The Supreme Court’s now-famous Kingdomware decision doesn’t affect the timeliness of SBA size protests of GSA Schedule orders.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals rejected the notion–based in part on Kingdomware–that an GSA Schedule order is a “contract” for purposes of the SBA’s size protest timeliness rules. Instead, OHA held, the SBA’s existing rules clearly distinguish between contracts and orders, and often effectively do not permit size protests of individual orders.
The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals reaffirmed recently that a business need not manufacture the most expensive component of an item in order to be considered its manufacturer.
Rather, under the SBA’s size rules, a company may be considered a manufacturer if it adds important functionality to the end product, even if the proportion of total dollar value added by the company is relatively small.
In determining whether a prime contractor and subcontractor are affiliated under the ostensible subcontractor rule, the SBA is supposed to consider the totality of the relationship between the parties. But when it comes to determining whether the ostensible subcontractor rule has been violated, not all components of the prime/subcontractor relationship are created equal.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that there are “four key factors” that are strongly suggestive of ostensible subcontractor affiliation–especially if the subcontractor will perform a large percentage of the overall contract work.
An offeror with a “relatively weak proposal” can nonetheless file a size protest challenging the small business eligibility of the prospective awardee, provided that the protester was not found technically unacceptable or otherwise incapable of being selected for award.
In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the mere fact that the protester was evaluated as “less than satisfactory” on four out of five non-price factors did not justify dismissing the protester’s size protest for lack of standing.
Businesses controlled by brothers were presumed affiliated under the SBA’s affiliation rules.
In a recent size determination, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that a contractor was affiliated with companies controlled by its largest owners’ brother, even though the companies had only minimal business dealings. OHA’s decision highlights the “familial relationships” affiliation rule, which can often trip up even sophisticated contractors–but the decision, which was based on a March 2016 size determination request, did not take into account changes to that regulation that went into effect a few months later.
When the SBA evaluates a size protest, it is not required to investigate issues outside of those raised in the size protest itself.
A recent decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals demonstrates the importance of submitting a thorough initial size protest–and confirms that the SBA need not investigate issues outside of the allegations raised in the protest.
The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals lacks jurisdiction to consider whether an entity owned by an Indian tribe or Alaska Native Corporation has obtained a substantial unfair competitive advantage within an industry.
In a recent size appeal case, OHA acknowledged that an unfair competitive advantage is an exception to the special affiliation rules that tribally-owned companies ordinarily enjoy–but held that only the SBA Administrator has the power to determine that an Indian tribe or ANC has obtained, or will obtain, such an unfair advantage.