse auctions. Six agencies conducted approximately 15,000 reverse auctions in 2016 alone. Reverse auctions, despite their wide use, are not without controversy. Application of fees, and inability to verify actual cost savings plague the use of reverse auctions. Private companies have developed
  8. When a federal solicitation is vague, ambiguous or internally contradictory, it is common for offerors to hold their tongues. Instead of challenging the solicitation’s defects before proposals are due, many offerors decide to submit proposals and “see how it plays out.” Later, if the award goes to a competitor, these offerors may try to protest the solicitation’s defects. It’s unsurprising that offerors can be reticent to rock the boat before an award is made. But a recent GAO bid protest decision demonstrates, complaining about the ground rules after award rarely works. The GAO
  9. Since the COVID-19 Relief Bill passed was enacted on December 27 (including the 8(a) term extension that we discussed earlier), the 15-day window for SBA’s rules on the extension falls on January 11. Here are some thoughts on how we think SBA may fill in the gaps for this important 8(a) term extension, based on our interpretation of the statute and feedback from SBA. Will the 1-year extension option be effective on January 11 (or within a few days of that date) or some later date? We think the SBA will make the effective date as soon as possible after it releases its regulations on th
  10. While it’s always exciting to look to a new year, moving on from 2020 will be especially meaningful. However, there were a number of important updates to federal contracting rules in 2020 that we were excited to share with our readers. We wish our readers a happy and healthy start to 2021! We’ll continue to keep you up to date on all matters federal contracting. The post Happy New Year from SmallGovCon! first appeared on SmallGovCon - Government Contracts Law Blog.View the full article
  11. In a recent decision, OHA ruled that the ostensible subcontractor rule requires a two-prong evaluation before SBA can find affiliation. The SBA Area Office took a look at only one prong, which resulted in a remand from OHA. Ultimately, OHA found affiliation, reversed the SBA Area Office and found the concern ineligible. As OHA made clear, entities can’t fix deficiencies after the fact. Think of the ostensible subcontractor rule like the preferred go-to move (other than line dancing) at a Country/Western Dance Hall, it is the ostensible subcontractor two-step. Follow along as I lead you thr
  12. Agencies commonly ask offerors to designate a point of contact for communications about the proposal. But what happens if the person the offeror identifies is unavailable when the agency reaches out? A recent GAO bid protest decision is a cautionary tale and suggests some best practices for offerors. The GAO’s decision in Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., B-418946 (Oct. 23, 2020) involved a Navy RFQ seeking two clinical chemistry/immunoassay laboratory analyzer systems and one laboratory automation system, to provide laboratory testing of patient specimens at the Naval hospital i
  13. In 2020, the GAO Bid Protest effectiveness rate crossed the 50% threshold, higher than we’ve seen it in any recent year. Overall, cases filed went down a mere 2% year over year. GAO issues its yearly report as a requirement under statute. Congress is particularly concerned with knowing 1) which federal agencies didn’t follow GAO’s recommendations in bid protests and 2) if GAO did not issue a decision in 100 days. As like most years, GAO was “pleased” to report that all agencies followed its recommendations, when given, and that it timely (within 100 days) decided all bid protests.
  14. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our SmallGovCon readers! Hope you have a happy and healthy time over the holidays. But in case you need some reading to tide you over, here are some of the top government contracting updates from this week. These included insights on a potential government shutdown, updates on passage of the NDAA passage and COVID-19 relief bills, and more on the SolarWinds breach. What’s At Stake With Trump’s Threat: COVID-19 Relief And A Government Shutdown [NPR] Government Contractor Admits Scheme To Inflate Costs On Federal Projects and Pays $11 Milli
  15. Breaking into the federal government contracting marketplace can be challenging, and many small businesses choose to start as subcontractors. But when those companies later bid on prime contracts, they sometimes find that they cannot get past performance reviews for their subcontract work, or that the government won’t consider such reviews. Now, Congress has stepped in. A provision in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act will require large prime contractors to provide small businesses with past performance reviews in certain cases, and will require agencies to consider them.
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