GAO Finds CIO-SP4 Unduly Restrictive; Recommends Amendment

For practically the entire summer of 2021, we observed (and commented on) NIH’s numerous amendments to its long-awaited CIO-SP4 solicitation after it was finally issued in May 2021. By the time the deadline for proposals finally came, it had been amended eleven (!) times. Even with all those amendments, however, it appears that at least one offeror still had serious concerns about the final version. As it turns out, at least some of their concerns were warranted, per GAO, and has recommended the agency to amend the solicitation or revise its evaluation criteria.

Continue reading

CIO-SP4: Large Mentors Now Get More Credit

I wrote earlier about the restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. Well, NITAAC has listened! OK, they probably weren’t listening directly to me, but let me have this one, alright. CIO-SP4 has been amended to allow large business mentors to contribute two examples of corporate experience per task area.

Continue reading

Introducing Our GovCon Teaming Resource Guides!

When it comes to federal contracting, teaming is an invaluable strategy for many businesses–large and small alike. But the rules and processes surrounding teaming can be complex and confusing, even for experienced contractors.

That’s why Koprince Law has teamed up ourselves–with the government contracts experts at The Pulse of Government Contracting to create special, in-depth Teaming Resource Guides for federal contractors and subcontractors. After an introduction to the basics of teaming, Part I of our series focuses on joint venturing, while Part 2 is a deep dive into prime/subcontracting teaming.

You can check out our Teaming Resource Guides by clicking here. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the other services our friends at Pulse offer to federal contractors!

CIO-SP4: Is it Limiting Mentor Experience Too Much?

The CIO-SP4 is a big deal for many small and large federal contractors. And lately it’s been a bit of a moving target as to how NITAAC will evaluate the experience of companies working together in prime-sub, mentor-protégé, and joint-venture relationships. We wrote about some of the issues with past performance and other recent changes. One change that caught my eye puts a restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. But should it?

Continue reading

GAO: Solicitation Cannot Require a Protégé Have the Same Experience as its Mentor

SBA regulations prohibit agencies from requiring the same past performance record from both mentor and protégé entities.  The regulations explicitly prohibit this type of requirement.

In a recent GAO decision, it sustained the protest where an agency required all members in a joint venture to submit the same past experience examples in their proposal.

Continue reading

SBA’s Change to Joint Venture Bank Account Rule is Another Trap for the Unwary

If you are part of a joint venture between a small protege and its large mentor under the SBA’s Mentor-Protege Program, heads up: the SBA recently amended its list of mandatory requirements for joint venture agreements to cover what happens to funds left over in the joint venture bank account at the end of a project.

Like the revised recordkeeping rules I discussed in an earlier post, the new required provision only applies to mentor-protege joint ventures pursuing small business set-aside contracts–not to JVs seeking 8(a), SDVOSB/VOSB, WOSB/EDWOSB or HUBZone work. Confusingly (and again, like the recordkeeping rules), SBA’s decision to change only the small business set-aside regulation, 13 C.F.R 125.8, means that the same joint venture agreement may not be valid for both small business set-aside contracts and socioeconomic contracts.

Continue reading

No Protests of SBA Mentor-Protégé Agreements, Says OHA

The SBA’s mentor-protégé program offers powerful benefits. To help ensure that only legitimate small businesses take advantage of the program, the SBA asks applicants a series of questions about potential affiliation between the prospective mentor and protégé.

But once the SBA signs off on a mentor-protégé agreement, that’s that. As the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals recently confirmed, competitors cannot use the size protest process to challenge whether an SBA mentor-protégé agreement should have been approved in the first place.

Continue reading