Small Business Wins Contract Despite “Unacceptable” Key Personnel Score

A small business received an “unacceptable” score for its key personnel, but nevertheless was awarded the contract after the matter was referred to the SBA under the Certificate of Competency procedures.

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims demonstrates the breadth and power of the so-called “COC” process, which can allow an otherwise “unacceptable” business to wind up in the winner’s circle.

Continue reading

GAO: Agency Properly Refused SBA COC Time Extension

A contracting agency is not required withhold a contract award so that the SBA has more time to process a Certificate of Competency, even when the SBA itself asks for an extension.

The Government Accountability Office decided recently that it was reasonable for an agency to move ahead with an award while the SBA was still in the process of determining the competency of a small business that lost out on the contract.

Continue reading

FedBid And The SBA: My Interview With Francis Rose

Earlier this month, the GAO sustained two protests filed by Latvian Connection LLC–one on a State Department procurement and one on a Department of Interior procurement–because Latvian Connection’s FedBid usage had been suspended.  The GAO held that this was improper because the matter had not been referred to the SBA under the SBA’s Certificate of Competency program.

Yesterday, I appeared on In Depth With Francis Rose to discuss the Latvian Connection cases.  Please follow this link to listen to the audio of my interview, and don’t forget to tune in to Federal News Radio every weekday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. for Francis’s top-notch show.

GAO Doubles Down On FedBid/COC Ruling

The GAO has sustained a second protest based upon FedBid’s suspension of a contractor from its system.

For the second time in less than one week, the GAO held that the contractor’s suspension from FedBid–and resulting inability to bid on a contract–was improper because the matter was not referred to the SBA under the SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures.

Continue reading

Small Business’s FedBid Suspension Was Improper, Says GAO

The suspension of a small business’s FedBid account was improper because the matter was not referred to the SBA under the SBA’s certificate of competency procedures.

In an important decision for small businesses participating in reverse auctions, the GAO recently held that FedBid could not properly suspend a small business’s user account for a supposed lack of “business integrity,” thereby causing the small business to be ineligible to bid on a federal solicitation, without a referral to the SBA.

Continue reading

Non-Manufacturer Rule: Foreign-Made Products Didn’t Qualify

A contractor did not qualify as a small business under the non-manufacturer rule where it proposed to sell foreign-made products–even though the contractor itself was well below the solicitation’s 500-employee size standard.

In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that a contractor was ineligible to be awarded a small business set-aside contract for manufactured products because the products were to be manufactured in Turkey.

Continue reading

Agency Doesn’t Make SBA COC Referral; GAO Sustains Protest

A procuring agency erred by essentially assigning a small business a failing past performance score without referring the matter to the SBA.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the assignment of a failing past performance score under a past/fail system constituted a non-responsibility determination–and that the SBA was entitled to review the agency’s determination under the SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures.

Continue reading