No Wholesaler NAICS Codes For Set-Aside Contracts, SBA OHA Confirms

Federal agencies must classify procurements for supplies under the appropriate manufacturing or supply NAICS code, not under a wholesale trade or retail trade NAICS code.

In a recent NAICS code appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that supply procurements should not be classified under wholesale or retail trade NAICS codes–and rejected a prospective offeror’s claim that the agency should have assigned a wholesale trade NAICS code to the solicitation.

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SBA OHA: NAICS Code Appeals Allowed On Unrestricted Procurements

NAICS code appeals are now allowed on unrestricted procurements, so long as a change in NAICS code would affect the offeror’s size status for the procurement.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that recent SBA regulatory amendments have overturned prior OHA case law prohibiting most NAICS code appeals on unrestricted procurements.

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NAICS Code Appeals Allowed On 8(a) Set-Asides, Says SBA OHA

A NAICS code appeal can be filed even after a SBA District Office accepts the procurement for competition in the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program.

In a recent decision, SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals rejected the argument that acceptance of a procurement into the 8(a) Program results in the approval of the NAICS code assigned to that procurement, thus preventing subsequent NAICS code appeals.  Had SBA OHA reached the opposite conclusion, the decision might have effectively excluded 8(a) contracts from the reach of traditional NAICS code appeals.

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NAICS Code Appeals: No New Challenges To SBA OHA Decisions

A NAICS code appeal cannot validly be filed against a NAICS code designated by the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In a recent decision, SBA OHA held that when SBA OHA determines the appropriate NAICS code as the result of a NAICS code appeal, that NAICS code cannot itself be attacked in a new NAICS code appeal.  The message to prospective offerors: participate in the initial NAICS code appeal, or hold your peace.

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SBA OHA Lacks Jurisdiction Over Set-Aside Decisions

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals does not have jurisdiction to review a contracting officer’s decision not to set aside a procurement for small business.

In a recent decision, SBA OHA dismissed a contractor’s contention that the procuring agency should have set aside a procurement for small business–and rejected the contractor’s underlying legal argument, as well.

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SBA Doesn’t Fix Incorrect NAICS Code Regulation; Protester Pays The Price

A contractor’s NAICS code appeal was dismissed as untimely, even though it was filed within the time frame expressly established in an SBA regulation.

In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed its earlier ruling that a NAICS code appeal must be filed within ten calendar days, despite an SBA regulation establishing a filing deadline of ten business days.

SBA OHA’s decision isn’t surprising in light of its prior ruling.  However, in my mind, the decision raises a question of fundamental fairness: should protesters continue to be penalized for the SBA’s failure to fix its conflicting timeliness regulations?

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SBA OHA: Increased Competition Not Part of NAICS Code Decision

When designating the NAICS code for a solicitation, the procuring agency should not consider which NAICS code will help increase competition and decrease the risks of unsuccessful performance.

According to a recent decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, these factors should play no bearing on an agency’s NAICS code designation.  Instead, in most cases, the agency must select the NAICS code that best describes the principal purpose of the product or service being acquired.

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