SBA: NAICS Code Must Match the Work Sought, not the Offeror’s Work

We here at SmallGovCon like to spend our free time pondering the intricacies around how and why certain NAICS codes are assigned to the myriad of contracting opportunities posted every day. But we realize others may not have the same appetite for the intricacies of Federal Contracting as us. Luckily, the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) recently issued a great roadmap for understanding NAICS code assignments in a NAICS code appeal decision, which serves as a great refresher for how NAICS codes are applied to a procurement.

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GAO Sustains Protest to Best Value Trade Off Where Agency Only Considers “Outstanding” Proposals, Without Weighing Price/Non-Price Factors

The federal government contracting solicitation, proposal, and selection processes are something that all federal government contractors should strive to know. These methods, found in FAR parts 14 and 15, respectively, can be boiled down to two methods: sealed bidding and contracting by negotiation. Contracting by negotiation can occur either through a competitive award or a sole source award. When used effectively, the parts of the FAR clue contractors into the methods that agencies use to evaluate proposals and can help contractors tailor their proposals to better target agencies’ needs, thereby increasing chances of award. Of particular importance is the method an agency will use to evaluate proposals, and the weight given to technical components of the proposal against the weight given to price. In KPMG LLP, B-420949 (Nov. 7, 2022), GAO takes a look at how agencies evaluate technical proposals and price, and how those evaluations work together in a best-value tradeoff decision.

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CBCA Cannot Waive Its Own Filing Deadlines

4 C.F.R. 21.2(b) states that, for GAO protests, GAO has the option to dismiss or not dismiss a protest that is filed late if there is good cause or it is an important issue. In other words, if there’s a good reason, GAO can accept an untimely protest. (Please note that this is not suggesting the filing deadline does not matter, GAO treats it very strictly most of the time and you should treat it as a “drop-dead” deadline).

For this reason, some think this same discretion applies in other protests and appeals regarding government contracts. For the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), it very much does not.

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SBA OHA: Ownership and Control are Not the Same in the WOSB Program

A company learned the hard way that just because their business is majority owned by a woman, it doesn’t mean they are a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) in the eyes of the SBA. The question is one of both ownership and control.

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CPARS Challenges: No Appeals Without Contracting Officer Claim

Ask many government contractors, and they’ll tell you that even a single negative report in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System can have a powerful adverse impact on winning future prime contracts.

Given the importance of these performance reports, it’s little wonder that a contractor on the receiving end of a negative CPAR may want to ask a judge to review the matter. But as one recent case demonstrates, a contractor cannot challenge a CPAR with a judge until the contractor has followed the FAR’s claims process.

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Not All Claims That Wander Into the ASBCA Will Be Heard

Some times it’s easy to forget that the world of government contracting, including the many agencies which oversee its administration, exist within an overarching federal system of delegated powers, which comes to bear on the outcome of disputes.

The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals receives its authority from sections of the Contract Disputes Act, and exists primarily as a neutral, independent forum to hear and decide post-award contract disputes between government contractors and certain government agencies, but its power to hear cases is limited. The Board recently issued a decision with a reminder that it does not have jurisdiction over requests for specific performance or injunctive relief.

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Including Dollar Amount in Claim “Sum Certain”-ly Serious Business

In a recent case, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, dismissed a claim for lack of jurisdiction because it did not include a “sum certain.”

The case is a good reminder of the importance of demanding a specific sum of money for most claims.

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