Legal news and notes for small government contractors
Published by Koprince Law LLC | Edited by Shane J. McCall
Category Archives: SBA OHA Decisions
Includes decisions of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, including size appeal decisions, service-disabled veteran-owned small business appeal decisions, NAICS code appeal decisions, and women-owned small business appeal decisions.
Affiliation is a dirty word to small business federal government
contractors. For good reason: it can turn a small business into a large one and
destroy its eligibility for socioeconomic programs and set-aside contracts. Proactive
small business contractors, therefore, routinely audit their affiliation risks
and, if necessary, take actions to fracture that affiliation.
One of the ways a company might try to fracture affiliation is
to sell a division or business line to a third party. Because this division is
sold, the company might be tempted to assume that its corresponding revenues
are not considered as part of the affiliation analysis (under the former
A recent OHA decision, however, instructs that a division or line of business does not qualify under the former affiliate rule.
As I’m sure most other attorneys can commiserate with, I
often have a recurring nightmare that I miss a filing deadline. Doing so can lead
to terrible results: dismissed cases and, in some cases, sanctions against the
attorney. For this reason, we always check, double-check, and triple-check our
filing deadlines, and strive to file documents early, when possible.
Given my fear, I gain no pleasure in reading about missed
filing deadlines, especially when the goof is the subject of a matter outside
the attorney’s control.
But as a recent decision by the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals demonstrates, even the most sympathetic of excuses won’t excuse a late appeal filing.
The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals denied an SDVOSB-status protest recently where the protester’s main argument amounted to an allegation that the owner of a competitor failed to identify on social media that he had a service-related disability.
OHA called the allegation “completely without merit.”
OHA recently confirmed that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a NAICS code appeal regarding a GPO procurement, even though that procurement was conducted on behalf on the VA. OHA’s dismissal was based on the fact that GPO, a legislative branch agency, is not subject to the same rules as the executive agencies.
Several years ago, we argued that VA’s rule, requiring a veteran to devote herself full time to an SDVOSB during normal working hours, unnecessarily handicapped SDVOSB start-ups seeking CVE verification. This same requirement–though now in a slightly different form–continues to impede new businesses from obtaining verification, a key credential for many SDVOSBs. Beyond that, CVE’s application of the managerial experience requirement also poses a potential hurdle for incipient SDVOSBs.
Since being passed by Congress in late 2018, the Runway Extension Act has been the source of great confusion among small business contractors: would size under receipts-based NAICS codes be calculated under the 3-year calculation period set out in the SBA’s regulations, or under the new 5-year calculation period mandated by Congress?
In a decision just publicly released, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals has weighed in. As of now, the SBA will still calculate size under the 3-year calculation period.