A Bridge (Not) Too Far: Prohibition on Dividing up Contracts to get Under 8(a) Sole Source Dollar Limit Doesn’t Apply to Bridge Contracts

Under 13 C.F.R. § 124.506, if an 8(a) contract price would exceed a certain threshold ($7 million for manufacturing contracts, $4.5 million for others), in most cases, the agency must compete the set-aside.  13 C.F.R. § 124.506(a)(5) is a provision meant to close up what otherwise would be a loophole in the rules. It states that “[a] proposed 8(a) requirement with an estimated value exceeding the applicable competitive threshold amount may not be divided into several separate procurement actions for lesser amounts in order to use 8(a) sole source procedures to award to a single contractor.” But this rule does not apply in all circumstances. In particular, it does not apply to bridge contracts.

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Agency Could Not Accept Price Above Awardee’s FSS Price, GAO Says

If you feel like prices for just about everything are going up, you’re not alone. I recently got my annual property tax bill, and the first thing I did (after recovering from a brief fainting spell) was to start Googling to find out how much I could get for one of my kidneys on the black market.

I get the feeling that my county tax assessor would consider anything less than a double digit increase to be an embarrassing professional failure. In federal government contracting, however, a contractor may not have the same leeway to raise its prices. In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that when an agency sought to procure services using the Federal Supply Schedule, the agency could not agree to pay a price higher than the price set forth in the offeror’s underlying FSS contract.

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Free Webinar! The SBA Mentor-Protégé Program hosted by Washington DC APEX Accelerators, February 27, 10:30am -12:30 PM EST

Touted as a “game-changer” when it was first introduced in 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor-Protégé  Program isn’t new anymore. Known now as simply the “SBA Mentor-Protégé  Program, it is still extremely powerful for large and small contractors alike.

In this webinar, Gregory Weber and I will explain the ins and out of the SBA Mentor-Protégé  Program, covering the program’s eligibility requirements, its potent benefits (including the ability to form special Mentor-Protégé  Joint Ventures), the application process, and common misconceptions and pitfalls. Target Audience: Small Businesses (SDVOSB, WOSB, HUBZone, 8(a), SDB) and large businesses interest in doing business with the federal government. Please join us and register here. And thanks to Earl King of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and Apex Accelerator for organizing this event.

SmallGovCon Week in Review: February 12-16, 2024

Hello, blog readers. We want to say that our hearts are with the people of Kansas City. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of those impacted during the the Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City. We also salute the first responders who acted so quickly.

Our stories from federal contracting news this week included continued delays for CIO-SP4 and a new initiative on carbon-free electricity.

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Event! MyGovWatch Live: The B2G Rountable hosted by Nick Bernardo, February 21, 2024, 12:00pm CST

Check out the full video from this event here. This edition of MyGovWatch Live: The B2G Roundtable, hosted by MyGovWatch President Nick Bernardo along with govcon legal experts Nicole Pottroff and John Holtz from Koprince McCall Potroff! In this session, we talked with an African American gentleman interested in learning about “Super 8(a)” firms and the history and development around the 8(a) program as it relates to Native American Organizations. We talked to a specialty contractor SDVOSB about which portions of the FAR apply when he is acting as a Federal subcontractor for products, services, or both on Federal construction jobs. Our cohosts gave an update on the transition of SDVOSB certification from the Veterans Administration to the Small Business Administration (SBA), and mentioned details on SBA size threshold limit changes for small businesses in different NAICS codes. We talked about various legal structures allowable for potential 8(a) firms owned by the same principal(s). There was an interesting discussion on using open records laws to learn about what a winning proposal looks like at the state and local level, and we covered best practices in proposal development.

If you’re interested in learning more about the federal government contracting business, please join John Holtz and I, who will be co-hosting with Nick Bernardo at this live podcast event. Sign up now to join this free opportunity to speak with experts, who have actually helped people succeed in govcon and who will be happy to answer your questions. Please register here. For more information on this and other upcoming events visit my MyGovWatch.com.

Adverse Inference, the Wrong Way to Lose a Size Protest

An adverse inference is a penalty that the Small Business Administration (SBA) can enforce as part of a size protest. During a size protest determination, SBA will ask the protested company lots of questions. Sometimes, a protester will not answer those questions, either on purpose or due to oversight. Depending on the circumstances, SBA can apply an adverse inference if a protested company fails to respond to questions. If SBA applies an adverse inference, that means that the SBA Area Office will determine that the information that was not provided would prove that the company is not a small business. A recent decision reminds us about this penalty. If you are in a similar situation, reach out to a firm like ours to help think of a way to respond to SBA.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: February 5-9, 2024

Happy Friday Readers. We hope you all have had a great week. We are enjoying some milder winter weather here in Kansas finally. We still have a bit to go before spring, but it feels like it is right around the corner. We will be following our KC chiefs as they look to defend their Super Bowl title!

Enjoy the weekend and we also hope you will enjoy reading the articles below, regarding federal government contracting this week. Some highlights include more on the push to increase small business participation, and new legislation that will have an impact on contractors.

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