SBA OHA Size Appeals: Appellants Should Verify Email Receipt

A size appeal filed with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals may be submitted by email, but it is up to the appellant to verify that its email was received.

As demonstrated in a recent size appeal decision, OHA will dismiss an appeal that is not received by OHA within 15 days of the appellant’s receipt of a size determination–even if the appellant attempted to send the size appeal by email during the 15-day window.

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Simplified Acquisition Threshold To $500,000? House Proposes Huge Increase

The simplified acquisition threshold would increase to $500,000 under the version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act currently before the U.S. House of Representatives.

If the House proposal ultimately becomes law, the simplified acquisition threshold would more than triple from its current $150,00 level.  Such a dramatic increase in the simplified acquisition threshold could affect nearly all federal contractors–especially small businesses.

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Non-Manufacturer Rule Confusion: House Proposes Fix

Many small contractors (and the SBA) were surprised when the Court of Federal Claims held last year that the non-manufacturer rule applies any time the government buys manufactured products–regardless of the NAICS code assigned to the procurement.

Now the U.S. House of Representatives is proposing to fix the confusion caused by the Court’s decision.  The House version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act would amend the Small Business Act to specify that the non-manufacturer rule applies only to contracts for supplies.

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Subcontractor Price Proposals: A Cautionary Tale

Subcontractors sometimes prefer to submit their cost or price proposals directly to the government, instead of submitting their cost or pricing information through the prime contractor.  In cases where a procuring agency allows it, such independent submissions can ease a subcontractor’s concerns about disclosing sensitive information to the prime contractor.

But when a subcontractor circumvents the prime contractor and independently submits its pricing, the prime contractor is unable to review the subcontractor’s proposal to ensure that it complies with the terms of the solicitation.  As demonstrated in a recent GAO bid protest decision, if the subcontractor’s proposal is non-compliant, the entire team may pay the price.

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WOSB Self-Certification Elimination: The SBA Weighs In

The SBA has acknowledged that Congress eliminated WOSB self-certification in the 2015 NDAA–but suggests that WOSB self-certification may continue until the SBA adopts a regulatory framework for a formal certification program.

In a proposed rule released today, the SBA adopts a pragmatic approach that nonetheless may be legally problematic given that Congress did not authorize a continuation of WOSB self-certification pending SBA regulatory action.

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Compliant, Winning Teams: A Three-Part Webinar

Teaming and joint venturing are essential components of success for many small government contractors, and the emphasis on teaming is increasing in light of the SBA’s proposed rule allowing “similarly situated entities” to join together to pursue prime contracts.  But teaming and joint venturing are not without risks–there are many unique rules that must be followed, and many pitfalls for the unwary.

That is why I am very pleased to announced that I am joining with the Government Contractors Resource Network to present a three-part webinar series on compliant and effective teaming.  Directed at small contractors, this series will begin with an overview of the rules and regulations governing teaming.  The series will continue with a discussion of how to prepare effective and compliant teaming agreements, subcontracts, and joint venture agreements.  The series will wrap up with an in-depth discussion of federal mentor-protege programs, including the SBA’s new proposed “universal” mentor-protege program.

The first webinar will broadcast on June 19, and the others will follow on June 23 and 25.  To register, or for more information, visit the GCRN website.  I hope to see you (virtually, anyway) this summer.