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.
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.
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.
The Government Printing Office is not required to refer non-responsibility determinations involving small businesses to the Small Business Administration under the Certificate of Competency program.
According to a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GPO’s status as a legislative entity exempts it from the Certificate of Competency process–much to the disappointment of the small business protester in question.
The FAR’s threshold for meeting the so-called “Rule of Two” for small business set-asides is “purposefully low,” according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In Adams & Associates, Inc. v. The United States, No. 12-731C (2013), the Court rejected a challenge to a small business set-aside, holding in part that a contracting officer need not conduct a thorough responsibility evaluation of prospective small business offerors before issuing a set-aside.
In a troubling case, the VA recently refused to issue a small business set-aside because responses to a Request for Information indicated that prospective small business offerors lacked similar experience with the VA, and did not currently have available the personnel, equipment and facilities necessary to perform the contract.
The GAO, ignoring the recommendation of the SBA, affirmed the VA’s decision to forego a small business set-aside.
An 8(a) company failed to satisfy a solicitation’s experience and key personnel requirements, but the 8(a) company walked away with a $23.9 million contract anyway–thanks to the SBA.
The GAO’s bid protest decision in Coastal Environmental Group, Inc., B-407563, B-407563.3, B-407563.4 (Jan. 14, 2013) demonstrates the power of the SBA under its certificate of competency program to second-guess procuring agencies’ determinations with respect to corporate experience, the resumes of key personnel, and other responsibility matters.