A NAICS code appeal can be a powerful vehicle for influencing the competitive landscape of an acquisition. A successful NAICS code appeal can dramatically alter a solicitation’s size standard, causing major changes in the number (and sizes) of potential competitors.
But a NAICS code appeal cannot be filed until the solicitation is issued. As the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals recently confirmed, a NAICS code appeal cannot be filed with respect to a presolicitation.
The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals will have authority to hear petitions for reconsideration of SBA size standards under a proposed rule recently issued by the SBA.
Once the proposal becomes a final rule, anyone “adversely affected” by a new, revised or modified size standard would have 30 days to ask OHA to review the SBA’s size standard determination.
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.
A protest challenging a company’s status as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business is not the same as a protest challenging other aspects of an agency’s award decision (such as the evaluation of the protester’s proposal)–and these differences can determine whether a protest is timely and correctly filed.
In a recent case, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals provided some clarity on key differences between SDVOSB protests and bid protests, including important limits on the SBA’s jurisdiction.
The SBA lacks authority to determine whether a company is an eligible service-disabled veteran-owned small business for purposes of a VA SDVOSB set-aside procurement.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that the SBA lacks such authority, which is reserved solely for the VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
NAICS code appeals are now allowed on unrestricted procurements, so long as a change in NAICS code would affect the offeror’s size status for the procurement.
In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that recent SBA regulatory amendments have overturned prior OHA case law prohibiting most NAICS code appeals on unrestricted procurements.
An 8(a) Program applicant may challenge the SBA’s denial of its application in federal court if the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
According to a recent OHA decision, although OHA’s own jurisdiction in 8(a) denial matters is limited, a rejected applicant “is not utterly without recourse” because relief can be sought in court.