Update: SBA Utah District Office Rescinds Questionable 8(a) JV Policy

The SBA’s Utah District Office has rescinded the questionable new restrictions on 8(a) mentor-protege agreements and joint ventures that the District Office imposed last month.

A brief email to Utah 8(a)s on May 5, which was forwarded to me by an industry connection, states “The Utah District Office hereby rescinds the e-mail dated April 21, 2016 regarding Mentor Protégé and Joint Venture relationships.”

No reason was given for the sudden change, but I think it’s the right call.

GAO: Protester Must Show Awardee’s “Specific Exception” to Subcontracting Limitation

A protester challenging an awardee’s compliance with the FAR’s limitation on subcontracting faces an uphill battle.

As explained in a recent GAO bid protest decision, an offeror’s compliance with the limitation on subcontracting is presumed; a protester, therefore, must present specific evidence demonstrating that the awardee will not comply with the limitation. In many cases–especially when the solicitation does not require offerors to provide a breakdown of costs of the work performed by the prime and its subcontractors–such evidence may be next to impossible to obtain.

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DoD Proposes Hotline Poster Consolidation

Defense contractors looking for a little more wall space to hang inspirational cat posters may be in luck.  Today, the DoD issued a proposal to consolidate the various hotline poster requirements under DFARS 252.203-7004 (Display of Hotline Posters).

The DoD proposal certainly doesn’t fall under the category of major contracting news, but will be a welcome change for contractors feeling a little overburdened with mandatory government posters.

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WOSBs, 8(a)s, Affiliation & More: My “Amtower Off-Center” Interview

The WOSB Program, 8(a) Program, and SBA affiliation rules were all on the agenda during my interview today with government contracts guru Mark Amtower on his popular radio show, Amtower Off-Center.

If you weren’t able to catch the show live, just click here to listen or download the audio from Federal News Radio.  And be sure to tune in every week as Mark talks government contracts with movers and shakers from industry and government alike.

Small Business Set-Asides: Two Small Manufacturers Required

When an agency acquires manufactured products or supplies, the agency need not set aside the solicitation for small businesses under the FAR’s “rule of two” unless the agency has a reasonable expectation of receiving offers from small businesses offering the products of two or more small manufacturers.

A recent GAO bid protest decision highlights a little-known provision of the FAR, which provides that the “rule of two” does not apply to acquisitions for manufactured products over $150,000 where two or more small business nonmanufacturers are likely to submit offers, but the small business nonmanufacturers will not offer the products of two or more small business manufacturers.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 2-6, 2016

We’d like to wish all of the mothers out there who read the SmallGovCon blog an early, but very happy, Mother’s Day.  Our early gift to you is this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review.  (Don’t get too jealous, fathers–we’ll have a similar gift for you in June).

This week brings an announcement that small businesses received over 25% of federal contracting dollars–but those statistics are under fire in a new lawsuit.  Also, we take a look at why some lawmakers are worried about small businesses being negatively impacted by category management, a pair of whistleblowers cash in with nearly $3 million dollars to settle claims of fraud, and much more.

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Missing Mentor-Protege Reauthorization Sinks 8(a) JV’s Bid

An 8(a) joint venture was unable to show that its mentor-protege agreement had been renewed by the SBA for a particular year–and the missing reauthorization caused the joint venture to be ineligible for a small business set-aside contract.

In a recent decision, the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals held that an 8(a) joint venture could not avail itself of the mentor-protege exemption from affiliation when there was no evidence to show that the SBA had renewed the mentor-protege relationship for the year in which the joint venture’s proposal was submitted.

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