SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 9-13, 2022

Happy Friday blog readers! Hope you are having a nice week. Kick back and relax with the latest federal contracting updates.

This week saw some interesting federal contracting news. GAO has issued a new report on ways the federal government can potentially save billions of dollars in spending and improve efficiency of its programs. Additional stories include an article I’m quoted in from Bloomberg Law discussing U.S. agencies requests for brand name items in contract proposals. Read on for the details and have a great weekend!

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GAO Tested SBA on its Tribal 8(a) Verification Process and Found It Mostly Held Up

Federal and state-recognized Indian tribes and members of such tribes are presumptively socially disadvantaged, and if tribal association is verified, no further information is needed to verify social disadvantage for a Small Business Association (SBA) 8(a) program application. However, in 2021, the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that, although the process for awarding 8(a) program status involves a multi-level eligibility review, the SBA does not have a formal verification procedure for verifying the federal or state-recognized status of Indian tribes associated with tribal applications. As such, GAO was asked to evaluate the SBA’s verification of 8(a) applications claiming federal or state-recognized tribal association. The following is a summary of those findings. 

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COVID-19 Lockdown No Excuse for Late Filing, GAO says

In a recent bid protest decision, GAO said being under a COVID-19 “Stay at Home Order” was no reason to miss a comments filing deadline.

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Strict GAO Timeliness Rules Apply to Supplemental Protests

GAO interprets its bid protest timeliness rules very strictly, as readers of this blog will know. These timeliness rules typically pertain to the initial protest, but are equally important when a protester files a supplemental protest. Often, supplemental protests are filed after the protester receives the agency’s response and comes to learn new information that wasn’t previously available.

If a supplemental protest raises allegations independent of those set forth in the initial protest, the supplemental protest must independently satisfy GAO’s strict timeliness rules. A recent GAO decision shows how easy it can be to slip up on these deadlines when considering a supplemental protest.

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