It’s that time of year again. School’s ending for the summer and kids are coming home (some sheepishly) with their report cards. And with the close of Fiscal Year 2017, the federal government has also been given its report card.
Like last year, the FY 2017 report card reveals a mixed bag. Though the SBA gave the federal government another “A,” the bottom-line numbers reveal a troubling trend for small business government contractors.
The SBA has rejected several recommendations for major changes in how the SBA calculates small business size status.
In commentary published in the Federal Register last week, the SBA rejected (among other things) recommendations that it use average employee count to evaluate the sizes of construction firms and that other firms’ sizes be measured by profits or net worth instead of average annual receipts.
Woman-owned small business self-certifications (which the SBA still accepts more than 2 1/2 years after Congress eliminated it) may allow “potentially ineligible businesses” to win WOSB set-aside and sole source work, according to a fascinating new GAO report.
Among other things, the GAO report provides a comprehensive overview of the SBA’s progress addressing problems with the four major socioeconomic preference programs–8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone and WOSB. And to its credit, the SBA has fixed a number of previously-identified flaws. But other problems remain, including the SBA’s now-longstanding failure to eliminate WOSB self-certification.
Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away. Whether you are a fan of football or are just tuning in for the commercials, I hope you have a relaxing day with friends and family. Next week, I’ll be heading to Orlando for the 2017 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference where I have been selected as a panelist to discuss “Two is Better than One: JVs, MPs, and Teaming Agreements.” If you are planning to attend the conference I hope you will come say hello at my Koprince Law booth on the exhibit floor.
Before I leave the freezing temperatures of Kansas behind for the sunshine and sand of Florida, we bring you this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have articles discussing the role of FOIA under the new Administration, Congress is working to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order, a look ahead to what experts are saying may be the most competitive year in federal IT contracts in over a decade, and much more.
A year after Congress surprisingly eliminated WOSB self-certification, the SBA is asking for public comment on how to certify WOSBs.
In a notice published today, the SBA states that it intends to draft regulations to address the statutory change, but “seeks to understand what the public believes is the most appropriate way to structure a WOSB/EDWOSB certification program.”
According to the GAO, a business qualifies as small for purposes of a task order competition under a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract so long as the business was small for purposes of the underlying GWAC, and the Contracting Officer does not request size recertification in connection with the task order. And even if recertification is required for the task order, the operative date to determine small business status is the date of the task order offer–not the date the task order is awarded.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO and SBA both weighed in on the question of small business size status for task order competitions, providing some helpful clarity on this often-confusing topic.
With the recent flooding in the east, we hope that our readers who are being affected are staying safe and dry during this challenging time.
In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, the Air Force is struggling to make service contracts competitive, alleged WOSB fraud leads to a civil fraud lawsuit, Guy Timberlake delves into the merits of simplified acquisitions, and much more.