Introducing Koprince Law LLC

If you are a regular SmallGovCon reader, you might notice a few small changes on our blog–those dealing with our contact information.  I am pleased to announce the formation of Koprince Law LLC, which officially opens its doors for business on Monday, March 30, 2015.  At Koprince Law, we will focus our practice exclusively on providing comprehensive legal solutions to federal government contractors.

Some longtime readers have asked whether SmallGovCon is moving with me to Koprince Law.  Yes!  We will continue to regularly update readers on government contracting news and notes right here at www.smallgovcon.com.  My SmallGovCon co-author, Amanda Wilwert, will join me at Koprince Law and will continue to blog regularly, as well.

My new email address is skoprince@koprince.com and telephone number is (785) 200-8919.  Please feel free to write or call if you have any questions about Koprince Law.  And as always, thank you for reading.

SBA OHA: Providing Specifications & Funding Is Not “Manufacturing”

A business was not engaged in “manufacturing” within the meaning of the SBA’s regulations where the firm provided another entity with specifications and financing, and the second entity produced the end item being acquired by the government.

As demonstrated in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, being a “manufacturer” means engaging in the primary activities of transforming substances into an end item.  Merely providing specifications and financing doesn’t do the trick.

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SDVOSB Fraud: Large Business Pays $1.1 Million

A large business has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve allegations that it created a “front company” to be awarded a SDVOSB set-aside contract–and then served as a “pass through” by performing the work itself.

In addition to the $1.1 million penalty agreed to by the large contractor, the putative SDVOSB has agreed to pay the government $50,000, plus five annual contingency payments equal to one percent of its total annual revenues.

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Thank You, APTAC!

I am on my way home from Denver, where I have been since Tuesday for the Association of Procurement Assistance Centers Spring Conference.  My talk today was the final presentation of the conference (I like to think that APTAC saves the best for last!) and focused on recent SBA proposals regarding the limitations on subcontracting, “universal” mentor-protege, and women-owned small businesses, among other topics.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and have the chance to talk to so many PTAC counselors.  Thank you to Becky Peterson, Jason Porch, and the APTAC leadership for inviting me to speak, and thank you to all the PTAC-ers who stayed until the end of the conference to catch my presentation.  As always, you were a fantastic audience.

If you are a small business, you may be surprised at the many ways that your local PTAC can help you–usually free of charge.  Visit the APTAC website to get started.

Large Prime Hit For “Consistent Failure” To Meet Subcontracting Goals

A large prime contractor’s “consistent failure” to meet its small business and socioeconomic subcontracting goals on prior projects resulted in a lower past performance score–and led to the prime’s elimination from the competition.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the agency properly eliminated a prospective prime contractor from the competition in part because the large business had not met its subcontracting goals on three recent contracts.

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Price Realism Evaluation: Only If Solicitation Says So

An agency awarding a fixed-price contract can only evaluate offerors’ proposals for price realism–that is, determine whether offerors’ proposed pricing is so low as to be unrealistic–if the solicitation calls for a price realism evaluation.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that when a fixed-price solicitation does not advise offerors that a price realism evaluation will be conducted, the agency is not permitted to reject an offeror’s proposal because of unrealistically low pricing.

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Thank You, Alliance Northwest!

I am at the tail end of a great visit to the Pacific Northwest, where I spoke yesterday at the Alliance Northwest procurement conference.  My presentation focused on the many recent legal changes (and proposed changes) affecting small contractors, including SBA proposals on the limitations on subcontracting and a new “universal” SBA mentor-protege program.

Many thanks to the organizers of this wonderful event, which gets bigger and better every year.  Special thanks to Tiffany Scroggs, Stephanie Scott, Traci Hansen and their colleagues at the Washington PTAC for all of their hard work on the conference, and a big thank you to Ashley Coronado of the Washington PTAC for facilitating my session (including flawless pronunciation of “Petefish, Immel, Heeb & Hird.”)  And of course, a big “thank you” to everyone who attended my presentation and stopped by to visit on the trade show floor.

It’s a year away, but I certainly plan to be back in Washington next year for the 2016 Alliance Northwest event.  In the meantime, if you weren’t able to attend this year, I would be happy to send you my slides–please just contact me.