House-Passed 2022 NDAA Raises Sole Source Thresholds for 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, and WOSB/EDWOSB Contracts

The sole source thresholds for the major socioeconomic preference programs would increase significantly under the House-passed version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

The House version of the 2022 NDAA includes an amendment that would raise the sole source caps for contracts awarded to qualified 8(a) Program participants, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, HUBZone Program participants, and woman-owned small businesses (as well as the economically disadvantaged subcagetory of WOSBs).

Continue reading

DOD Construction: House-Passed 2022 NDAA Establishes Preferences for Local Contractors

Local construction contractors would receive new contracting preferences for Department of Defense contracts under the version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House of Representatives on September 23.

During floor debate on the 2022 NDAA, the House agreed to an amendment proposed by representative Andy Kim. The amendment requires, to the extent practicable, that DOD give a preference to construction contractors who hire local employees. The amendment also requires all contractors and subcontractors for military construction projects to be licensed in the state where the work is to be performed.

Continue reading

VA Contracting Officers May Now Use Veteran Employment Preferences in Competitive Acquisitions

Newcomers to the federal marketplace are often surprised when they learn that eligibility for the VA’s SDVOSB and VOSB preference programs are based on the status of the contractor’s owners–and have nothing to do with how many veterans the contractor employs.

While the SDVOSB/VOSB eligibility rules aren’t changing, VA Contracting Officers now have authority to give preference to offerors that employ veterans on a full-time basis. A new VA Acquisition Policy Flash provides guidance to VA Contracting Officers on implementing 38 U.S.C. 8129, a statute that took effect in January 2021 and provided Congressional authority for offering such a preference.

Continue reading

From Eight Days to 105 Days: The Incredible Lengthening of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program Application Timeline

In February 2017, the SBA announced that applications for its new All Small Mentor-Protégé Program were being processed, on average, in just eight days. Fast forward four-and-a-half years, and the SBA’s mentor-protégé application processing timeline has gotten just a wee bit longer.

As in, 105 days.

Continue reading

House Subcommittee Proposes New SBIR/STTR Phase III Transition Pilot Program

Congress is at work on the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act–major annual legislation that often includes significant changes to the laws impacting government contractors.

This year’s NDAA promises to be no different. Among potential changes: the House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems has proposed to establish a pilot program to help transition more Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees to Phase III.

Continue reading

Number of Small Businesses Awarded Federal Government Contracts Has Dropped 12.7% in Four Years

The number of small businesses receiving government contracts dropped yet again in Fiscal Year 2020–and the four-year decline is 12.7%.

In its FY 2020 goaling scorecard, the SBA reported that 45,661 distinct small businesses received contracts in the top 100 NAICS codes. The previous fiscal year, 46,661 distinct small businesses received contracts. Four years ago, when SBA first started including this statistic in its annual reports, the number stood at 51,866. Clearly, the numbers are going in the wrong direction.

Continue reading