Indian tribes, their holding companies, and companies owned by those holding companies are entitled to broad exceptions from the ordinary SBA affiliation rules, according to a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals size appeal decision.
SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Roundhouse PBN, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5383 (2012), holds that the SBA cannot use non-applicable affiliation rules to circumvent the regulatory exception from affiliation between tribal companies. In its ruling, SBA OHA also sidestepped an interesting tribal size question: did Congress truly intend for some tribal companies to be “small” for 8(a) program purposes, but “other than small” for all other government contracts?
As you can probably tell, the Roundhouse PBN case is not your run-of-the-mill SBA OHA size appeal decision, meaning a slightly longer-than-normal blog post is in order. Let’s dive right in.