The SBA has proposed rules to enable contractors to file protests with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals challenging the SDVOSB or VOSB status of a company included in the VA’s CVE VetBiz database. The same set of proposed rules would allow a contractor to appeal to OHA if the VA denies the contractor’s application for inclusion in the CVE database, or cancels an existing verification.
The proposed rules, once finalized, will offer important new protections for SDVOSBs and VOSBs and are the first official step in implementing Congress’s mandate that the SBA and VA consolidate their SDVOSB eligibility requirements.
A protester’s failure to be specific enough in an SDVOSB status protest will result in dismissal of the protest.
The decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals in Jamaica Bearings Company, SBA No. VET-257 (Aug. 9, 2016), reinforces the SBA’s rule concerning specificity in filing a service disabled veteran-owned status protest. The rule provides, “[p]rotests must be in writing and must specify all the grounds upon which the protest is based. A protest merely asserting that the protested concern is not an eligible SDVOSB, without setting forth specific facts or allegations is insufficient.”
Government contractors are expected to be aware of appeal deadlines even if an agency does not mention those deadlines in its decision notifications.
As one contractor recently discovered, a size appeal with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals must be filed within the regulatory time frame–and no extension will be granted if the SBA does not notify the potential appellant of the deadline.
A size appeal filed with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals may be submitted by email, but it is up to the appellant to verify that its email was received.
As demonstrated in a recent size appeal decision, OHA will dismiss an appeal that is not received by OHA within 15 days of the appellant’s receipt of a size determination–even if the appellant attempted to send the size appeal by email during the 15-day window.