In May 2017, SDVOSBs and VOSBs lodged another big win in their battle to enforce the statutory preferences for veteran-owned companies: the Court of Federal Claims held that the VA cannot buy products or services using the AbilityOne list without first applying the “rule of two” and determining whether qualified SDVOSBs or VOSBs are likely to bid.
But the AbilityOne vendor in question isn’t going down without a fight. It’s taking the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit–and the Court of Federal Claims just issued a ruling staying its May decision pending the results of the appeal.
It’s hard to top last week’s government contracting news, which included the major SDVOSB Supreme Court victory in Kingdomware. But with the Fourth of July just a week and a half away, there is still plenty going on in the world of government contracts law.
In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, an SDVOSB’s owner speaks out about his important GAO bid protest win, suspensions and debarments of government contractors dropped in 2015, major changes are coming to the GSA Schedule, HUBZone contract awards decline, and much more.
The Kingdomware SDVOSB/VOSB Supreme Court case, which had been scheduled for an oral argument on Monday November 9, is suddenly in a state of limbo. In an order issued today, the Supreme Court yanked the case from its docket. The Court directed the parties to submit briefs on whether the contracts in question have been fully performed, and if so, whether full performance renders the case moot.
For Kingdomware and veteran-owned companies everywhere, this is extremely troubling news. If the Court believes that the case is moot, it will be dismissed–meaning that Kingdomware would lose the war without even getting its day in court.
Briefs from both sides are due November 20, and each side may reply by December 1. I will keep you posted.
In Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court will answer a critical question: does the VA have to prioritize SDVOSBs and VOSBs in federal contracting?
As SmallGovCon readers know, I have been critical of the VA’s contention that it need not prioritize SDVOSBs and VOSBs. Now, I have gone a step further. Together with my colleagues at Koprince Law LLC, I have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to overturn the lower court’s decision and rule in favor of veterans.
Want to read our full amicus brief? Glad you asked–just click here.
After a protest was filed at the GAO, a procuring agency delayed implementing the mandatory statutory suspension of work, then amended the awardee’s contract to permit the awardee to fully perform before the suspension actually kicked in.
Then the agency got caught.
In a recent decision, the GAO sustained a protest because the agency had circumvented the GAO’s bid protest process. But while the agency got busted–a good thing–the penalty it will pay is less than satisfactory.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by Kingdomware Technologies, Inc.
News outlets are reporting that the Supreme Court will take on the question of whether the VA’s “Veterans First” rules permit the VA to circumvent SDVOSBs by using the Federal Supply Schedule. The case is an appeal from a 2014 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in which a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the VA.
The Supreme Court grants only a small fraction of the petitions for certiorari filed with it, so just getting in the courthouse door is a victory of sorts for Kingdomware.
Much more on the pending Supreme Court case as I get the details.
SDVOSBs—and basic fairness and common sense—were big winners in a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In its decision, the Court held that the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation violated the law when it disqualified a SDVOSB, without giving the SDVOSB the opportunity to contest the reasons for the disqualification. In an opinion reminiscent of last year’s landmark Miles Construction case, the Court then held that the CVE’s substantive reasons for the disqualification were arbitrary and unreasonable.