SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 29 – February 2, 2018

I’m back in the office from my great trip to Nashville for the 2018 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference. This weekend, I’m looking forward to watching the Super Bowl and cheering on the Eagles (or rather, with apologies to our New England-based clients, cheering against the Patriots).

Before we prepare for hours of football and outlandish commercials, let’s recap what went on this week in the world of government contracting. This week, we take a look at why it’s a good time to be a federal contractor, why RFIs may be a waste of time and money, a financial fraud case involving a scheme to falsely secure more than $13.8 million in SDVOSB contracts, and much more.

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Thank You, 8(a)s!

I am back in Lawrence after a wonderful three days at the National 8(a) Association 2018 Small Business Conference in Nashville.  I was part of a great panel on Wednesday on the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protege Program, and spent a lot of time on the trade show floor talking about government contracts with 8(a)s, government leaders, and large businesses.

A big “thank you” to Ron Perry, Paula Arevalo, and the rest of the National 8(a) Association for inviting me to participate in this fantastic event.  Thank you, also, to everyone who attended my panel or stopped by the Koprince Law LLC booth to say hello.  It was great to see so many familiar faces and make many new connections.

I’ll be sticking close to home in February, but head to sunny Florida in early March for the APTAC Spring Conference.  PTAC counselors, I look forward to seeing you there!

Why Do People Keep Stealing My Books at GovCon Conferences?

It happened again this morning.  I was at a government contracts conference (which was great, by the way), and stepped away from my trade show booth for a few minutes.

While I was gone, someone stole one of my display copies of Government Contracts Joint Ventures, our new GovCon Handbook.  It’s not the first time a display copy of one of my books has been pilfered at an industry event.  Why do people keep stealing my books at government contracts conferences?

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SBA Proposes Consolidated SDVOSB Eligibility Rules

The SBA has released its proposed consolidated rule for SDVOSB eligibility, which was published in the Federal Register today.  Once the rule becomes final, it will apply government-wide, to both VA and non-VA SDVOSB contracts.

For SDVOSBs, a uniform set of rules is a very good thing.  There has been far too much chaos and confusion under the current system, in which the SBA and VA have different SDVOSB eligibility requirements.  But how about the substance of the proposal itself?  Well, there are certainly some things to like–and some areas that could use improvement.

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Strict GAO Timeliness Rules Apply to Supplemental Protests

GAO interprets its bid protest timeliness rules very strictly, as readers of this blog will know. These timeliness rules typically pertain to the initial protest, but are equally important when a protester files a supplemental protest. Often, supplemental protests are filed after the protester receives the agency’s response and comes to learn new information that wasn’t previously available.

If a supplemental protest raises allegations independent of those set forth in the initial protest, the supplemental protest must independently satisfy GAO’s strict timeliness rules. A recent GAO decision shows how easy it can be to slip up on these deadlines when considering a supplemental protest.

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GAO: Evaluation of Affiliate’s Past Performance is Optional

In its past performance evaluation, an agency typically can consider the past performance of an offeror’s affiliate, so long as the offeror’s proposal demonstrates that the resources of the affiliate will affect contract performance.

But, as demonstrated in a recent GAO decision involving an Alaska Native Corporation subsidiary, ordinarily there is no requirement that an agency consider an affiliate’s past performance.  In other words, unless the solicitation speaks to the issue, the agency’s consideration of an affiliate’s past performance is optional.

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