The government can terminate a contract when the Department of Labor has made a preliminary finding of non-compliance with the Service Contract Act, even if the contractor has not exhausted its remedies fighting or appealing the finding.
The 3-0 (unanimous) decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in Puget Sound Environmental Corp., ASBCA No. 58828 (July 12, 2016) is troubling because it could result in other contractors losing their contracts based on preliminary DOL findings–perhaps even if those preliminary findings are later overturned.
The SBA has released a sample template mentor-protege agreement, and accompanying application information, for its new “all small” mentor-protege program.
The template calls for the parties to select from up to six categories of assistance that the mentor may provide, and requires the parties to set forth specific details about the nature of the planned assistance, the timeline for providing it, and milestones for measuring success. The application form, in turn, requires the protege to have a written business plan, and will require mentors and proteges to complete an online training module if they apply after November 1, 2016.
The Department of Defense is proposing a major overhaul of the regulations governing its “pilot” mentor-protege program for small businesses.
The proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2016, makes a number of important changes, including adding new eligibility criteria, placing limits on the amount of time a protege can participate in the program, adding new required elements to mentor-protege agreements, and much more.
The SBA’s new “all small” mentor-protege program will begin accepting applications on October 1, 2016–but applicants will have to contact the SBA for an application form.
After November 1, 2016, the SBA will be processing electronic applications through its certify.sba.gov website.
A protester’s failure to be specific enough in an SDVOSB status protest will result in dismissal of the protest.
The decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals in Jamaica Bearings Company, SBA No. VET-257 (Aug. 9, 2016), reinforces the SBA’s rule concerning specificity in filing a service disabled veteran-owned status protest. The rule provides, “[p]rotests must be in writing and must specify all the grounds upon which the protest is based. A protest merely asserting that the protested concern is not an eligible SDVOSB, without setting forth specific facts or allegations is insufficient.”
Circle October 1, 2016 on your calendar: that’s when the SBA will begin accepting applications for its new universal small business mentor-protege program.
According to the SBA’s new website for the small business mentor-protege program, applications will only be accepted through the SBA’s certify.sba.gov portal. The SBA’s new website also has an overview on the small business mentor-protege program itself and a discussion of the eligibility requirements for the program.
For prospective mentors and proteges alike, there’s no time to waste in order to take immediate advantage of the new mentor-protege program. Watch this space for additional information as the SBA makes it available.
With the finalization of the new SBA Small Business Mentor Protégé Program, other agencies without statutorily-authorized mentor-protege programs must seek SBA approval of their mentor-protege programs within one year, if they wish those programs to continue.
In a final rule scheduled to be effective August 24, 2016, the SBA questioned the need for other agencies (except the Department of Defense) to continue to operate their own mentor-protege programs, but provided a road map for agencies to preserve their separate mentor-protege programs if they wish.