GAO: No Set-Aside Challenge After Proposal Due Date

A prospective contractor has the right to file a GAO bid protest challenging an agency’s refusal to set aside a solicitation for small businesses–but only if the protest is filed before the proposal deadline.

In a recent protest decision, the GAO applied the longstanding rule that “alleged improprieties in a solicitation that are apparent prior to the closing time for receipt of initial proposals be filed before that time,” and held that an agency’s failure to issue a set-aside is an “alleged impropriety” to which the timeliness rule applies.

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Task Order Size Status Based On Proposal Date, Not Award Date

A contractor was eligible for award of a small business set-aside task order because the contractor was “small” as of the date of its task order proposal–even though the contractor outgrew the size standard by the time the task order was awarded.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that a contractor may qualify for the award of a set-aside task order based on the date of its initial proposal, even in cases where the agency is prohibited from taking small business credit for the award.

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Task Orders: Small Business Set-Asides Not Required, Says GAO

When issuing task order solicitations under unrestricted multiple award contracts, procuring agencies are not required to apply the so-called “rule of two” and set aside task orders for small businesses.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO–over the objections of the SBA–held that agencies “may,” but need not, set aside task orders under multiple-award contracts.  The GAO’s decision essentially overturns a 2008 decision in which the GAO held that the rule of two does require agencies to set aside task orders.

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Rule Of Two: Small Business’s Notification Of Interest Was Too Late

A small business’s expression of interest in a solicitation came too late to affect the agency’s set-aside decision under the so-called “rule of two,” even though there was no indication that the small business knew about the requirement early enough to affect the set-aside decision.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency was not required to consider a small business’s expression of interest when that expression of interest occurred after the RFQ was released.  Although the GAO may have been correct as a matter of law, the result is still discouraging, because nothing in the GAO’s decision indicated that the small business knew (or should have known) of the requirement before the agency issued the RFQ.

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GAO Won’t Reconsider Federal Courts’ Decisions In Job Corps Set-Aside Cases

The GAO will not reconsider a bid protest that has been litigated in the Court of Federal Claims and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO dismissed a protest challenging the Department of Labor’s decision to set aside two solicitations for small businesses, because the federal courts had already ruled that the set-asides were appropriate.

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SBA OHA Lacks Jurisdiction Over Set-Aside Decisions

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals does not have jurisdiction to review a contracting officer’s decision not to set aside a procurement for small business.

In a recent decision, SBA OHA dismissed a contractor’s contention that the procuring agency should have set aside a procurement for small business–and rejected the contractor’s underlying legal argument, as well.

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SBA OHA: No Automatic Size Recertifications For GSA Schedule Task Orders

Submitting a proposal for a GSA Schedule task order does not result in an automatic recertification of the offeror’s size.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals rejected the argument that an offeror recertifies its size merely by submitting a proposal for a GSA task order.  Instead, a firm’s size for purposes of a GSA Schedule task order competition is determined based on the underlying GSA Schedule contract, unless the procuring agency requires recertification for the task order.

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