SBA “Adverse Impact” Analysis Not Required For Large Business

The SBA was not required to conduct an “adverse impact” analysis before placing a procurement under the 8(a) program because the company requesting the adverse impact analysis was not a small business under the incumbent contract.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the incumbent contractor–which, according to the SBA, had violated the ostensible subcontractor affiliation rule–was not entitled to insist on an adverse impact analysis.

Continue reading

Limitations on Subcontracting: SBA Proposes Sweeping Changes

The limitations on subcontracting would undergo sweeping changes under a recent SBA proposal.

On December 29, the SBA issued a proposed rule to enact the changes implemented by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013–including a thorough re-write of the way that compliance with the subcontracting limits is calculated and enforced.

Continue reading

SBA 8(a) JVs: No OHA Appeals Of Disapprovals

The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals does not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal challenging the SBA’s refusal to approve a joint venture for an 8(a) set-aside contract.

In a recent decision, OHA dismissed an appeal filed by an 8(a) mentor-protege joint venture, in which the joint venture attempted to challenge the SBA’s decision not to approve the joint venture to pursue an 8(a) set-aside.

Continue reading

8(a) Program Improvements Needed, Says SBA OIG

8(a) Program improvements are needed to allow more disadvantaged firms to receive 8(a) contracts, according to a recent report issued by the SBA Office of Inspector General.

In its report, the SBA OIG credits the SBA with positive steps taken to improve the 8(a) Program, but says that more must be done to ensure that 8(a) business development assistance reaches more 8(a) Program participants.

Continue reading

8(a) Program: Accent, Lack of English Proficiency Not Evidence of Bias

A Bulgarian immigrant’s thick accent and lack of English proficiency were not evidence of bias, and did not support the immigrant’s 8(a) Program application.

In a recent 8(a) Program decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals expressed sympathy for the language difficulties many immigrants face, but held that such difficulties, by themselves, do not constitute evidence of “social disadvantage” for 8(a) Program purposes because the 8(a) Program requires a showing of bias or prejudice.

Continue reading

8(a) Program: Is The SBA “Searching For Reasons To Deny” Women?

The SBA’s course of conduct in reviewing the 8(a) applications of companies owned by women “gives the distinct impression that the SBA is simply searching for reasons to deny every claim” of social disadvantage made by women applicants.

These strong words come from a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, in which OHA again overturned the SBA’s denial of a woman-owned business’s 8(a) application.

Continue reading

8(a) Joint Ventures: SBA Approval Not Required At Proposal Submission

A joint venture may be awarded an 8(a) set-aside contract so long as the SBA approves the joint venture before award.

In a recent GAO bid protest decision, a procuring agency rejected a joint venture’s proposal for an 8(a) set-aside contract because the joint venture had not been approved by the SBA as of the date of proposal submission.  The GAO–relying in part on input from the SBA–held that the rejection was improper.

Continue reading