SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 8-12, 2016

Love is in the air this weekend as Valentine’s Day approaches.  And even if that special someone isn’t the chocolate-and-flowers type, nothing says true love like giving the gift of the latest government contracting news and notes.  And best of all, it’s free!

In this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, the government appears to have hit its 23% small business goal for the third year running, a contractor will fork over $1 million to settle DOT DBE fraud claims, new data suggests that agencies are cutting back on lowest-price, technically acceptable contracts, and much more.

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SBA Affiliation Rules: 4.16% Minority Owner “Controlled” Company

An owner of a mere 4.16% minority interest nonetheless “controlled” a company within the meaning of the SBA’s affiliation rules because the company’s ownership was split among approximately 20 companies, each with an equal ownership interest.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that, where a company has no 50% or greater owner, a minority owner may be presumed to control the company–even where that ownership is as little as 4.16%.

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GAO: No Protest Under Omitted FAR Clause

A would-be protester had no valid basis to allege agency wrongdoing when the protester’s allegation was that the awardee would violate a FAR performance of work clause–but the clause was not included in the solicitation.

In a recent decision, the GAO held (unsurprisingly), that a protester could not challenge the awardee’s supposed failure to comply with FAR 52.236-1 because the clause was omitted from the solicitation.

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No “Sum Certain” Means No Valid Claim, Board Holds

A contractor’s claim against the Government was invalid because the contractor did not demand a “sum certain” in clear and unequivocal terms.

In a recent decision, the Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals held that a contractor’s claim was deficient where the contractor argued that it was up to the government to figure out the amount of the claim using “simple mathematics.”

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 1-5, 2016

Hopefully you will have some time to relax this weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl (or at least the commercials if that’s more your thing). Before we know it, March Madness will be here (although at the rate my Duke Blue Devils are going, they’re not likely to challenge for a repeat).

While we wait for the “Big Game,” it’s time for another installment of SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have more sordid tales of procurement related bribery and misrepresentation, an excellent look at the set-aside programs for veterans, the struggles that women-owned businesses continue to face, and more.

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Army Improperly Extended Contracts, GAO Says

The Army improperly used FAR 52.217-8 (Option to Extend Services) to extend several contracts for periods much longer than the six-month maximum allowed by the clause.

This conclusion comes from a recent GAO study, in which the GAO determined that the Army improperly applied FAR 52.217-8 in three out of five contracts studied by the GAO.  And although the GAO’s report was narrowly focused on a handful of Army contracts, it leads me to wonder whether FAR 52.217-8 is being improperly used on a much broader scale.

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EEOC’s Proposed Pay Disclosure Rule Will Impact Larger Contractors

On January 29, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a proposed modification to its Employer Information Report (EEO-1) form that will impact employers—including federal government contractors—with 100 employees or more.

Under the proposed modification, beginning in September 2017, these employers will be required to report their employees’ pay ranges and hours worked, broken down by the gender and race/ethnicity of employees. Contractors with 50 to 99 employers, who must also complete EEO-1s, would be exempt from the new requirement.

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