SmallGovCon Welcomes Nicole Pottroff

I am pleased to announce that Nicole Pottroff  has joined our team of government contracts attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon.  Nicole is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where her practice focuses on federal government contracts law.

Before joining our team, Nicole practiced law in the Kansas City area, where she worked on a variety of complex civil litigation matters.  Check out Nicole’s full biography to learn more about our newest author, and don’t miss her first SmallGovCon post on when the government must include a company in a limited simplified acquisition procurement.

GAO Clarifies Competition Standards for Simplified Acquisitions

A recent GAO decision has shed light on the question of what an agency must do to adequately promote competition during a simplified acquisition.

There is still no bright line for determining which agency actions meet this threshold.  However, the recent decision in Bluehorse Corp., B-415641 et al. (Feb. 6, 2018), established that merely inquiring about a solicitation, without taking further action as recommended by the procuring agency, is not enough to force an agency to include a company in a limited competition.

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SmallGovCon Weeks in Review: April 9 – 20, 2018

I was enjoying a day off last Friday, so we have a lot of catching up to do on government contracting news and notes.  It’s time for a special two-week super-sized edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review.

In this edition, the GAO looks at NASA’s investigations of contractor whistleblowing complaints, the SBA announces nine new Women’s Business Centers, the Coast Guard sinks $60 million into an electronic health record system procurement with nothing to show for it,  70,000 contractors must provide notarized letters in the wake of a “SAM scam” and much more.

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Weaknesses Cannot Be Assigned Unequally, GAO Confirms

An unequal evaluation can get an agency into hot water and force a reevaluation, as GAO has stated before. But with agencies entitled to broad discretion in their evaluations, how do you know what constitutes unequal evaluation?

Some GAO opinions can leave you wondering where the line is drawn, but a recent GAO decision provides an easy-to-understand example involving a requirement to train personnel under certain regulations. In that case, the GAO held that it was improper for the agency to assign a weakness to the protester for omitting a discussion of certain regulations as applied to its training program, while failing to assign weaknesses to several awardees whose proposals also omitted this discussion.

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VA SDVOSB Rule of Two: Court Provides Important Guidance for Protesters

A protester contending that the VA violated the “rule of two” by failing to set-aside a solicitation for SDVOSBs must present sufficient facts to indicate that the VA should have had a reasonable expectation of receiving two or more offers from SDVOSBs at fair and reasonable prices.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims dismissed a rule of two challenge because, according to the Court, the protester only identified one SDVOSB–itself–that was likely to submit an offer at a fair and reasonable price.

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