WOSB Program: Sole Source Contracts are Coming!

Just in time for the holidays, there is good news for WOSBs–sole source contracts are coming!

If you have followed SmallGovCon over the past week, you have seen a few posts about changes made to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act since the bill was initially passed by the House in May.  But one piece of the original House bill has remained intact: the final 2015 NDAA allows WOSBs and EDWOSBs to receive sole source contracts.

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WOSB Program: 2015 NDAA Eliminates Self-Certification

With little fanfare, Congress just passed legislation eliminating the ability of WOSBs to self-certify for purposes of WOSB set-aside contracts.

The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act rewrites the portion of the Small Business Act governing WOSB set-asides, deleting what I have called the “trust but verify” option: the ability for putative WOSBs to self-certify as such, then back up their self-certifications by submitting supporting documentation to the WOSB Document Repository.  Instead, the 2015 NDAA would appear to require a formal certification in order for a small business to be awarded a WOSB set-aside contract.

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8(a) Subcontracting Limitations: Compliance Oversight Lacking

Compliance with the limitations on subcontracting are not adequately being monitored by the contracting officers responsible for 8(a) contracts, according to a recent GAO report.

After reviewing a representative sample of ten 8(a) contracts, the GAO determined that contracting officers effectively monitored subcontracting limit compliance on two of those contracts.  In other cases, agency contracting officers failed to effectively monitor compliance, even in situations presenting a heightened risk of potential violations–such as where ineligible incumbents were serving as subcontractors.

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SAM Registration: What The Heck Is An “Immediate Owner?”

Government contractors who have attempted to recently register or re-register in the SAM database have been confronted with new questions asking about an “immediate owner” and a “higher-level owner.”  These new SAM questions have caused some confusion about what information, if any, a contractor must provide in SAM with respect to an “immediate owner” or “higher-level owner.”

The new questions originate in a recent amendment to the FAR, which requires all SAM registrants, if owned by another entity, to identify that entity by legal name, CAGE code, and type of ownership.  This blog post breaks down the new rule and explains when this rule will come into play.

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Reverse Auctions: House-Passed NDAA Prohibits Use on Many Small Business Procurements

Reverse auctions would be prohibited for many small business procurements under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which has been passed by the House of Representatives.

Under the bill, reverse auctions would be disallowed when the government seeks to award a “covered contract,” so long as the contract is suitable for small businesses or is set-aside under one of many small business preference programs.

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Government Meets FY 13 Small Business Goal; HUBZones and WOSBs Fall Short

Small businesses were awarded 23.39% of prime contracting dollars in Fiscal Year 2013, a jump of more than a percentage point from FY 2012 levels–and above the 23% government-wide goal for the first time in several years.

According to the recently-released SBA Procurement Scorecard, the government exceeded its goals for SDVOSBs and SDBs, but failed to hit its targets for HUBZones and WOSBs.  Despite these shortfalls, the SBA gave the government an overall “A” rating for its FY 2013 performance.

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Small Business Subcontractors: Accelerated Payment Policy Extended

The Office of Management and Budget has extended a policy aimed at providing accelerated payments to small business subcontractors.  Without an extension, the policy would have expired last week.

According to an OMB memorandum announcing the extension, the policy will remain in effect until December 31, 2016.  In the meantime, the memo states, the FAR Council is “considering strategies that might be used over the longer term to help maintain effective cash flow and prompt payment to small business subcontractors.”