SmallGovCon Week In Review: September 26-30, 2022

Happy Friday! It’s football season and we couldn’t be more excited about how our Kansas teams are starting the season. This weekend’s match-ups are set to be exciting ones and our fall weather is proving to be perfect for getting out there and cheering on our favorite teams. We hope you can get out and enjoy a game or two this weekend.

Here are some noteworthy happenings in federal government contracting to peruse, this weekend, as well, including some updates on a potential government shutdown. Enjoy!

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Yes, No, Maybe? Understanding the Reason Behind SBA-Required Mentor-Protégé Agreement Questions

The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program offers a myriad of benefits to both Mentors and Protégés who participate in the Program. Small business Protégés benefit from the assistance provided by their SBA approved Mentor, which can include anything from guidance on how to find solicitations and make offers, to financial support in the form of loans or bonding. Mentors benefit because participation allows them to compete for and be awarded contracts in which they may not otherwise qualify for. In fact, SBA even provides a bare bones template for Mentor-Protégé Agreements, complete with 21 yes or no questions that every Mentor-Protégé Agreement must include. A “yes” answer to any of those questions requires the applicant to provide additional information demonstrating why this should not disqualify the Mentor and Protégé from working together. But have you ever stopped to consider the reasoning behind these questions? Likely not, if you have never had to check a “yes” answer. However, knowing the “why” behind these questions is information that every small business federal contractor could benefit from. I’m going to take you through these questions to demystify their application, which will allow you to quickly identify potential problems in the future.

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Who You Gonna Call? Your Contracting Officer

In our line of work, we regularly litigate protests, appeals, claims, etc., against the Government. But often, procuring and contracting issues can be resolved without the need for litigation–via a little-known method we like to call “talking things out with your CO.” There are also opportunities to communicate with your contracting officers for networking and marketing purposes that many contractors (often unnecessarily) shy away from. This article is the first of two articles that will provide you with some tips for when and how to communicate with your contracting officer. This article will focus on pre-solicitation and solicitation communications, and the next will focus on contract administration.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: September 19-23, 2022

Happy Friday, Readers. We have had some contrasting weather conditions here in Kansas, this week. One day we are at 100 degrees and the next day we are in the 60’s. You know what they say in Kansas? If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change. That has certainly been true this week. I think I speak for all of us, when I say that the cooler temperatures of fall are a welcome change from the hot and dry conditions we have experienced throughout the summer.

We hope you are able to get out an enjoy the weather in your neck of the woods this weekend. Here are a few articles we thought were particularly interesting concerning federal government contracting this week, including extension for the SBIR program, more Polaris solicitation drops, and inflation’s effects on contractors. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Back to Basics: Limitations on Subcontracting

One of the common questions small business contractors ask themselves when planning performance of a contract is “how much of this work are we allowed to subcontract?” Trying to answer this question inevitably leads contractors to one of the most commonly used and frequently misunderstood rules in federal contracting, the Limitations on Subcontracting. In this post, we will break down some of the basics of this rule, and hopefully clear up any basic misunderstandings regarding it.

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Webinar Event: Catalyst Joint Ventures/Legislative Updates Virtual Workshop, Thursday, September 22, 2:00-4:00pm CDT

Please join us for a very informative webinar hosted by The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship.

Joint ventures can be a powerful tool for multiple businesses to compete for proposals and combine the best capabilities they have to offer. But how do businesses keep their agreements in order? This presentation will address the benefits of a joint venture, including use of past performance and capabilities such as facility clearances. Recent changes to how federal agencies must view past performance from a joint venture are important for contractors to understand. But it will also describe how to make sure a joint venture agreement is compliant with the latest rules and the ones that can trip up offerors. Companies will learn how to advise on the best uses of joint ventures, how to set them up, and how to avoid some traps when creating them. 

Register here. Hope to see you there!

SBA Proposed Rule Relaxes Change of 8(a) Program Ownership, Allows Limited Populated Joint Ventures

The SBA has issued new proposed rules relating to the 8(a) Program. The rules clarify some aspects of ownership and control requirements for the 8(a) Program, including making change of ownership a little easier and cleaning up some 8(a) set-aside processes. The rule would also allow for populated joint ventures between similarly situated joint venture members.

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