VA CVE Improperly Disqualified SDVOSB, Says Federal Court

SDVOSBs—and basic fairness and common sense—were big winners in a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

In its decision, the Court held that the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation violated the law when it disqualified a SDVOSB, without giving the SDVOSB the opportunity to contest the reasons for the disqualification. In an opinion reminiscent of last year’s landmark Miles Construction case, the Court then held that the CVE’s substantive reasons for the disqualification were arbitrary and unreasonable.
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Non-Manufacturer Rule Applies Regardless of NAICS Code, Court Rules

The non-manufacturer rule applies only when a set-aside solicitation is designated with a manufacturing NAICS code, right?  Not anymore.

A recent Court of Federal Claims case effectively invalidated SBA’s regulations that limit the application of the non-manufacturer rule to procurements for supplies.  Instead, the Court held, the Small Business Act requires that the non-manufacturer rule apply any time that the Government buys manufactured products–regardless of the NAICS code assigned to the procurement.

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Affiliate’s Schedule Contract Didn’t Count, Says Court

An offeror was not entitled to hold itself out as having a Federal Supply Schedule contract by virtue of its relationship with an affiliated company that held the FSS contract.

In a recent bid protest decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that a FSS award was improper where the awardee’s affiliate–but not the awardee itself–held the proper FSS contract.

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Contracting Officer’s Death Didn’t Waive Claim Requirement

A Contracting Officer’s death did not waive the requirement that a contractor file a claim with the agency before bringing its claim to federal court.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that a contractor was not entitled to forego the claim requirement because of the Contracting Officer’s death–even though the agency did not appoint a replacement.

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GAO Won’t Reconsider Federal Courts’ Decisions In Job Corps Set-Aside Cases

The GAO will not reconsider a bid protest that has been litigated in the Court of Federal Claims and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO dismissed a protest challenging the Department of Labor’s decision to set aside two solicitations for small businesses, because the federal courts had already ruled that the set-asides were appropriate.

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SBA Certificate Of Competency Cannot Cure Incomplete Proposal

The SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures cannot be used to cure a small business’s incomplete proposal.

In a recent bid protest decision, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that the procuring agency could not lawfully cure a firm’s omission of mandatory proposal information by submitting the matter to the SBA for a Certificate of Competency.

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SDVOSB Not Required To Inform Agency Of Veteran’s Death, Says Court

A SDVOSB was not required to inform a procuring agency that the service-disabled veteran owner had passed away following submission of the SDVOSB’s proposal, according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

In NEIE, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-164 C (2013), the Court sharply criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for unjustifiably maintaining that the SDVOSB in question was required to inform the EPA of the veteran’s death, even though there is no such requirement in the regulations and the veteran’s death had no impact on the SDVOSB’s contract eligibility.

The NEIE case is not only a good reminder of when a SDVOSB must be eligible to receive a non-VA SDVOSB set-aside (typically, at the time of the initial priced offer), but a troubling example of an over-zealous procuring agency misinterpreting and misapplying the SDVOSB regulations to the detriment of an eligible SDVOSB.

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