Report Updated 13 CFR 121.404 and Industrial Gaslighting in Contract Administration Posted May 1 First, Vern Edwards, thank you for providing a response pointing to the actual relevant contract clause. That is the specific reference that I needed to make a decision on whether to protest or not. We had been asking about whether the updated 13 CFR 121.404 was applying at the contract/procurement level or if it would apply at the procurement action/task order level. But FAR 52-219-28 (July 2013) was incorporated by reference. That lets me know the answer is a hard no. We had asked for the regulatory references for what would prevent the updated 13 CFR 121.404 from applying, and this is the first time we have gotten a response that nailed the answer. That is why I posted here. I don't know what I don't know, and the vast majority of queries posted here seem to get a solid answer. It is certainly the case that any one side telling a story is not the whole story or a fully correct. I would still be interested in any information on situations where the agency itself is responsible for carrying out a size-status determination on its own. I mean they pulled the full suite of contract awards and options years to demonstrate how our team would no longer be considered small (less than 1/3 of the standard on an annualized basis, but larger if you sum all contracts and potential option years). Is anyone aware of this being a practice? Theoretically, we could have imagined that response entirely (or gotten it epically wrong). I have worked for the government for 15 years and with the government another 5, and I have seen that things sometimes just get baked into practice or culture, so even when I feel like maybe I am being gaslighted, I don't assume (or accuse) someone of wrongdoing. I also don't feel like asking for clarification or reference to the actual regulation should be received as an accusation of malfeasance. We have not issued any protests at all, or even threatened to. We asked for the regulatory framework that would tell us how this contract addressed this issue (the answer that Vern provided). This is something they have offered as a way of resolving any questions like this before a protest is launched. Maybe the term shady came off harsher than it should have. This is the third issue that we have not been able to get an answer on from the agency, and the first one we finally got nailed down. The other two issues are not worth protesting because they don't particularly disadvantage us, and it would be pretty disruptive to how they managed contractors and their budget if they were forced to change in a short amount of time. So they were things we asked about and did not get an answer on, but not something we pushed back on (high risk, low reward). Also, I thought the purpose of the Small Business Act was to ensure small businesses got to compete for small business set asides. There is no question or ambiguity that the company has received 3 times the size standard, and more than the size standard in small business set asides in a year. I know that this is allowed within the regulation. But at the point that the government keeps awarding set-asides to a company that has received more than the size standard in federal contracts in that FY, it starts to seem pretty contrary to the intent of the Small Business Act, even if they are providing a great deal for the government. And it doesn't feel unreasonable to ask the COs to use their available tools to curtail that. Thanks again for your answer Vern.