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I feel like I ask the most basic questions on these forums but this is another one I haven't really seen any information on. I know FAR 19.301-1(f) states, "The contracting officer shall accept an offeror’s representation in a specific bid or proposal that it is a small business unless (1) another offeror or interested party challenges the concern’s small business representation or (2) the contracting officer has a reason to question the representation. Challenges of and questions concerning a specific representation shall be referred to the SBA in accordance with 19.302."

 

My question is: What sorts of things would make a CO question the representation? I've recently seen a firm who's SAM report states they're small and shows them as 1 employees with less than $100,000 in receipts but it's also said that for the last 5 years, exact same numbers (if you look back on SAM 7 they have a different name with around $30M in receipts). We've requested financial statements that don't seem to add up to what they claim their size either. Is there anything else we should be looking for or any other standard procedures to assist in verifying size status claims?

 

Thank you!

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You have enough information to start a size challenge.

I have wondered about a firm's small business status when it is the incumbent on a 5-year contract with annual revenues of over $30 Million just from that one contract with a size standard of $23 Million, and yet it still represents as small for the successor procurement.

Anyway, you don't have to solve the problem -- you don't have to verify the size status claim -- just send your referral to the SBA and let them decide it.  A contracting officer should not undertake to verify a size status assertion.

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17 hours ago, Freyr said:

What sorts of things would make a CO question the representation?

 A look at 13 CFR 121.1007 might help you understand what you might question noting that a non-specific protest of size will be dismissed. 

 

 "13 CFR 121.1007 

Must a protest of size status relate to a particular procurement and be specific?

(a) Particular procurement. A protest challenging the size of a concern which does not pertain to a particular procurement or sale will not be acted on by SBA.
(b) A protest must include specific facts. A protest must be sufficiently specific to provide reasonable notice as to the grounds upon which the protested concern's size is questioned. Some basis for the belief or allegation stated in the protest must be given. A protest merely alleging that the protested concern is not small or is affiliated with unnamed other concerns does not specify adequate grounds for the protest. No particular form is prescribed for a protest. Where materials supporting the protest are available, they should be submitted with the protest.

(c) Non-specific protests will be dismissed. Protests which do not contain sufficient specificity will be dismissed by SBA. The following are examples of allegation specificity:

Example 1:An allegation that concern X is large because it employs more than 500 employees (where 500 employees is the applicable size standard) without setting forth a basis for the allegation is non-specific.

Example 2:An allegation that concern X is large because it exceeds the 500 employee size standard (where 500 employees is the applicable size standard) because a higher employment figure was published in publication Y is sufficiently specific.

Example 3:An allegation that concern X is affiliated with concern Y without setting forth any basis for the allegation is non-specific.

Example 4:An allegation that concern X is affiliated with concern Y because Mr. A is the majority shareholder in both concerns is sufficiently specific.

Example 5:An allegation that concern X has revenues in excess of $5 million (where $5 million is the applicable size standard) without setting forth a basis for the allegation is non-specific.

Example 6:An allegation that concern X exceeds the size standard (where the applicable size standard is $5 million) because it received Government contracts in excess of $5 million last year is sufficiently specific."

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