NAICS code appeals are a useful tool in any small business
government contractor’s toolbox. If successful, an appeal can dramatically
change a procurement’s competitive landscape—either by limiting the pool of eligible
offerors, or expanding it.
Even still, NAICS code appeals are underutilized among contractors. So I wanted to take just a few minutes to walk through the basics of NAICS codes appeals, in case your business ever needs to file one.
Here are 5 Things You Should Know about NAICS appeals:
Many people skip the footnotes when they read. Why not? There’s rarely anything important in them, right?
Not necessarily. In recent NAICS appeal Advanced Concepts Enterprises, Inc., SBA No. NAICS-5968 (Oct. 24, 2018), a single footnote made all the difference.
As we’ve noted here on SmallGovCon, appealing the assignment of a NAICS code for a solicitation is often successful. But the time frame for doing so is short, and there are other procedural limitations. Given the short deadlines and procedural hurdles, are there any signals to help identify when a NAICS code appeal might be in order?
Recently, SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals provided some guidelines in discussing the assignment of NAICS codes in the Computer Facilities Management Services, Research and Development, and Engineering Services codes.
As the incumbent contractor, you’re excited to bid on the successor contract. The day it’s posted, you dash to fbo.gov, pull up the solicitation, and breathe a sigh of relief: the contract is still exclusively a small business set-aside. But wait! Under the assigned NAICS code your business doesn’t fall below the size standard.
Can the agency change the NAICS code from one iteration of the contract to another? Sure, so long as the selected NAICS code meets the regulatory standard.