Don’t Overlook the Seemingly Perfunctory in Your Proposal: CAGE Codes

As our readers well know, a good proposal for a federal government procurement is an exercise in persuasive writing. You muster your creative powers to convince the source selection authority that you offer the best product or service, that your price is competitive, and that your past performance is stellar. So you invest heavily in your proposal writers; you review your proposal repeatedly to polish and ensure that it compels; you agonize.

But while the artistic portion of your proposal is, without dispute, extraordinarily important, don’t neglect the seemingly mundane–like CAGE codes. Get that wrong, and GAO just might sustain your competitor’s protest.

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VetBiz Verification Not Required For Non-VA SDVOSB Contracts, SBA OHA Reiterates

Despite a longstanding and very common misconception, the VA’s SDVOSB verification requirement doesn’t apply to non-VA SDVOSB contracts.

As the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals recently reiterated, it was “simply not correct” to believe that a company was required to be verified in VetBiz to be awarded a non-VA SDVOSB contract.

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SAM Registration: New Bill Requires Notification Of Free Assistance

There is no cost to register in SAM or other government contracting databases–but that hasn’t stopped some companies from charging would-be contractors hefty fees for assistance in the registration process.  Some of these companies are out-and-out frauds, like the Tampa firm whose owner recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a FEMA registration scheme.  And others, while not fraudulent, still often neglect to mention an important (but for them, inconvenient) fact: government contracts registration assistance is available for free through Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and other reputable sources.

Now, a bipartisan new Senate bill aims to get the word out about the free registration assistance available to prospective contractors.

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GAO: Awardee Not Required To List Specified NAICS Code In SAM

A common misconception in government contracting is that to be eligible under a particular solicitation, a small business must have the solicitation’s assigned NAICS code listed under its SBA System for Award Management (“SAM”) profile.

Not so. GAO, in a recent decision, affirmed this misconception to be false—it found that an awardee’s failure to list the assigned NAICS code under its SAM profile did not make its proposal technically unacceptable.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 30 – June 3, 2016

June seems to have crept up on us, but here we sit enjoying warm temperatures and sunshine. Hopefully you are making plans for some summer rest and relaxation. While you kick back this weekend by the pool, we are happy to bring to you some weekend reading material in this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. 

This week’s top governing contracting stories include an inquiry on DoD Buy American Act waivers, the continued push to “dump the DUNS,”  False Claims Act allegations regarding pricing, a construction company settles a SDB fraud claim for $5.4 million, and more.

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SBA Size Protests: File With Contracting Officer, Not OHA

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals is an appellate forum and lacks jurisdiction to hear initial size protests.

As explained in a recent SBA OHA decision, size protests must be filed with the relevant Contracting Officer, who then refers the matter to the appropriate SBA Area Office.  Only after the SBA Area Office issues a size determination does OHA have jurisdiction to consider a size appeal.

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Busy Employee “Skims” SBA Size Protest Email–What Could Go Wrong?

A contractor’s “frantically busy” employee, who was listed as the firm’s contact in SAM, skimmed through an email from the SBA containing a size protest, and took no action to respond.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the SBA had properly issued an adverse size determination against the contractor in question after receiving no reply to the size protest–and the fact that the employee who received it was “frantically busy” was no excuse.

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