GAO: Agency Need Not Raise Offeror’s High Price In Discussions

When an agency decides to hold discussions with offerors, must it discuss with an offeror the price proposed for the contract? Not unless that offeror’s proposed price is so high as to be unreasonable.

As the GAO held in a recent bid protest decision, unless an offeror’s price is so high as to make its proposal unacceptable, the offeror is not entitled to be informed during discussions that its price is too high–even if the price is significantly higher than competitors.

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SmallGovCon Welcomes Matt Schoonover

Just last week, SmallGovCon celebrated its third anniversary.  When I started the blog in May 2012, I wondered whether there would be enough “going on” to support a regular blog about government contracting law for small government contractors.  Clearly, my worries were unfounded.

Instead, I have more often found that there is too much happening in the world of government contracting law to be able to blog about everything important.  And so, in an ongoing effort to increase SmallGovCon’s scope and content, I am happy to announce that Matt Schoonover is joining me as a SmallGovCon co-author.  Matt is my colleague at Koprince Law LLC, and works closely with me in providing legal services to government contractors.  He also happens to be a Jayhawk and an all-around nice guy.

Please visit the Koprince Law website to see Matt’s biography and learn more about him and his practice.  And be sure to follow SmallGovCon over the coming weeks for Matt’s posts (and, of course, many more from yours truly).

8(a) Program Denial: Federal Lawsuit Available, Says SBA OHA

An 8(a) Program applicant may challenge the SBA’s denial of its application in federal court if the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

According to a recent OHA decision, although OHA’s own jurisdiction in 8(a) denial matters is limited, a rejected applicant “is not utterly without recourse” because relief can be sought in court.

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SBA Size Appeals: Notification Of Deadline Not Required

Government contractors are expected to be aware of appeal deadlines even if an agency does not mention those deadlines in its decision notifications.

As one contractor recently discovered, a size appeal with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals must be filed within the regulatory time frame–and no extension will be granted if the SBA does not notify the potential appellant of the deadline.

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Sorry, Subcontractor: No SBA Size Appeal For You

When the SBA found a subcontractor to be affiliated with its prime contractor under the ostensible subcontractor rule, the subcontractor could not appeal the SBA’s finding to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In a recent size appeal decision, OHA held that a subcontractor lacks the ability to file a size appeal because the subcontractor is not directly affected by the size determination.

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SDVOSB Fraud: Company Dissolves To Settle “Rent-A-Vet” Allegations

A contractor has agreed to pay the government $1 million–and to dissolve as an ongoing entity–to resolve allegations that it falsely claimed SDVOSB status in order to receive VA SDVOSB set-aside contracts.

According to a government press release, the settlement comes after VA investigators alleged that the company’s non-veteran partner made all important corporate decisions, while the service-disabled veteran partner spent much of his time away from the company.

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