Despite its VA VetBiz verification, a small business was recently found ineligible for a Navy SDVOSB set-aside, in a decision issued by the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.
The SBA’s decision stands as a warning that SDVOSB verification does not guarantee SDVOSB eligibility–especially when an eligibility protest arises under a non-VA procurement.
A procuring agency’s decision to take corrective action in response to a GAO bid protest did not extend the standard five-business day deadline to file a SBA size protest.
This was the decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals in a recent SBA size appeal case, in which SBA OHA held that a size protest was untimely when it was filed within five business days of the agency’s notification, after taking corrective action, that it would reaffirm its award to the protested contractor.
The SBA refused to address a vague SDVOSB protest on its merits–even when the protester attempted to introduce new supporting evidence as part of its appeal.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals upheld the SBA’s decision to toss out the vague SDVOSB protest. SBA OHA held that in order for a SDVOSB protest to be viable, it must set forth information or evidence supporting the protester’s allegations.
A history of close ties between companies does not mean that the companies are presently affiliated, according to a recent size appeal decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.
In Size Appeal of A&H Contractors, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5459 (2013), SBA OHA overturned a finding of affiliation because most of the ties relied upon by the SBA Area Office had been severed before the applicable date for determining size.
In a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals size decision, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business’s operating agreement caused affiliation under the SBA’s affiliation rules, despite the fact that the majority owner was also labeled as the 51% manager.
SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Washington Patriot Construction, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5447 (2013) shows the importance of carefully drafting a small business’s corporate operating agreements or bylaws to prevent affiliation with other companies controlled by the small business’s minority owners.
Last month, I wrote about the successful 8(a) program appeal filed by Gearhart Construction Services. In its decision, SBA OHA held that the SBA had misevaluated Gearhart on the “social disadvantage” factor, including by holding Gearhart to a too-high standard of proof. SBA OHA ordered the SBA to correct its errors and take another look at Gearhart’s application.
Now I can report that Gearhart’s story has a happy ending. On April 11, the SBA notified Gearhart that it had been admitted to the 8(a) program. SBA OHA then dismissed Gearhart’s appeal as moot, because Gearhart and achieved its goal.
Sometimes, gaining admission to the 8(a) program requires tenacity and a continued belief in one’s case, even when the SBA’s 8(a) office has repeatedly denied the application. Gearhart’s perseverance paid off, and the company now has nine years to reap the rewards.
A contractor’s economic dependence on another company can cause affiliation under the SBA affiliation rules, but economic dependence can also be a major problem when a company applies for 8(a) program certification.
As demonstrated in a recent decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, if an 8(a) program applicant has received most of its revenues from another company, the SBA may find that the applicant is economically dependent on the other company–and therefore, ineligible for admission to the 8(a) program.