SBA has released its proposed rule allowing for HUBZone appeals to go to the Office of Hearings and Appeals. Below are the key items from this proposed rule, and how it will affect potential and current HUBZone companies.Continue reading
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has proposed to amend the rules of practice for its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) and the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program to “implement procedures authorizing appeals to OHA” from adverse status determination protests for certified HUBZone small business concerns. Currently, HUBZone status protest determinations are decided by the Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development per 13 C.F.R. § 126.805. But those appeals, in our experience, are fairly limited and SBA does not publish the appeal decisions, meaning they provide little help for companies and attorneys wishing to understand how SBA interprets its HUBZone This is a big step for SBA and will certainly bring consistency and insights to the protest process and regulatory interpretation for HUBZone participants, bringing that program more in line with other SBA programs.
The final version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, agreed upon by negotiators for both the House and Senate and signed by the president, will allow the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals to hear appeals related to the SBA’s HUBZone status decisions.
We here at Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC welcome the pending change, which will be a big step forward for the HUBZone program in terms of transparency and fairness.Continue reading
SBA has issued a final rule, effective December 30, that will now provide an avenue to protest situations where the prime contractor on a SDVOSB, HUBZone, or WOSB set-aside contract is subcontracting most or all of the work to a non-similarly situated—but still small business—concern.
It will also allow SBA to review eligibility for 8(a) Program contracts on this ground as well.Continue reading
While the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals hears appeals for many of the SBA’s programs, there are certain decisions that remain outside of its purview.
As one protester was surprised to learn, among those items outside of OHA’s jurisdiction are appeals of the HUBZone status determinations.
In order for an employee to count as a HUBZone resident for purposes of a specific HUBZone contract, the employee must reside in an officially designated HUBZone on the contract award date.
A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is a cautionary tale for HUBZone companies, which are responsible for ensuring that the 35% employee residency requirement is met on the award date.