Thank You, APTAC!

I am back in Lawrence after a great trip to Washington, DC, where I spoke at the Association of Procurement Assistance Centers Fall Conference.  My talk was originally supposed to focus on the November 9 oral arguments in the Kingdomware SDVOSB case, but that didn’t exactly go as planned.  So in addition to an update on Kingdomware, I also discussed the VA’s proposed overhaul of its SDVOSB program regulations, as well as the latest news on the women-owned small business program.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and have the chance to talk to so many PTAC counselors.  A big thank you to Becky Peterson, Chuck Spence, Chuck Schadl, Jason Porch, and the rest of the APTAC leadership for inviting me to speak, and thank you to all the PTAC-ers who got up bright and early to attend my 7:30 a.m. presentation.  As always, you were a fantastic audience.

If you are a small business, you may be surprised at the many ways that your local PTAC can help you–usually free of charge.  Visit the APTAC website to get started.  As for me, I only have a couple days at home before I hit the road again, this time for the National Veterans Small Business Engagement in Pittsburgh.  If you will be at NVSBE 2015, I hope you’ll check out my Learning Sessions.

GAO: SBA’s Five-Day 8(a) Eligibility Deadline Applies To JVs

Before an agency can award an 8(a) contract, the prospective awardee must first be deemed eligible for award under the 8(a) business development program criteria by the Small Business Administration. The SBA has a tight deadline to make this determination—a mere five days.

But what happens when the SBA’s eligibility evaluation is more complicated than a determination of whether the awardee meets the program’s basic eligibility requirements? The GAO recently addressed this issue in FedServ-RBS JV, LLC, B-411790 (Oct. 26, 2015), where the GAO held that the applicable regulations do not require the agency to stay its proposed award beyond five days pending the SBA’s approval of an 8(a) joint venture agreement. Continue reading…

SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 2-6, 2015

As another week ends, I am getting ready for a trip to Washington DC next week to speak at the APTAC 2015 Fall Training Conference (my plans to attend Supreme Court oral arguments in the Kingdomware case were spoiled at the last minute).

SDVOSB news dominated government contracting headlines this week, but there was plenty more going on.  This week, the SmallGovCon Week In Review takes a look at what contract consolidation means for contractors, a fraud and cover up scheme that is wrapping up, another case of a contractor trying to swindle money from the government and more.

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SDVOSBs And VOSBs: I’ll See You At NVSBE 2015

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting three Learning Sessions at the 2015 National Veterans Small Business Engagement in Pittsburgh.

My first session, Joint Venturing and Teaming on SDVOSB Set-Aside Contracts, will take place on November 17 at 11:10 a.m. in Room 333.  The second session, The SBA’s Proposed New “Universal” Mentor-Protege Program, will be that same day at 3:10 p.m. in Room 413.  The third session, Is My Company a “Non-Manufacturer”–The Ins and Outs of the Non-Manufacturer Rule will be held on November 18 at 11:10 a.m. in Room 413.

If you will be attending NVSBE 2015, I hope you’ll make it to my Learning Sessions.  See you at the conference!

VA Proposes SDVOSB Program Overhaul

The VA is proposing a major overhaul to its SDVOSB program regulations–including the rules governing ownership and control.

In a proposed rule released today, the VA is seeking to “find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified.”  And while the proposal isn’t perfect, it looks like a step in the right direction.

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(Another) Kingdomware Shocker: Oral Argument Suspended

The Kingdomware SDVOSB/VOSB Supreme Court case, which had been scheduled for an oral argument on Monday November 9, is suddenly in a state of limbo.  In an order issued today, the Supreme Court yanked the case from its docket.  The Court directed the parties to submit briefs on whether the contracts in question have been fully performed, and if so, whether full performance renders the case moot.

For Kingdomware and veteran-owned companies everywhere, this is extremely troubling news.  If the Court believes that the case is moot, it will be dismissed–meaning that Kingdomware would lose the war without even getting its day in court.

Briefs from both sides are due November 20, and each side may reply by December 1.  I will keep you posted.

GAO: No OCI Where Information Wasn’t Competitively Useful

Access to corporate information on another contract will not result in an information organizational conflict of interest when the information accessed is not competitively useful to the present solicitation.

As a bid protester recently discovered in DV United, LLC, B-411620, B-411620.2 (Sept. 16, 2015), the mere fact that the successful offeror had access to one of its team member’s information on another government contract did not result in an information organizational conflict of interest because the information was not competitively useful.

Continue reading…