Happy New Year, Readers! Hope everyone is off to a great start in 2023. As we have done in the past, we want to take a step back and revisit those blog posts from 2022 that were the most popular. Below, we summarize the blogs written in 2022 that were the most popular as well as the perennial favorites from years past that were the most popular in 2022. It’s a good chance to look back on the important articles from 2022, and those topics of continuing interest to federal contractors.
Here are the top 10 blog posts (and one bonus) that were posted in 2022. Our readers were interested in changes to SBA’s rules, including increasing size standards and the rollout of SBA’s SDVOSB certification program.
- SBA Issues Final Rule Increasing Some Size Standards. As the title suggests, SBA increased size standards effective April 30, 2022. While most construction standards stayed the same, services standards went up in many categories, for example NAICS 541310 (Architectural Services) from $8 million to $11 million and NAICS 541330 (Engineering Services) from $16.5 million to $22.5 million.
- Breaking: SBA Issues Veteran-Owned Certification Rules, Will Eliminate SDVOSB Self-Certification. SBA released its proposed and final rule for SDVOSB certification to eliminate SDVOSB self-certification and adopt a government-wide SDVOSB certification requirement. As of January 9, 2023, SBA had seen hundreds of firms start the process for SDVOSB certification. Remember there is a one-year grace period for certification until the end of 2023.
- SBA Final Rule Eases Use of Small Business Joint Venture and Subcontractor Past Performance. Perhaps most importantly, the rule will allow for a small business to receive a written performance record, similar to CPARS, showing its performance as a subcontractor to a large business prime. The new rule will also allow a small business to better utilize its past performance that it carried out as a member of a joint venture.
- What’s on SBA’s Regulatory Plate for 2022? A Hint: Increased Size Standards. Early in 2022, we summarized what SBA had in store for 2022, including an update on increased size standards. SBA did indeed meet its goals on size standard rules, as highlighted in the other popular posts from last year.
- SBA Proposed Rule Relaxes Change of 8(a) Program Ownership, Allows Limited Populated Joint Ventures. This proposed rule covered a number of important topics: easing 8(a) Program change of ownership and allowing populated joint ventures between similarly situated joint venture members. Plus, clarifying that “a joint venture may be issued an order under a previously awarded contract beyond the two-year period.”
- Nonprofit Parent Companies do not Automatically Cause Affiliation for SBA Size Determinations. This SBA OHA decision confirmed that “mere affiliation with a non-profit organization does not render a small business ineligible for small business set-aside contracts.” This is a commonly misunderstood issue, so it’s nice to have clarity from SBA.
- Friendly Inflation: SBA Adjusts Size Standards, Economic Disadvantage Limits, and 8(a) Sole Source Dollar Limits for Inflation. SBA looked at inflation and applied it to some important dollar thresholds effective December 19, 2022. First, it increased many size standards by over 13 percent, resulting in substantial increases, such as NAICS 236220, Commercial and Industrial Building Construction, going from $39.5 million to $45 million. It also applied the inflation percentage to 8(a) standards, resulting in increases of the net worth limit to $850,000, aggregate gross income limit to $400,000, and total asset limit to $6.5 million.
- SBA Confirms that Size Status Relates Back to Time of Offer, Even After Sale of Small Business. In this OHA decision, SBA OHA confirmed that, when an IDIQ contract is “set aside for small businesses, the consequence of a merger or acquisition involving a prime contractor is not that the prime contractor becomes ineligible for award of pending or future task orders, but rather that the procuring agency cannot claim goaling credit for those orders.”
- CIO-SP4 Amendments 12, 13, 14 Update Submission Date and Experience Reporting Method. At the beginning of 2022, CIO-SP4 was a huge topic. And it continues into 2023, as NITAAC took corrective action at the end of 2022 in the face of 119 protests to reevaluate its cutoff point for awards.
- SBA Eliminates Use of Product Service Codes For Nonmanufacturer Rule Class Waivers. In a loss for those who love additional codes in their federal contracts, SBA eliminated the use of PSCs for classifying products subject to the nonmanufacturer rule and will only use NAICS codes. The goal: eliminate an extra burden on agencies.
- Picking Your Team: Joint Ventures Versus Prime/Subcontractor Teams (Part Three, Relationships). While you shouldn’t pick some things, it’s important to pick your team members carefully in both a joint venture or prime-sub arrangement, as explored in a popular post from 2022.
Here are the most popular articles that were viewed in 2022, even if they were written in earlier years. Certain articles catch the fancy of our readers because they continue to be relevant to how federal contracts are awarded, even if the cases or updates are a few years old.
- “In Scope” vs. “Out of Scope” Modifications: GAO Explains The Difference. This is the famous inflatable craft decision from 2017. In it, GAO explained with some detail on how far an agency can modify a contract before it becomes, essentially, a new contract that can be protested at GAO.
- FedBizOpps is Almost Gone. There must be a lot of folks nostalgic for FedBizOpps and not so happy with sam.gov, based on the popularity of our post saying goodbye to FBO.
- DOD: Sole-Source Contracts up to $100 Million Don’t Need Justification. This post explored the sole-source limits for entity-owned 8(a) companies, a continuing source of interest for 8(a) companies and their partners.
- Five Things You Should Know: Registering in SAM.gov. A good primer on registering in SAM.
- SBA Issues Final Rule Increasing Some Size Standards. This post from 2022 made it into the top 5 of all posts.
- FAR Final Rule: Increased Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds. The FAR was updated to increase the micro-purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold, effective August 31, 2020. Based on recent inflation trends, it might be time for Congress to look at updating these numbers. Perhaps in next year’s NDAA.
- 5 Things You Should Know: SDVOSBs and VOSBs. Also check out our updated post on SDVOSB eligibility here.
- House-Passed 2022 NDAA Raises Sole Source Thresholds for 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, and WOSB/EDWOSB Contracts. This would be of interest to a lot of small businesses. Unfortunately the sole-source maximums were not raised in the 2022 NDAA. It was also up for debate in the 2023 NDAA, but didn’t make it into that one either.
- Breaking: SBA Issues Veteran-Owned Certification Rules, Will Eliminate SDVOSB Self-Certification. From the 2022 list.
- SBA Final Rule Eases Use of Small Business Joint Venture and Subcontractor Past Performance. Also from the 2022 top blog list.
2022 was an interesting year, with a ton of updates. But the ball is always rolling forward, so stay tuned to SmallGovCon in 2023!
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