Year in Review: Top SmallGovCon Posts of 2023

Happy New Year to our SmallGovCon readers! While we have already posted some updates from 2024, it’s a good time to reflect on the important posts from 2023.

This post revisits those blog posts from 2023 that were the most popular. Below, we summarize the blogs written in 2023 that were the most popular as well as the perennial favorites from years past that were the most viewed in 2023. It’s a good chance to look back on the important articles from 2023, and those topics of continuing interest to federal contractors.

Here are the top 10 blog posts that were posted in 2023. As usual, our readers were interested in changes to SBA’s rules, including changes to the 8(a) Program and the social disadvantage requirement, as well as our Back to Basics series focusing on issues such as teaming agreements, debriefings, and SAM registration.

Top Posts Published in 2023

1Back to Basics: Teaming Agreements. Obviously, readers are very interested in why they should use a teaming agreement for federal contracts. Thankfully, this post goes into all the reasons.
2Initial Challenge to 8(a) Presumption of Social Disadvantage for Certain Minority Groups Succeeds: What This Means for Now. Back on July 24, we wrote our first post about the Ultima decision that forced a revamp of how SBA reviews social disadvantage for the 8(a) Program.
3SBA Puts “Temporary Pause” on New 8(a) Program Application Submissions. After the Ultima decision, SBA had to pause new 8(a) Program applications. 8(a) Program applications resumed after a short break. One of our latest posts reminds readers what SBA is looking for in the new streamlined social disadvantage narrative format.
4SBA Final Rule Relaxes Change of 8(a) Program Ownership, Allows Limited Populated Joint Ventures. This post summarized many changes that SBA made to 8(a) ownership rules, as well as joint ventures. This was a lengthy rule change from SBA that included lots of small changes to many SBA rules.
5Back to Basics: Debriefings. This post can tell you all the basics about debriefings, a crucial part of the complicated world of bidding on government contracts.
6Back to Basics: Registering in Before you can bid on a federal contract, you have to be registered in SAM. But what does that entail?
7SBA Revisions to the “Two-Year Rule” for Joint Ventures: a Reminder to Read the Entire Rule. This post explored the still-confusing language of SBA’s “Two-Year Rule” for joint ventures.
8SBA New Rule: Guidelines for Compliance with Limitations on Subcontracting in 13 C.F.R. 125.6. SBA updates its limitations on subcontracting rule to require that compliance with the limitations be looked at on an order-by-order basis for multi-agency set aside contracts and added additional consequences for violations of the limitations on subcontracting.
9Senate-Passed 2024 NDAA set to Raise DoD Set-Aside Sole-Source Contract Threshold Limits. Unfortunately, this increase did not make it into the final text of the NDAA.
10Back to Basics: Calculating Small Business Size. A helpful article that reminded our readers of the key aspects of calculating small business size for federal contracts.

Top Posts Viewed in 2023 from All Time

1“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.
2Goodbye PTAC, Hello APEX Accelerators. While we are still trying to get used to the name change, APEX Accelerators carry on the PTAC legacy of providing free procurement assistance to small businesses that work with all levels of the government, whether federal, state, or local.
3FedBizOpps is Almost Gone.  There must be a lot of folks nostalgic for FedBizOpps and not so happy with, based on the popularity of our post saying goodbye to FBO.
4Back to Basics: Limitations on Subcontracting. A post from 2022 that is becoming very popular. With the renewed focus on limitations on subcontracting, it’s always good to know how to stay compliant.
5DOD: 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.
6FAR 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.
7Don’t Ignore NAICS Code Changes: New Rule a Reminder to Contractors. This post reminded contractors that the U.S. Office of Management and Budget routinely revises the North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS), which the SBA in turn incorporates as the new applicable NAICS codes for small business size purposes.
85 Things You Should Know: HUBZone Program (The Basics). This post explores a crucial program for small businesses: the Historically Underutilized Business Zone—or HUBZone.
9SAM Registration: What The Heck Is An “Immediate Owner?”. The SAM definition of “immediate owner” still creates questions for a lot of federal contractors.
10Back to Basics: Teaming Agreements. This post from 2023 made it into the top 10 from all time.

I’m sure there will be much to talk about in 2024. Make sure to keep up to date on SmallGovCon for all the updates.

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