SBA 8(a) Program: Participant Terminated For Missing Annual Report

When it comes to the regulations governing small government contractors, lateness can lead to tough consequences.  For instance, responding late to a small business size protest might cause the SBA to conclude that the contractor is a large business, and a late proposal submission can get a bid tossed out.

Lateness can also lead to severe consequences within the SBA 8(a) program.  In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the SBA properly terminated an 8(a) program participant because the participant had failed to submit a complete 8(a) annual report–months after the deadline had passed.

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8(a) Program: OHA Judge Slams SBA For Claim It Cannot Play DVDs

The SBA’s claim that it could not access information provided by an 8(a) program applicant in DVD format was “not credible,” according to a recent 8(a) program appeal ruling issued by the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In Sunrise Staffing, SBA No. BDPE-499 (2013), the SBA OHA–in an unusually sharply-worded opinion–rejected the SBA’s excuses for not reviewing relevant information provided by the 8(a) program applicant, and granted the applicant’s 8(a) appeal.

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8(a) Program: Lack Of Business Development Effort Results In Termination

An 8(a) firm’s failure to actively pursue its business has caused the SBA to terminate the firm from the 8(a) program.

Upholding the termination, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals noted that if an 8(a) firm’s fails to make substantial and sustained efforts to obtain business, the SBA is justified in kicking the firm out of the 8(a) program.

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8(a) Joint Ventures Are Not 8(a) Program Participants, Says SBA OHA

8(a) joint ventures are not 8(a) program participants, according to a recent (and commonsense) decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In its decision, SBA rejected a joint venture’s argument that its 8(a) joint venture agreement was essentially an 8(a) program application, drawing a jurisdictional decision between 8(a) program certification and 8(a) joint venture agreement approval.

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SBA 8(a) Program: Termination For “Full Time Employment” Violation Upheld

A participant in the SBA’s 8(a) Program was appropriately terminated because the company’s disadvantaged owner took another full-time job without the SBA’s permission.

The recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision upholding the termination is an important reminder of the limitations on outside employment for 8(a) owners–as well as a reminder of the importance to 8(a) firms of ongoing honesty and forthrightness with the SBA.

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8(a) Contractor Terminated For Subcontracting Limit Violations

A contractor was recently terminated from the SBA’s 8(a) Program for failing to comply with the subcontracting limits applicable to its 8(a) contracts.

The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals upheld the termination, writing that the SBA had properly terminated the 8(a) contractor for “willfully violating SBA regulations.”  SBA OHA rejected the contractor’s argument that it was exempt from the subcontracting limits under the so-called non-manufacturer rule.

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After Successful 8(a) Appeal, Company Gains 8(a) Certification

Last month, I wrote about the successful 8(a) program appeal filed by Gearhart Construction Services.  In its decision, SBA OHA held that the SBA had misevaluated Gearhart on the “social disadvantage” factor, including by holding Gearhart to a too-high standard of proof.  SBA OHA ordered the SBA to correct its errors and take another look at Gearhart’s application.

Now I can report that Gearhart’s story has a happy ending.  On April 11, the SBA notified Gearhart that it had been admitted to the 8(a) program.  SBA OHA then dismissed Gearhart’s appeal as moot, because Gearhart and achieved its goal.

Sometimes, gaining admission to the 8(a) program requires tenacity and a continued belief in one’s case, even when the SBA’s 8(a) office has repeatedly denied the application.  Gearhart’s perseverance paid off, and the company now has nine years to reap the rewards.