Ambiguous Contractor Teaming Agreement Sinks CIO-SP3 Proposal

Joint venture partner or subcontractor?  An offeror’s teaming agreement for the CIO-SP3 GWAC wasn’t clear about which tasks would be performed by joint venture partners and which would be performed by subcontractors–and the agency was within its discretion to eliminate the offeror as a result.

A recent GAO bid protest decision demonstrates that when a solicitation calls for information about teaming relationships, it is important to clearly establish which type of teaming relationship the offeror intends to establish, and draft the teaming agreement and proposal accordingly.

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GSA Contractor Team Arrangement: Single-SIN Restriction Was Appropriate

A procuring agency reasonably required all members of a SDVOSB set-aside GSA Contractor Team Arrangement to possess a certain Federal Supply Schedule contract and Special Item Number.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that restricting CTAs to holders of a certain Schedule and SIN was appropriate because all of the supplies to be procured fell within the identified Schedule and SIN.

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Free Webinar: Teaming Agreements and Joint Venture Agreements

Interested in creating compliant and effective joint venture agreements, teaming agreements, and subcontracts?  Join me this Friday, March 15, for a free webinar sponsored by Powering Up! Small Business Teams.

The webinar will cover mandatory provisions to include in joint venture agreements under the 8(a), WOSB and SDVOSB programs, required subcontract “flow downs” and other small business teaming requirements.  In addition, we will go beyond the minimum legal requirements and discuss best practices for thorough and effective teaming documents–topics such as dispute resolution, termination, exclusivity, non-disclosure of confidential information, and more.

To register for Friday’s free webinar, or find out more information, visit the webinar’s registration page.  And if you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of small business teaming, mark your calendar for the upcoming teaming webinars in the Powering Up! webinar series.

GAO: Ostensible Subcontractor Rule Not Part of Set-Aside Decision

When deciding whether to set aside a solicitation for small businesses, procuring agencies need not consider whether prospective small business offerors can perform the contract without violating the SBA’s ostensible subcontractor rule.

This was the ruling of the GAO in a recent bid protest decision, in which the GAO held that a procuring agency had properly set aside a contract for small businesses without prior consideration of the ostensible subcontractor rule.  The GAO’s decision aligns with the one discussed in yesterday’s post, in which the GAO held that an a procuring agency need not consider the individual capabilities of potential small business offerors to meet all solicitation requirements before setting aside a solicitation.

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Teaming Agreements and Proprietary Information: A Cautionary Tale

Are you taking adequate steps to protect your proprietary and confidential information from misuse by teammates?

If your teaming agreement or non-disclosure agreement requires you to mark proprietary information with a “protected” legend, the answer may be “no.”  Although many standard teaming agreements and non-disclosure agreements require protective legends in order to protect confidential information, contractors sometimes fail to apply the appropriate legend.  And when that happens, at least according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the contractor may have no basis to complain that the teammate stole its confidential information.

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WOSB Downgraded for Reliance on Teammate’s Experience

Small government contractors often rely on teammates and subcontractors to demonstrate relevant experience.  But as one recently-published GAO bid protest decision shows, some procuring agencies may take a dim view of such reliance.

In Quasars, Inc., B-405747 (Dec. 7, 2011), the agency found that a woman-owned small business’s reliance on a teammate for relevant experience was risky, because that teammate might leave, depriving the team of the necessary expertise.  The GAO found nothing unreasonable in the agency’s evaluation.

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