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Hi all! I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on how the size protest process works and the timing of everything. Reading the regulations and the SBA website it seems like you have to fully evaluate a company and possibly announce them for award before anyone can file a size protest against that company. Even FAR 19.302(d)(4) says that if we protest before we announce award the SBA will dismiss it as premature.

 We currently have a company who we don't believe is a small business based on a review of the financial statements they submitted but, not being SBA, we don't have the authority to tell them that they're not small (and honestly there may be things we aren't seeing, we're not the experts on size status!). Seems strange to me that we would have to get all the way through the process and possibly announce this company as an awardee in order to protest their size status. Will the SBA perform any kind of size determination for us before we announce any awardees or do we need to wait until the very end?

 

Thank you!

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If you are the KO then you can submit the Size Protest as soon as the contractor is designated as the apparent awardee.  Just let the size specialist know that the protest is from the KO and not from another competitor so they know not to impose that rule.   The rule that states the award has to be announced prior to the protest being submitted is for when other competitors protest to the KO prior to award.  I used to work as a size specialist for the SBA before they removed that program from the PCR duties.

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28 minutes ago, DWGerard1102 said:

If you are the KO then you can submit the Size Protest as soon as the contractor is designated as the apparent awardee.  The rule that states the award has to be announced is for other competitors who protest to the KO prior to award.  I used to work as a size specialist for the SBA before they removed that program from the PCR duties.

I don't read 13 CFR 121.1004(e) exactly this way, but it might be close enough.  I think the reason for the rule is that the SBA doesn't want to have to decide size/status protests involving a business concern that isn't the apparent successful offeror.  Subsec. (e) reads:

Quote

Premature protests. A protest filed by any party, including the contracting officer, before bid opening or notification to offerors of the selection of the apparent successful offer [under FAR 15.503(a)(2)] will be dismissed as premature.

 

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Thanks C Culham, I've been reviewing that page and the CFR the past few days and came up short on this specific topic. Like Jacques just mentioned, I'm guessing the SBA wrote it this way to prevent COs from simply submitting every proposal to the SBA for a determination once the submission deadline hits to try to whittle down the number of proposals the CO needs to evaluate. If I was the SBA then I'd only want to make determinations on vendors who may actually get the award. 

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