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My company is currently bidding a large contract. With two weeks prior to proposals due, the Contracting Office changed the NAICS code. Although, the set-aside remains the same, the NAICS code size standard changed from 1500 people to $25 Million, which takes us from a small business, to a large business. Needless to say, this causes much consternation due to the fact that we were swiftly removed from the competition. First and foremost, is this possible? Secondly, if it is, can I submit a claim to recoup expenses?

I have a short fuse on this so please respond with your input shortly. Much appreciated!

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The contracting officer is responsible for determining the NAICS code. See FAR 19.303( a ). I suppose he or she realized the original NAICS code had been improvidently selected, and issued a solicitation amendment to indicate the correct NAICS code.

Do you think the new NAICS code is wrong? If so, you can appeal the contracting officer's determination under the procedures at FAR 19.303( c ).

Oh, you better hurry -- you only have ten CALENDAR days after issuance of the solicitation (or solicitation amendment affecting the NAICS code) to file your appeal. See http://www.pubklaw.com/rd/boards/naics-5481.pdf.

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The first thing to do is look over the statement of work and then the assigned NACS code. Does the one with the $25 million size standard make the most sense? Look at this objectively and not in the capacity of what's best for your company. If that code is the most appropriate, there's no reason to protest.

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As others have noted, a NAICS code appeal is possible, but the Contracting Officer is given pretty broad discretion on selecting a NAICS code. If the code selected is "reasonable," I think your chances of succeeding at OHA are low, even if another NAICS code is reasonable or arguably better.

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