GAO Won’t Reconsider Federal Courts’ Decisions In Set-Aside Case

The GAO will not reconsider a bid protest that has been litigated in the Court of Federal Claims and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO dismissed a protest challenging the Department of Labor’s decision to set aside two solicitations for small businesses, because the federal courts had already ruled that the set-asides were appropriate.

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Women 8(a) Applicants Don’t Need “Smoking Gun” Evidence Of Bias, Says SBA OHA

A woman does not need to provide the SBA with “smoking gun” evidence of bias in order to be considered socially disadvantaged for purposes of her company’s application to the 8(a) program.

In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals sharply criticized the SBA’s evaluation of a woman-owned small business’s 8(a) application, holding that the SBA had improperly discounted evidence of bias, needlessly demanded that the woman provide irrelevant details, and made several other errors.

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Moving SDVOSB Verification To SBA Would Save $5 Million Annually, Says CBO

Moving SDVOSB verification from the VA to the SBA would save approximately $5 million annually, according to a recent cost estimate issued by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO concludes that implementing the Improving Opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Act of 2013 would save money because the SBA would be able to take advantage of systems already in place for other certification programs.  The CBO estimate may reignite debate over the potential transfer of the SDVOSB verification program from the VA to the SBA.

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GAO Bid Protests: No Small Business Size Challenges (Usually)

To regular SmallGovCon readers this may seem obvious, but protesters keep doing it, so it deserves a post.

By “it,” I mean filing small business size challenges as part of GAO bid protests.  As demonstrated once again in a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO typically lacks jurisdiction over size challenges, which must be filed with the SBA.

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SBA OHA Size Appeals: Request To Reopen Does Not Extend Filing Deadline

A company on the losing end of a SBA size protest can ask the SBA Area Office that issued the decision to consider reopening the size determination case.  However, the 15-day window in which to file a size appeal with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals is not extended by virtue of a request to reopen.

In a recent decision, SBA OHA dismissed a size appeal as untimely, holding that the 15-day appeals window begins upon the receipt of the size determination–not upon the SBA Area Office’s refusal to reopen the size determination.

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SDB Fraud: Subcontractors Pay $1.9 Million Settlement

Five subcontractors and two individuals have paid the government nearly $1.9 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing themselves as small disadvantaged businesses.

According to a Department of Justice press release, the subcontractors self-certified as SDBs to their prime contractors, and those self-certifications were then passed on to the government.

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Event: Communicating With Contracting Officers (Wichita, KS)

Interactions with federal Contracting Officers are part and parcel of government contracts, but many traps exist for the unwary.

To help contractors understand the rules surrounding communications with contracting officials, I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting a seminar entitled “Dealing with Government Contracting Officials: What Can You Really Say And Do?” on April 29 in Wichita, Kansas.  The seminar is sponsored by the Kansas PTAC, and admission is free.  For more information, and to register, simply follow this link.

See you there!