House Passes HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H. R. 5879, clarifying the application of the price evaluation preference for qualified HUBZone small business concerns to certain contracts. If this becomes law, the Act would make sure the HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference applies to certain orders under partially restricted multiple award contracts.

Continue reading

House-Approved 2022 NDAA Makes HUBZone Changes, Including HUBZone Appeals

The House-passed version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act would make some significant changes for the HUBZone program. Among them are the ability to have HUBZone appeals heard by administrative judges. Below is a summary of the key changes The House version of the 2022 NDAA includes some amendments that could come about if they are all included in the final law.

Continue reading

The Coronavirus Stimulus Package Could do More for Small Business Contractors

Congress is expected to pass a huge coronavirus stimulus package in the coming days. While lobbyists and congressional staffers wrestle over the last bits and pieces to find their way in to the bill, there seems to be a pretty important group left out—small business federal contractors.

Continue reading

“Eliminate Most DoD Small Business Set-Asides,” Says Section 809 Panel

The Section 809 Panel has recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel would replace the longstanding set-aside system with a meager five percent small business price preference.

For small government contractors, this recommendation is the policy equivalent of a five-alarm fire. Small contractors may need to fight hard to save the set-aside system.

Get ready for a battle.

Continue reading

Limitations on Subcontracting: FAR Council Finally Proposes Rule Change

For small government contractors, the disconnect between the SBA’s updated limitations on subcontracting rule and the FAR’s outdated rules has been very confusing.  For more than two years, the FAR and SBA regulation have used different formulas to determine compliance, and the SBA rule–but not the FAR–allows the use of “similarly situated entities” on small business set-asides and 8(a) contracts.

This has created major headaches for small businesses, who have had no definitive answer to what should be a simple question: “which rule do I follow?”  Now, finally, there is some important progress to report in clearing up this discrepancy: yesterday, the FAR Council issued a proposed rule to update the FAR’s limitations on subcontracting provisions and conform them to the SBA’s rule.

Continue reading

GAO: Subcontracting Uncertainty Means No HUBZone Price Preference Required

An agency properly refused to apply the HUBZone price preference when the agency determined HUBZone company’s proposal was unclear as to whether the company would comply with the subcontracting limits set forth in the FAR’s HUBZone price preference clause.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the Defense Logistics Agency reasonably refused to apply the HUBZone price preference in a procurement for supplies because the HUBZone company’s proposal suggested that HUBZone companies might perform less than 50% of the manufacturing costs.

Continue reading

HUBZone Price Preference: GAO Confirms Application to GSA Leases

The HUBZone price preference applies to GSA leasehold acquisitions, according to a GAO decision confirming a prior bid protest ruling.

In General Services Administration–Reconsideration, B-406040.2 (Oct. 24, 2012), the GSA asked the GAO to reconsider its decision in The Argos Group, LLC, B-406040 (Jan. 24, 2012), in which the GAO initially held that the HUBZone price evaluation preference applies to GSA lease acquisitions.  The GAO–with the SBA’s support–confirmed its prior ruling, holding that the GSA cannot evade the HUBZone price preference when it issues a competitive procurement to acquire a lease.

Continue reading