GAO: Trade Agreements Act Inapplicable to Small Business Set-Asides

It’s no secret that federal government contracting has the reputation of being a seemingly endless morass of regulations. In fact, the confusion frequently associated with federal contracting was on full display in a recent GAO protest that implicated the SBA’s nonmanufacturer rule, the Buy American Act, and the Trade Agreements Act. In a procurement that invited bids from both large and small businesses, a large business contractor argued that the application of certain small business contracting regulations would unfairly advantage the small business participants. GAO disagreed, and dismissed the protest because any advantage was the result of the regulations operating as intended. Sometimes it pays to be a small business.

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Subcontractor Experience Irrelevant Where Subcontractor Won’t Perform Similar Tasks, Says GAO

Prime and subcontractor teaming is a common way for contractors to leverage the experience of the team’s anticipated subcontractors to make proposals more attractive to federal clients, particularly when past performance is a substantial evaluation consideration. This approach, however, recently ran into a snag when the proposed subcontractor was not going to perform the discrete work areas that its past performance experience supported, which lowered the past performance score of the bid. In the resulting protest, GAO concluded the agency got the evaluation right, and was not required to credit all of the subcontractor’s experience.

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GAO: Protest Failed to Establish Legal Reason to Sustain

When protesting at GAO, it’s important to explain not only what you believe the agency did wrong, but also the legal significance of that departure.

That’s what Trinity Global Consulting learned recently when GAO dismissed its protest.

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“We Couldn’t View the Solicitation,” Argues Protester

The first step in competing for a federal contract is knowing that an opportunity exists in the first place. In a recent protest, a contractor argued it was not able to find an opportunity despite routinely searching the appropriate federal procurement opportunity system, e-Buy. Thus, according to the protesting company, the procurement was not properly publicized and the award was improper. GAO did not agree.

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5 (More) Things You Should Know: Bid Protests

It’s early October, which means that the federal government’s end-of-fiscal-year contracting binge has drawn to an end. With the spate of contract awards, this time of year typically sees an increase in the number of bid protests being filed, or at least contemplated.

If you’re considering filing a bid protest, here are five (more) things to keep in mind:

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GAO Upholds Agency’s Cancellation of LPTA Procurement with only One Acceptable Offer

Pop quiz: Your company is the only technically acceptable offeror in an lowest-priced, technically acceptable procurement. You win, right? Not when the agency cancels the solicitation, hoping that a cheaper offeror who was not technically acceptable will submit a bid if given another chance. GAO recently considered this very scenario.

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GAO Reminds Contractors to Update All Profiles After a Name Change or Risk Bid Rejection

Many businesses go through name changes and rebranding throughout their growth as a company. But if you’re a government contractor, a business name change requires added updates that, if not done correctly and promptly, can affect the business’s ability to win a contract. GAO’s recent decision hammered home just how important it is to make sure your contractor profiles are updated if you want to win contracts.

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