Archives: Small Business

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DoD OIG Audit: What SDVOSBs Need to Know

The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) recently announced that it was initiating an audit to determine whether agencies within DoD awarded Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (“SDVOSB”) set-aside and sole-source contracts to eligible companies. The audit is set to begin this month, and likely will evaluate the number and value of contracts awarded … Continue Reading

DoD Implements Streamlining Awards for Innovative Technology Projects

On January 9, 2018, Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued Class Deviation 2018-O0009, designed to reduce barriers to entry for innovative entities through streamlining the awards process for research and development contracts. This Class Deviation allows for the use of simplified acquisition procedures and excuses certain procurement obligations when DoD awards contracts and subcontracts valued at … Continue Reading

FAR Council Clarifies 8(a) Sole Source Justification Requirements for High Value Contracts

On October 15, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), issued a proposed rule to clarify contracting officer and agency responsibilities when justifying sole source awards exceeding $22 million dollars made through the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program.  The revisions directly address recommendations from a December 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled, “Slow Start … Continue Reading

Confidentiality Agreements Continue To Pose Potential Compliance Trap for Contractors

Federal contractors who require employees to sign confidentiality agreements—including those selling only commercial products or in small quantities—need to examine their agreements closely. For the last two years, the government has sought to prohibit confidentiality agreements that restrict employees’ ability to report fraud, waste, or abuse to “designated investigative or law enforcement representative[s]” for federal … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SBA’s 8(a) Program

Earlier this month, in Rothe Development, Inc. v. Department of Defense, the D.C. Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) 8(a) program by rejecting arguments that the Small Business Act contains an unconstitutional classification based on race.  Although the decision will likely be seen as a positive development for small business government contractors … Continue Reading

Changes to Small Business Subcontracting On the Horizon

Last week, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) Council issued a Final Rule to implement regulations adopted by the Small Business Administration in 2013.  The Final Rule significantly amends FAR Parts 19 and 52 by imposing additional small business-related obligations on prime contractors and clarifying the consequences of failing to satisfy those obligations.  The Final Rule … Continue Reading

SBA Considers Potential Consequences of Kingdomware Technologies

As we discussed in a recent post, the Supreme Court’s decision in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States left a number of questions unanswered regarding the implementation of set-aside requirements for veteran-owned small businesses under Federal Supply Schedule (“FSS”) contracts.  The decision has already had repercussions outside the set-aside context, with the Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Final Rule Revises Many SBA Regulations

The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has released a final rule revising many small business size and contracting program regulations found in 13 C.F.R. Parts 121, 124-127, effective on June 30, 2016.  The revisions, which implement reforms required by the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act, include the following:… Continue Reading

SBA Proposes New Data Rights and Phase III Preferences under SBIR/STTR Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) recently issued a notice detailing proposed amendments to the policy directives governing the Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) and Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) programs.  The notice indicates that the SBA intends to implement significant changes to the current data rights provided under SBIR/STTR awards, as well as the … Continue Reading

FAR Council Adds New Layer to Small Business Subcontracting Rules

On January 20, 2016, the FAR Council published a proposed rule calling for changes to FAR Parts 19 and 52 that address payments to small business subcontractors.  The proposed changes, which are intended to implement regulations adopted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2013, will expand the range of small business-related obligations imposed on … Continue Reading

VA Proposes to Make VOSB Verification Easier Under the Veterans First Contracting Program

On November 6, 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) issued a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) to clarify the byzantine verification process for veteran-owned small businesses (“VOSB”) and veteran-owned service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSB”)1 who want to participate in the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program.  VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines, Proposed Rule, 80 … Continue Reading

OHA and COFC Agree: Mentor/Protégé JV Agreements Must Be Specific to Avoid Affiliation

Recent decisions by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) and the Court of Federal Claims offer important advice to anyone in the process of drafting and negotiating a mentor/protégé joint venture agreement:  Be specific.  Those agreements, in many cases, are the crown jewel of the mentor-protégé program enabling mentors and … Continue Reading

GSA Seeks Input on Eliminating IT Schedule 70’s Two-Year Experience Requirement

Last month, we discussed Information Technology (IT) Schedule 70, one of the largest contract vehicles administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). GSA now is evaluating whether Schedule 70 should be made more accessible to certain small contractors, new IT providers, and other, similarly situated firms.… Continue Reading

SBA OHA: In Three-Factor Test to Determine Small Business Manufacturers, No Single Factor is Determinative

In Size Appeal of NMC/Wollard Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5668, the Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) clarified the three factor test used to determine whether a small business qualifies as a manufacturer of the end item being procured.  The decision confirmed that no single factor has greater weight than the others, and … Continue Reading

FAR Council Beefs Up Small Business Subcontracting Rules

The FAR Council has released a proposed rule calling for significant revisions to the provisions in FAR Parts 19 and 52 addressing small business subcontracting plans.  The proposed changes, which are intended to implement regulations adopted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2013, should serve as a not-so-subtle reminder of the range of small … Continue Reading

Lost in Transmission: Email Failure Results in Untimely Size Protest

The Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) recently issued a decision exemplifying the well-known reality that protest deadlines are short and unforgiving. In Size Appeal of Supplies Now, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5655 (Apr. 30, 2015), OHA denied, as untimely, an appeal of an SBA Area Office decision. The appellant, Supplies Now, … Continue Reading

SBA 8(a) Ruling: Connections Not the Same as Control

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Hearing Appeals (“OHA”) recently issued a ruling affirming the SBA’s termination of a contractor from participation in the 8(a) Business Development Program (“8(a) Program”). Yet the OHA’s opinion in The DESA Group, Inc., SBA No. BDPT-543 (2015), is notable not for this conclusion, but rather for the discussion that … Continue Reading

SBA Issues New Rule On Small Business Status Advisory Opinions

On February 11, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued its final rule implementing statutory revisions that encourage use of small business status advisory opinions from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) or Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs).  Specifically, the new rule implements provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 that establish limitations of … Continue Reading

SBA Proposes Comprehensive Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program

Last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a proposed rule that if implemented will increase the opportunity for large and small businesses to partner on unrestricted competitions and small business set asides by creating a comprehensive Mentor-Protégé Program that will allow any type of small business contractor to partner with another company without … Continue Reading

An Apple a Day (From the VA) Keeps the Tax Man Away

Those of us who write about the Affordable Care Act seldom have the chance to use the phrase “overwhelming bipartisan support.”  The Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 provides a welcome opportunity to do so.  The Act, designed to encourage small businesses to hire veterans, has received bipartisan and bicameral support in Congress.  If it … Continue Reading

SBA Seeks Comments on Third-Phase Awards and Data Rights under the Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Programs

On November 7, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an Advanced Notice seeking comments on potential revisions to policies governing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, which facilitate the commercialization of technology through small business entrepreneurship.  The Programs require certain federal agencies to reserve a minimum … Continue Reading

SBA Increases Size Standards for Manufacturing and Various Other Industries

On September 10, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued two proposed rules to increase employee-based size standards for manufacturing and various other industries in connection with the agency’s ongoing review of existing size standards.  The SBA has the discretion to establish size standards as a threshold under which firms are eligible to participate … Continue Reading
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