VA Considering “Tiered Evaluations” To Address SDVOSB Price Concerns

The VA is considering using so-called “tiered evaluations” to address concerns that SDVOSBs and VOSBs may not always offer “fair and reasonable” pricing, even when two or more veteran-owned companies compete for a contract.

In a session yesterday at the National Veterans Small Business Engagement, a panel of VA acquisition leaders described the potential tiered evaluation process.  It’s hard to argue that the VA isn’t entitled to fair and reasonable pricing, but judging from the reaction in the room, some SDVOSBs and VOSBs may wonder whether tiered evaluations are an effort to circumvent Kingdomware.

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Economic Dependence Affiliation: A One-Way Street

Under the SBA’s economic dependence affiliation rule, two companies can be deemed affiliated when one company is responsible for a large portion of the other company’s revenues over time.  But must both companies count one another as affiliates—or does the rule only apply when the recipient’s size is challenged?

A recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals case answers these questions: when a company is economically dependent upon another company, it is affiliated with the company on which it depends, but the opposite is not true. In other words, economic dependence affiliation is a one-way street.

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PPQs Submitted Late? “No Problem,” Says GAO–At Least In One Case

While being fashionably late to a party may give the impression that one is a busy and popular person that was held up with other business, being fashionably late in federal contracting will typically have dire consequences.

However, a recent GAO bid protest decision demonstrates that when providing completed past performance questionnaires, or PPQs, being fashionably late may be acceptable – at least when the references were submitted directly by government officials, rather than the offeror.

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SmallGovCon Weeks In Review: November 20-December 1, 2017

As we step into December, I am looking forward the 2017 National Veterans Small Business Engagement conference next week. The NVSBE is one of my favorite annual government contracting events.  If you’ll be in St. Louis next week, please stop by the Koprince Law LLC booth to say hello.

SmallGovCon Week in Review took a break last week for the Thanksgiving holiday, so today’s edition covers government contracting news and notes from the past two weeks.  In this edition, several companies have protested the GSA’s recent Alliant 2 awards, two whistleblowers receive a big payout after uncovering procurement fraud, GAO bid protests declined in 2017 (while the effectiveness rate of protests went up), and much more.

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GAO Suspends Protester–Again–For “Abusive Litigation Practices”

The GAO has suspended a protester for “abusive litigation practices,” for the second time.

Last year, the GAO suspended Latvian Connection LLC from participating in the GAO bid protest process for one year, after the firm filed 150 protests in the course of a single fiscal year.  Now, citing “derogatory and abusive allegations,” among many other concerns, the GAO has re-imposed its suspension–this time, for two years.

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GAO: Agencies May Consider Outside Past Performance Information

When an agency requests that offerors provide past performance references, the agency ordinarily is not precluded from considering outside past performance information.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that an agency’s past performance evaluation may include information outside the past performance references submitted by the offeror–and the agency can use any negative past performance information to downgrade the offeror’s score.

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