SBA Area Office Double Counted Revenue in Denial of 8(a) Application, Says OHA

SBA sometimes makes mistakes in the 8(a) application process, but the appeals process may be able to remedy those miscues. Recently, an applicant appealed the SBA’s denial of her 8(a) status based on net worth. She argued that the SBA Area Office had double counted the value of her rental property, which automatically disqualified her from being found economically disadvantaged. SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) agreed and remanded the denial decision.

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Federal Supply Schedule Acquisitions Require Price Comparisons to Determine Lowest Overall Cost, Says GAO

In a recent protest, GAO examined the rules for price evaluation and source selection methodology required under the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Program. At a minimum, an agency must perform price comparisons to evaluate what vendor will be lowest cost along with any additional features and benefits to the government. Because the FSS solicitation at issue failed to include proper price evaluation terms, GAO sustained a challenge to those terms.

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No Award for Proposal Lacking Required Letter of Commitment, Says GAO

GAO recently sustained a challenge to an agency’s award decision where the awardee failed to provide a required letter of commitment for an individual proposed for a key personnel position. GAO said that the awardee failed to satisfy a material solicitation requirement, making the agency’s award improper.

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GAO Sustains Challenge Based on Misrepresentation of Incumbent Staff Availability

It’s generally a pretty high bar to argue the ol’ “bait and switch” concerning what personnel will actually perform a contract. But specifically naming a crucial employee of the incumbent in your proposal—without ever talking to that employee about working on the new contract—can meet the bar in a GAO protest.

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New Avenue for SBA Protests: Ostensible Subcontractor Status Protests

SBA has issued a final rule, effective December 30, that will now provide an avenue to protest situations where the prime contractor on a SDVOSB, HUBZone, or WOSB set-aside contract is subcontracting most or all of the work to a non-similarly situated—but still small business—concern. It will also allow SBA to review eligibility for 8(a) Program contracts on this ground as well.

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SBA Proposes to Remove the “Three” from the “Three-In-Two” Rule for Joint Ventures

The SBA recently proposed a rule that would amend the infamous three-in-two (AKA 3-in-2) rule for joint ventures. SBA’s current regulations provide that a joint venture can be awarded no more than three contracts over a two-year period. While SBA plans to keep the two-year lifespan for joint venture awards, it plans to get rid of the three contract maximum.

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GSA Releases IT Security and Authentication Solutions for Federal Agencies

GSA released a Draft Identity, Credentialing, and Access Management (ICAM) Solutions Catalog in response to an Executive Order and a new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy. These ICAM Solutions will assist federal agencies in managing and monitoring user access to information systems in order to ensure secure operations and could change security and authentication procedures for federal contractors. From the President on down, cybersecurity, including authentication, is a pressing concern for all federal contractors.

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