Thank You, Live Oak Bank & GMU!

I am back in Kansas after a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC where I was part of a fantastic governing contracting event sponsored by Live Oak Bank and George Mason  University.  My panel focused on the legal and practical issues that companies face when they grow out of their small business size standards–an important topic that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should.

Many thanks to Jackie Robinson-Burnette, Erin Andrew, Tess Mackey, Jerry McGinn and everyone else who planned and coordinated this event.  Thanks also to my fellow panelists, Gloria Larkin and Rosetta Rodwell–and to everyone who asked questions and stuck around afterwards to chat–for a great discussion about government contracts. And a big thank you to the chefs at Ray’s the Steaks, where I had dinner for the first time in about six years.  Tasty as ever!

Next on my travel agenda: New Orleans, where I’ll be attending the 2018 National Veterans Small Business Engagement and SAME Small Business Conference.  Hope to see you there!

Federal Judge Suggests Congressional “Kill Switch” For Kingdomware SDVOSB Preferences

In a strongly-worded opinion, a federal judge decried a “labyrinth of legal and regulatory hoops and hurdles” imposed on the VA as a result of the famous Kingdomware Supreme Court decision–and suggested that Congress could exercise a “kill switch” to curtail or even eliminate the SDVOSB and VOSB contracting preferences the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed.

While I have no reason to suspect that Kingdomware is in any danger of being overturned or curtailed by Congress, its certainly not great news for SDVOSBs and VOSBs that a federal judge seems to be pushing for that very thing.

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New Consolidated SDVOSB Eligibility Requirements: the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly

New, consolidated SDVOSB eligibility regulations kicked in on October 1.  The new regulations replace the old VA and SBA rules, which provided separate eligibility standards for SDVOSBs.

Veterans have long been confused by the fact that the Government operated two separate SDVOSB programs, each with its own standards.  The consolidated rule will eliminate that confusion, and that’s a very good thing.  There are also several other pieces of the new SDVOSB eligibility rule that veterans should like–but also some that aren’t so great, or that require further clarification as to how they’ll be applied.

My colleague Matt Schoonover provided a broader overview of the new regulations earlier last week.  Now it’s time for me to get on my soapbox.  Without further ado, here’s my list of the good, bad, and the downright ugly from the new SDVOSB regulations.

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VA Will Use SBA SDVOSB Eligibility Rules Starting October 1, 2018

The VA will begin using the SBA’s eligibility rules to verify SDVOSBs and VOSBs beginning October 1, 2018.

In a final rule published today in the Federal Register, the VA confirms that the SBA’s eligibility requirements will apply beginning next week–but in my eyes, one very important question remains unanswered.

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SmallGovCon Welcomes Haley Claxton!

I am very pleased to announce that Haley Claxton has joined our team of attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon.  Haley is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where her practice focuses on federal government contracts law.

Haley is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law, and has served as a law clerk to the Library of Congress Office of the General Counsel in Washington, DC.  Check out Haley’s full biography to learn more about our newest author, and don’t miss her first SmallGovCon post on new rules recently implemented at the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals.

Where Non-Price Ratings Identical, Agency Wasn’t Required to Choose Lower-Priced Offeror

In a best value competition, when two offerors receive identical adjectival scores on the non-price factors, one might assume that the procuring agency would be required to award the contract to the lower-priced offeror.

Not so.  In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that where two offerors received identical scores on three non-price factors, the agency could still elect to award the contract to the higher-priced offeror.

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