SmallGovCon Week In Review January 28 – February 1, 2019

Happy February, everybody! After a bit of frigid weather here in Lawrence this past week (though not nearly as frigid as it was for our friends up north), we’re gearing up for a spring-like weekend. Don’t get too jealous: it’ll turn cold again just a few days later. Gotta love that Kansas weather!

Now that the federal government is open again (at least for now), let’s take a look at some of the post-shutdown news in this edition of the Week In Review. We’ll look at federal IT spending, mounting shutdown effects, and, as usual, some contractors behaving badly.

Have a great weekend!

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GAO Dismisses Untimely Protest Grounds, Incumbent Should Have Known of Pricing Issues Based on Debriefing

GAO will frequently dismiss protest grounds based on its strict timeliness rules, as we’ve written about before on the blog. Generally, GAO’s bid protest regulations require a contractor to file a protest within “10 days after the basis of protest is known or should have been known.”

But sometimes knowing when a protest ground is untimely can be difficult. For instance, where a protester should have known the basis for protest based on an inference from a debriefing response and its incumbent knowledge, does that debriefing start the 10-day protest clock running? A recent GAO decision answers that question in the affirmative.

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GAO Finds that FEMA Reasonably Evaluated Stafford Act Set-Aside Eligibility

You’ve likely heard of small business set-asides, SDVOSB set-asides, 8(a) Program set-asides, HUBZone set-asides, and other set-aside categories regulated, for the most part, by the Small Business Administration. But have you ever heard of a Stafford Act set-aside?

If not, you might want to keep reading about GAO’s recent analysis where it assessed whether the awardee was eligible for the Stafford Act set-aside.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 21 – January 25, 2019

It has been a bit of a double-whammy for us in the Kansas City-area this week. Not only did our Chiefs lose in a heartbreaker last weekend, but we’ve also been dealing with cold temperatures, snow, and ice.

But there is also some good news. As we’re writing this post, word came down that the government will soon reopen (if only temporarily). To all our friends that work for or with the federal government, we’re thrilled that you’ll soon be back at work.

With that, let’s take a look at the week-that-was in federal government contracting. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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“Eliminate Most DoD Small Business Set-Asides,” Says Section 809 Panel

The Section 809 Panel has recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel would replace the longstanding set-aside system with a meager five percent small business price preference.

For small government contractors, this recommendation is the policy equivalent of a five-alarm fire. Small contractors may need to fight hard to save the set-aside system.

Get ready for a battle.

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OHA Rules that Size Protest Wasn’t Five Years Too Late

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, if you want to initiate a size protest, you generally must do so within 5 business days after the contracting officer notifies you of the prospective awardee’s identity.

But what happens if, after learning that you did not receive the award, the agency does something that suggests its award decision wasn’t final–e.g., reopens discussions with offerors and seeks revised proposals? Would your size protest still be late if didn’t file within the 5-day time frame?

Take a guess. And keep reading to find out the answer!

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