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.
A Maryland man has pleaded guilty in an 8(a) fraud case involving a company that received more than $52 million in 8(a) contracts to which it was not entitled.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Vernon Smith pleaded guilty to charges that he (not the company’ s disadvantaged majority owner) exercised complete control over the company’s day-to-day management and long term decision making.
An 8(a) Program mentor has agreed to pay a False Claims Act settlement of $928,000. The settlement stems from the government’s claims that the mentor abused the 8(a) mentor-protege program.
According to a Department of Justice press release, the mentor firm performed eight 8(a) prime contracts on behalf of its protege–without an SBA-approved joint venture. The government also contended that the mentor’s extensive role resulted in the protege firm failing to meet the applicable limitation on subcontracting.
Submitting a proposal for a task order under an 8(a) Government Wide Acquisition Contract does not result in automatic recertification of the offeror’s small business size status.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that unless the Contracting Officer expressly requires recertification, an offeror’s size for an 8(a) set-aside task order is governed by that offeror’s size status for the underlying GWAC.
The SBA 8(a) mentor-protege joint venture exception from affiliation applies to non-8(a) contracts, so long as the joint venture meets the 8(a) regulatory requirements.
In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the SBA Area Office erred by deeming a mentor and its protege affiliated for purposes of a non-8(a) contract, without considering whether the joint venture qualified for the mentor-protege exception to the ordinary SBA affiliation rules.
The SBA will “make it a priority” to adopt regulations establishing mentor-protege programs for SDVOSBs, HUBZones, and WOSBs in the next 12 months, according to the SBA’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda.
The regulatory agenda states that the three new mentor-protege programs are expected to be “similar” to the 8(a) mentor-protege program, which suggests that the special joint venturing benefits currently available only to 8(a)s may become available to SDVOSBs, HUBZones and WOSBs, as well.
A participant in the SBA’s 8(a) program must obtain the SBA’s prior approval before switching its business structure–or else.
Case in point: recently, an 8(a) participant was terminated from the 8(a) program because it switched its corporate structure from a corporation to a limited liability company without the SBA’s prior approval.
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