Failure to Send: Protester Loses Size Determination Due to Lack of Response on Tax Returns

In federal procurement law, it is often the case that decisions on protests and other cases come down to tough questions of law that could go either way, requiring the judge to carefully weigh the reasons for making ruling one way or another. Unfortunately, there are also cases where the decision can rest entirely on responding to a request, even one that gives the contractor little time to respond. Regardless of the situation, it can’t be overstated how crucial it is to respond timely to any requests, and make sure your company’s agents and representatives make the response their priority. In this case, this lesson was learned the hard way by one contractor.

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Help on the Way? Proposed National Defense Authorization Act for 2023 Grants DoD Discretion to Allow Inflation Relief for DoD Contractors

The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), in essence Congress’ annual budget for the Department of Defense (DoD), commonly includes various riders and attachments that amend or create other federal laws. For example, the 2022 NDAA (finally) gave SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals the authority to hear appeals of HUBZone protests (something SBA just recently proposed a rule regarding), and the 2021 NDAA is why SDVOSB self-certification is ending and SBA is taking over the job of carrying out certifications from the VA (SDVOSB contractors, SBA will start accepting applications on January 9, 2023, as we discuss here.) The 2023 NDAA is no exception, and as it is currently proposed, the DoD would get a lot more discretion to help out its contractors in light of inflation.

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Friendly Inflation: SBA Adjusts Size Standards, Economic Disadvantage Limits, and 8(a) Sole Source Dollar Limits for Inflation

It probably doesn’t need to be said that all of us have been chafing under inflation lately, and federal contractors are certainly no exception. Rises in costs for goods and labor have exerted serious pressure on businesses and households worldwide. However, not all inflation is bad. SBA recently released a final rule taking into account the inflation of the past few years when it comes to the various receipts-based size-standards and economic disadvantage limits, as well as finally adjusting the 8(a) Business Development Program sole source limits. These changes are crucially important for those businesses that have just barely exceeded the applicable size standards, or that were getting close to the maximum. In this post, we’re going to explore this rule.

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A Slight Deviation: DoD Implements Temporary Verification Requirement while SAM Updates

On a daily basis, the Department of Defense (DoD) issues innumerable memorandums and orders, as one might expect when dealing with one of the largest institutions in human history. Most of these have little to no impact for most government contractors. However, a recent class deviation is an exception, as it should make things easier for the many contractors that use small business joint ventures in contracting with the DoD.

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A Helpful Guide: The VA’s Memorandum on the New Certification System

As many of you likely already know, back in late 2020, Congress made two changes to the SDVOSB program when it passed the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. First, all SDVOSBs will be required to certify with the government starting on January 1, 2023. Second, the responsibility for conducting SDVOSB certification will transfer from the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) to the SBA. Seems simply enough, but, obviously, this raises some questions: What if a SDVOSB is already certified with CVE? How much time do self-certified SDVOSBs have to act? Will the CVE still be accepting applications in the meantime? Helpfully, the VA has produced some guidance, and in this post we’re going to expand on it.

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The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program’s New Look: Expanded Protégé Eligibility

Many SBA programs and offerings have their origins in other agencies or parts of the federal government. Contractors who do not work with the DoD might be surprised to learn that the DoD’s own Mentor-Protégé Program is in fact the oldest continuously operating mentor-protégé program, dating back to the First Gulf War. Recently, this program received some updates, one of which will greatly expand the pool of eligible proteges. Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

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Small Businesses in U.S. Territories Eligible for Preferential Treatment Under New SBA Rule

While it is understandable why people focus on the 50 states and the federal district (D.C.), the United States is not just those areas. In addition to the states, the United States has 14 territories. Five of these have a permanent population: Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Up until recently, Puerto Rico received preferential treatment for the surplus property program and under the mentor-protégé program, but the other four territories did not. However, a new final rule by the SBA is finally extending these privileges to all the permanently populated U.S. territories. In this post, we will explore just what that entails.

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