Is the Revision to the FAR’s Limitations on Subcontracting Finally Nearing the Finish Line?

On June 30, 2016, a major new SBA regulation took effect, overhauling the limitations on subcontracting. The SBA’s new regulation, codified at 13 C.F.R. 125.6, replaced the “old” formulas for calculating compliance–like “cost of the contract incurred for personnel,” for service contracts, with new, easier-to-use formulas based on the amount paid by the government. And, in a major boon for small businesses, the SBA’s new regulation allowed small primes to count work performed by “similarly situated entities” toward the prime’s own self-performance.

But more than five years after the SBA regulation took effect, the FAR’s provisions governing the limitations on subcontracting still resemble Marty McFly: stuck in the past. The FAR Council still has not updated the FAR to conform with the SBA’s regulations and the underlying Congressional mandate, causing considerable confusion for contractors trying to figure out which rule to follow.

Now, though, we may finally (hopefully!) be nearing the finish line for this important and long-delayed FAR change.

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CIO-SP4 Amendment 8 – NIH Puts Small Businesses Behind the 8-ball

CIO-SP4 Amendment 7, we barely knew you. Less than a week after Amendment 7 went live, we have another amendment to dig into. What is new in this amendment? We have major changes to Other Than Small Business (OTSB) and Emerging Large Business (ELB) certifications. For small businesses, NIH is digging in its heels on consideration of CTA members.

While we are not sure how long this amendment will last, it puts small businesses behind the 8-ball.

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CIO-SP4: Large Mentors Now Get More Credit

I wrote earlier about the restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. Well, NITAAC has listened! OK, they probably weren’t listening directly to me, but let me have this one, alright. CIO-SP4 has been amended to allow large business mentors to contribute two examples of corporate experience per task area.

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COFC Confirms SBA Interpretation of Runway Extension Act

The Court of Federal Claims recently reviewed the Small Business Runway Extension Act, particularly SBA’s contention that it was not bound by the 5-year lookback period that Congress enacted for size receipt calculations. Now, SBA has issued its own rule that it will use the 5-year lookback period, at least after a two-year transition period, as discussed in our earlier posts. But there were still some cases working their way through the courts that examined how Congress implemented the Runway Extension Act and whether it applied to SBA or not. To make a long story short, the court agreed with SBA.

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Certificates of Competency: A Little-Known Friend of the Small-Business Contractor

You can’t believe it. You did everything right. The solicitation required that offerors have three distinct licenses. You have two, but one should cover for the license you don’t have. However, the agency says you have to have all three as distinct licenses, and denies your offer. Fortunately, you have a potential savior: The Certificate of Competency (“COC”)

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CIO-SP4: Is it Limiting Mentor Experience Too Much?

The CIO-SP4 is a big deal for many small and large federal contractors. And lately it’s been a bit of a moving target as to how NITAAC will evaluate the experience of companies working together in prime-sub, mentor-protégé, and joint-venture relationships. We wrote about some of the issues with past performance and other recent changes. One change that caught my eye puts a restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. But should it?

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SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program Now Closed

SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans provided nearly $800 billion dollars of crucial financial support to over 8.5 million businesses and nonprofit organizations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the proverb goes, “all good things must come to an end.” SBA closed the PPP doors to new loan guaranty applications at the end of May 2021 and released a closing statement on the program’s success.

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