The FAR’s threshold for meeting the so-called “Rule of Two” for small business set-asides is “purposefully low,” according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In Adams & Associates, Inc. v. The United States, No. 12-731C (2013), the Court rejected a challenge to a small business set-aside, holding in part that a contracting officer need not conduct a thorough responsibility evaluation of prospective small business offerors before issuing a set-aside.
If a contractor ends up on the losing end of a SBA size protest, the contractor has the right to appeal to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals. The problem is that SBA OHA size appeals can take months. A contracting officer may be unwilling to wait, and simply award the contract to the next company in line.
Neither the FAR nor the SBA’s regulations require the contracting officer to suspend award or performance pending SBA OHA’s decision. However, as a recent case demonstrates, if the SBA OHA appeal has a reasonable likelihood of success, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims may issue an injunction prohibiting the procuring agency from awarding the contract pending the result of the SBA OHA size appeal.
As many service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses have discovered, the VA CVE believes that so-called “right of first refusal” provisions prevent veterans from freely selling or transferring their ownership interests. Because such transfer restrictions are commonplace in standard corporate bylaws and operating agreements, countless SDVOSBs have been denied VA CVE verification for including them.
Those days may be over.
In a decision released to the public late last week, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that the VA OSDBU had erred by sustaining a SDVOSB eligibility protest on the basis of the company’s right of first refusal provision. That decision, Miles Construction, LLC v. United States, No. 12-597C (2013), also includes other important rulings on the scope of “unconditional” ownership and the VA OSDBU’s evaluation of SDVOSB eligibility protests.
The government was not required to exercise option years in a “long term” contract to lease aircraft, according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In Sundowner 102 LLC v. United States, No. 12-304C (2013), the Court held that the use of the words “long term” in a contract did not limit the government’s discretion to decline to exercise option years.
For a procuring agency, is there anything worse than being schooled on principles of timeliness and fairness by a federal judge?
As the Department of Veterans Affairs found out in a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, there is something that may be worse: being schooled by a federal judge repeatedly quoting from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the 1865 book by Lewis Carroll.
A procuring agency was not required to consider the past performance of an offeror judged to be technically unacceptable, according to a recent bid protest decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In The Alamo Travel Group, LP v. The United States, No. 12-764C (2012), the Court rejected an incumbent contractor’s argument that an agency could not properly exclude the incumbent’s proposal without first considering its past performance–which, the incumbent argued, would demonstrate its ability to successfully perform the contract.