The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program offers a myriad of benefits to both Mentors and Protégés who participate in the Program. Small business Protégés benefit from the assistance provided by their SBA approved Mentor, which can include anything from guidance on how to find solicitations and make offers, to financial support in the form of loans or bonding. Mentors benefit because participation allows them to compete for and be awarded contracts in which they may not otherwise qualify for. In fact, SBA even provides a bare bones template for Mentor-Protégé Agreements, complete with 21 yes or no questions that every Mentor-Protégé Agreement must include. A “yes” answer to any of those questions requires the applicant to provide additional information demonstrating why this should not disqualify the Mentor and Protégé from working together. But have you ever stopped to consider the reasoning behind these questions? Likely not, if you have never had to check a “yes” answer. However, knowing the “why” behind these questions is information that every small business federal contractor could benefit from. I’m going to take you through these questions to demystify their application, which will allow you to quickly identify potential problems in the future.Continue reading
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
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
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.
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
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
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