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  1. In some circles, the VA CVE application process for SDVOSB/VOSB certification has a reputation as being very cumbersome and time-consuming. But while applying for verification isn’t exactly fun, it doesn’t take an extraordinarily long time for most new applicants to be verified. In fact, according to the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, the average processing time is a mere 34 days. In its Fall 2020 newsletter, the VA OSDBU writes that it has processed nearly 15,000 CVE verification applications for SDVOSBs and VOSBs. “The average processing time is 34 days
  2. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at SmallGovCon. Hope all our readers have a wonderful and revitalizing holiday. The post Happy Thanksgiving! first appeared on SmallGovCon - Government Contracts Law Blog. View the full article
  3. Raise your hand if you love completing your SAM profile! Um, anyone? Anyone? Love it or hate it, SAM is a fact of life for government contractors, and it’s very important to get it right. Mistakes on your SAM profile (including those seemingly never-ending “reps and certs”) can come back to haunt you. On December 1, please join me and Carroll Bernard, the co-founder of Govology, as we discuss how to set up your SAM profile–properly! Just click here to register. Hope to see you then! The post Event: SAM Profiles with Carroll Bernard of Govology first appeared on SmallGovCon -
  4. Control over a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business can be held by multiple service-disabled veterans. Having control reside in multiple individuals can make things a little more complicated, though. SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals recently examined a situation where multiple service-disabled veterans shared control of a company, but did not have a united front when responding to information requests concerning a company’s eligibility. In Pro-Sphere Tek, Inc., CVE-162 (Aug. 31, 2020), SBA considered an appeal of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Verification
  5. Sure, you could spend the day before Thanksgiving feverishly researching how to deep fry a turkey without burning down the neighborhood, but if you’re a government contracting wonk like me, I bet what you’re really hungering for is some good, fun talk about federal procurement. Well, you’re in luck! On Wednesday, November 25, join me at 12:00 Eastern on The Govcast with host Jack Siney. Jack and I will discuss the latest and greatest in government contracting, so bring your questions (but leave the deep fryer unplugged). I hope to see you then! The post Event: Steven Koprince on The
  6. In a recent case, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, dismissed a claim for lack of jurisdiction because it did not include a “sum certain.” The case is a good reminder of the importance of demanding a specific sum of money for most claims. The case, Sweet Star Logistic Service, ASBCA No. 62082 (September 30, 2020), involved a dispute over the quality of various items Sweet Star delivered to the government. In September 2018, the Army awarded a contract to Sweet Star for delivery of information technology equipment and cable supplies. The contract items were delivered an
  7. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year, even if won’t look the same as it may have in past years. It’s still a time to be thankful, enjoy the (possibly virtual) company of family and friends, and eat some great food–with my personal favorite being stuffing! As you finalize your Thanksgiving menu, read up on these federal contracting stories, including a number of fraud-related enforcement actions, increased use of OTA, and how the pandemic has changed the way federal agencies work. U.S. Department of Labor and Rolls-Royce North America Holdings Enter Agreement to Resolve Al
  8. The 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program has officially been consolidated into the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program. The goal: to eliminate duplications in regulations and to alleviate confusion between the two programs. This change has been years in the making. Since the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program was introduced in 2016, confusion between the two programs has persisted. SBA began looking at how to streamline the programs. We first wrote about the proposed rule changes back in November 2019. SBA has now implemented its overhaul and consolidation through a final rule;
  9. The SBA has cut the waiting period for reapplying to the 8(a) Program from 12 months to only 90 days. In a final rule effective November 16, the SBA explains that the shorter period should reduce the need for sometimes-costly appeals of denied 8(a) Program applications. Applying to the 8(a) Program can be a rather arduous process. Sometimes, even relatively strong applicants don’t succeed on their first try. Under the current 8(a) Program application rules, if a company’s 8(a) Program application is denied, the company has three options. First, it can do nothing, effectivel
  10. GAO may only consider protests to civilian agency task or delivery orders under $10,000,000 if the protests allege that the order increases the scope, period, or maximum value of the underlying contract. GAO recently dismissed a case for lack of jurisdiction where the protester relied on the underlying contract’s ordering clause to argue that the agency’s amendment to the evaluation scheme was “out of scope.” Let’s take a look. The MayaTech Corporation, B-419313 (Nov. 9, 2020), involved the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) issuance and award of a $8,403,926 task order for
  11. SBA’s recent proposed rule will increase size standards for a number of industries. The rule also said that SBA was thinking about lowering size standards. While most often, size standards increase over time, SBA can also lower them. However, SBA decided against lowering them. Read on for what standards will change. SBA’s size standards determine whether a company can bid on procurements restricted to small businesses. They determine whether a company is “small” for a particular procurement. So, when SBA proposes to change those size standards, it can have a big impact on which compani
  12. If you’ve been interested in applying to the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, but have a close family member who has already participated in the 8(a) Program, SBA’s message–until now–has been, for the most part, “thanks, but no thanks.” But in a new rule taking effect on November 16, 2020, SBA has dialed back on the restrictions applicable to people who want to participate in the 8(a) Program, but who have immediate family members who have previously received 8(a) benefits. Until now, SBA has applied what I sometimes call the “one 8(a) company per family” rule. The current
