GAO: 45-Minute Bid Confirmation Deadline Was Unreasonable

A procuring agency acted unreasonably by leaving a voicemail for a winning bidder requiring confirmation of the bid within 45 minutes of the voicemail.

In a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO found that the winning bidder had already confirmed its bid by responding to a Bid Validation request sent by the FedBid electronic reverse auction system.  Under these circumstances, the agency’s second request for a bid validation–with a very short response time–was improper.

Continue reading…

Subcontracting Plan Discrepancy Proves Costly To EAGLE II Offeror

A discrepancy in a business’s subcontracting plan may have cost the offeror its shot at a position on the enterprise acquisition gateway for leading-edge solutions II IDIQ contract.

As demonstrated in a recent GAO bid protest, the business was downgraded on the small business participation factor because of a discrepancy in its proposal regarding subcontracting with SDVOSBs.  Without the discrepancy, the large business might have landed a slot on EAGLE II.

Continue reading…

8(a) Fraudster Hit With 42-Month Prison Sentence

A federal judge has sentenced a Maryland man to 42 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining contracts under the 8(a) Program.

According to a Department of Justice press release, after Vernon J. Smith III serves his prison sentence, he will be subject to three years of supervised release.  And on top of the prison sentence, the federal judge ordered Smith to pay more than $7 million in restitution and forfeiture.

Continue reading…

SBA Proposed Rule Would Allow PTAC and SBDC Size Status Opinions

Small Business Development Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers would be permitted to issue advisory small business size status opinions under a proposed rule published last week by the SBA.

The proposed rule, which implements a section of the 2013 National Defense Advisory Act, establishes a “safe harbor” from fraudulent misrepresentation penalties for a small business that obtains an advisory size opinion from a SBDC or PTAC.  But the proposed rule acknowledges that SBDCs and PTACs are not required to provide such advisory opinions–and that new funding will not be awarded for this purpose.

Continue reading…

Proposal Re-Evaluation: Protester’s Scores Could Be Lower Than In Original Evaluation

When a procuring agency re-evaluates proposals in response to a protest, the agency need not stick with the results of the original evaluation.

As demonstrated in a recent GAO bid protest decision, when an agency re-evaluates proposals, it is expected that the re-evaluation could result in different findings and conclusions–including new conclusions that are not favorable to the protester.

Continue reading…

SBA OHA: 42%-49% Of Revenues Did Not Create Economic Dependence Affiliation

A small business was not affiliated with its largest customer under the SBA’s economic dependence affiliation rule, even though the small business earned as much as 49% of its revenues from the alleged affiliate–and even though the small business’s SEC Annual Report stated that the small business was dependent on its customer.

SBA OHA’s decision indicates that receiving less than 70% of revenues from an alleged affiliate may not, absent other indicia of affiliation, establish affiliation under the economic dependence rule.

Continue reading…

Rule Of Two: Small Business’s Notification Of Interest Was Too Late

A small business’s expression of interest in a solicitation came too late to affect the agency’s set-aside decision under the so-called “rule of two,” even though there was no indication that the small business knew about the requirement early enough to affect the set-aside decision.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency was not required to consider a small business’s expression of interest when that expression of interest occurred after the RFQ was released.  Although the GAO may have been correct as a matter of law, the result is still discouraging, because nothing in the GAO’s decision indicated that the small business knew (or should have known) of the requirement before the agency issued the RFQ.

Continue reading…