SBA’s regulations provide that an 8(a) program participant that no longer is owned or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged person can be terminated from the 8(a) program. But the decision to terminate is not one to be made lightly: SBA must make sure that it not only has evidence in support of its termination decision, it must also explain how that evidence demonstrates its conclusions.
This requirement was at issue in a recent court decision that found an SBA 8(a) program termination decision to be based on “numerous erroneous assumptions” and “unsupported conclusions, not substantial evidence.”
An honest mistake made in a company’s 8(a) Program application may not support termination of the company from the 8(a) Program.
In a recent decision, the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the SBA could not validly terminate an 8(a) participant for submitting false information in the 8(a) application because the SBA had not considered whether the 8(a) participant honestly, and reasonably, believed that she was not required to report the information.
A participant in the SBA’s 8(a) program must obtain the SBA’s prior approval before switching its business structure–or else.
Case in point: recently, an 8(a) participant was terminated from the 8(a) program because it switched its corporate structure from a corporation to a limited liability company without the SBA’s prior approval.
When it comes to the regulations governing small government contractors, lateness can lead to tough consequences. For instance, responding late to a small business size protest might cause the SBA to conclude that the contractor is a large business, and a late proposal submission can get a bid tossed out.
Lateness can also lead to severe consequences within the SBA 8(a) program. In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the SBA properly terminated an 8(a) program participant because the participant had failed to submit a complete 8(a) annual report–months after the deadline had passed.
An 8(a) firm’s failure to actively pursue its business has caused the SBA to terminate the firm from the 8(a) program.
Upholding the termination, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals noted that if an 8(a) firm’s fails to make substantial and sustained efforts to obtain business, the SBA is justified in kicking the firm out of the 8(a) program.
A participant in the SBA’s 8(a) Program was appropriately terminated because the company’s disadvantaged owner took another full-time job without the SBA’s permission.
The recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision upholding the termination is an important reminder of the limitations on outside employment for 8(a) owners–as well as a reminder of the importance to 8(a) firms of ongoing honesty and forthrightness with the SBA.
SBA 8(a) participants need not obtain the SBA’s prior approval of prime/subcontractor teaming agreements, according to an SBA statement made in a GAO bid protest case.
The SBA’s position makes sense, because the SBA’s regulations only call for prior approval of joint venture agreements. However, one former 8(a) company might be hopping mad over the SBA’s stated position, because that company was terminated from the 8(a) program for–you guessed it–failing to obtain the SBA’s prior approval of a teaming agreement.