Don’t Forget the Attachments: A Quick Reminder from SBA’s OHA

Did you remember to staple the cover sheet to your TPS report? And, more importantly, if you recently filed a CVE Appeal with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, did you remember to attach a copy of your CVE denial or cancellation? In OHA’s recent, and very short, decision, Joy Corporation, SBA No. CVE-155-A (Aug. 13, 2020), it reminded appellants that failure to do so will result in almost instant dismissal. To ensure you avoid this fate, read on.

Joy Corporation’s appeal started out like so many others. It had applied for inclusion as a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business in the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP). We’ve talked about CVE certification a few times in the past (including here) and, as many of our readers know, CVE verification is required to compete for SDVOSB or VOSB set-asides at the VA–although it’s not required for non-VA procurements.

CVE denied Joy Corporation’s verification application in late July–but all was not lost! Joy Corporation filed an appeal of its denial with OHA, as permitted under regulation 13 C.F.R. 134.1002, explaining why CVE got it wrong.

Unfortunately for Joy Corporation, although it filed an appeal on time, it missed another part of the regulations. 13 C.F.R. 135.1105(a) requires all CVE appeal petitions to include a “copy of the denial or cancellation and the date the appellant received it,” an explanation of why CVE’s determination was incorrect, contact information and signature of its representative or attorney, and “[a]ny other pertinent information the Judge should consider.” Importantly, the regulation also states that any “appeal petition that does not meet all the requirements of this section may be dismissed by the Judge at his/her own initiative[.]” The Judge took that initiative here and promptly dismissed Joy Corporation’s appeal because it didn’t attach CVE’s denial decision.

In the end, this case serves as a quick but important reminder for government contractors seeking CVE verification: if you want to file an appeal of CVE denial or cancellation, make sure the CVE’s determination is attached! And if you want to file an appeal, but need some assistance, we can help.