  13. We sure are enjoying the change to fall weather here in Lawrence, Kansas, home of the SmallGovCon blog! The leaves are beautiful–until you have to start raking them. Hope you are enjoying the weather in your parts, too. This week saw some important updates in the government contracting world. These included lessons from public and private sector organizations on cybersecurity, a new Army museum, and what a new administration could mean for contractors. VA is helping veterans seeking a career in high technology [FederalNewsNetwork] With transition coming, what lessons can public a
  14. I am pleased to announce that Christopher Coleman has joined our team of government contracts attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon. Christopher is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where his practice focuses on federal government contracts law. Before joining our team, Christopher was in private practice and served as an Assistant District Attorney, where he advocated for clients and drafted and edited contracts, agreements, and manuals, developing skills that enable him to to lead clients through the government contracts realm. Check out Christopher’s full biography to learn m
  15. An offeror in the competitive range cannot protest another offeror’s inclusion in the competitive range, according to GAO. In a recent decision, GAO dismissed an offeror’s protest as premature when both offerors were included in the competitive range. After a series of protests and corrective actions, GAO recommended to include a previously excluded offeror in the competitive range for consideration. The competing offeror protested this inclusion, and GAO dismissed the protest. Why would GAO dismiss this protest? Here is what you need to know. In, ICI Services Corporation,
  16. The SBA has long had a lifetime limit of two mentors for each protégé–and this limit was enforced very strictly. Say the mentor ghosted the protégé, or the two just never did any contracts together. Well, too bad, that still used up one of the two lifetime mentors that a protégé could have. They say there are no second chances, but the SBA’s new rule will allow for second chances on a mentor protégé arrangement in some circumstances, which should benefit protégés going forward. The old SBA rule wasn’t really clear that a protégé could only have one mentor, it only said that a “protégé
  17. Here at Koprince Law, we salute the service of all veterans and their families, both at home and abroad. Thank you. The post Happy Veterans Day first appeared on SmallGovCon - Government Contracts Law Blog. View the full article
  18. GSA Alerts GSA Implements DocuSign to Digitally Sign Documents. Effective November 30, 2020, GSA will implement DocuSign to digitally sign documents. It is planned that DocuSign will replace digital certificates with GSA FAS ID in eOffer and eMod in late Q2 (April-June) of FY21. Please be aware of the following eOffer/eMod timelines during the DocuSign transition scheduled Nov. 25-29, 2020. Of
  19. Maybe it’s happened to you: your company receives a notice of unsuccessful offeror, and your eyes pop. You can’t believe that the winner’s price is so low. “There’s no way they can successfully perform for that,” you say. But before you file a GAO bid protest, you should carefully check the solicitation’s evaluation criteria. As one unsuccessful offeror recently learned the hard way, GAO often won’t listen to an argument that “the other guy’s price is too low.” GAO’s decision in Unico Mechanical Corp., B-419250 (Oct. 29, 2020) involved a Department of the Interior small business
  20. Happy Friday SmallGovCon readers. Even as the votes are sifted, the federal government continues to buy goods and services from contractors. To that end, here are some important updates from the last week. These include veteran-owned small business trends, the critical role of CUI in federal supply chain security, and and update on the rule banning some chinese equipment. Government Contractor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Fraudulently Billing Federal and State Construction Contracts [DOJ] Government Reduces Representation Burdens for Supply Chain Rule Banning Some Chinese Equipment
  21. A federal court has ruled that the VA violated the SDVOSB Rule of Two, as well as a more recent statute, by moving SDVOSB set-aside requirements to the AbilityOne program. If you think you heard this before, you’re not going crazy or living your own personal Groundhog Day. The court’s ruling is just the latest in a long-running debate about how the VA should balance the SDVOSB and AbilityOne contracting preferences. Before we get to the latest ruling, let’s fire up the wayback machine and travel back to June 16, 2016. My Chicago Cubs were in first place, and heading toward their
  22. The SBA’s recent final rule on Mentor-Protégé Program consolidation included a number of important updates and clarifications. Among these was an explanation of the rules involving a mentor owning part of a protégé while also being part of a joint venture with the same protégé. It’s something I’ve always wanted SBA to confirm, so I’m glad they did. The mentor-protégé rule has allowed for a mentor to take up to a 40% equity stake in the protégé. That rule states that “[i]n order to raise capital, the protégé firm may agree to sell or otherwise convey to the mentor an equity interest of
  23. You put your heart into submitting your 8(a) Business Development Program application, but you still got denied. All is not lost! Join me as I discuss how to request reconsideration or appeal 8(a) denials. If you have questions or would like assistance drafting a request for reconsideration or appeal, you can reach me here. The post YouTube Tuesday: 8(a) Eligibility, Appealing Denials first appeared on SmallGovCon - Government Contracts Law Blog. View the full article
  24. Last December, SBA overhauled its HUBZone Program rules in an effort to make it easier for companies to obtain and maintain HUBZone certification–and to help the Government stop falling so woefully short of the three percent HUBZone prime contracting goal. But now, in a new report, SBA’s internal watchdog is questioning whether one of those HUBZone Program changes went too far. In October 2018, SBA proposed a series of significant changes to the HUBZone Program rules. SBA took a close look at the HUBZone Program’s structure, and concluded that “[t]he major challenge with the HUBZon
  25. Happy Halloween, SmallGovCon readers! My kids are definitely excited about Halloween, even though the trick or treating will be a little different than in years past. But there is more to be excited about. Next week is National Veteran Owned Small Business Week. Check out SBA’s events and resources for more information, and join us in celebrating the many veteran-owned small businesses around the country. This week saw a number of important stories, ranging from an idea for a new set-aside category for federal contracts, an update on SBA’s lending in 2020, and a number of enforcement
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