A common path for many federal contractors to bid on and perform a federal contract is through a joint venture (“JV”). Utilizing a JV can provide some great opportunities for two (or sometimes more) businesses to share resources and boost each others’ performance on a contract. Additionally, it can be a great tool for contractors to utilize both JV partners’ experience and to jointly gain more experience. There are even widespread SBA regulations requiring agencies to “consider” both JV partners’ experience in an evaluation. However, there has still been quite a bit of back and forth regarding how agencies are supposed to evaluate a JV’s experience, and specifically what it means to “consider” each JV partners’ individual experience, particularly in situations where only one JV partner submits the experience. In May of 2023, GAO issued a decision that provided at least some clarification on how an agency should consider each JV partner’s experience, and the impact of not doing so.Continue reading
Past performance is a key part of most government proposal evaluations. Generally, a federal agency gets a lot of discretion in evaluating past performance. But that discretion is not without limits. In a recent decision, GAO sustained a protest where the agency failed to properly evaluate past performance examples for being similar in size.Continue reading
SBA has issued a final rule that should help small businesses demonstrate their past performance more easily. Perhaps most importantly, the rule will allow for a small business to receive a written performance record, similar to CPARS, showing its performance as a subcontractor to a large business prime. The new rule will also allow a small business to better utilize its past performance that it carried out as a member of a joint venture.Continue reading
The SBA proposes to amend its regulations to implement new provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 that provides small business contractors with new tools to establish past performance when bidding on prime contracts for Government procurements. The proposed rules would add two new methods for small businesses to obtain qualifying past performance. One proposed rule would allow a small business with no relevant past performance of its own to use the past performance of a joint venture in which it took part. The second proposed rule would require prime contractors to provide, to small businesses that served as a first-tier subcontractor, a record of the business’s past performance for use by the small business in future proposals.
The proposed rules are here.Continue reading
Federal contractors often ask: “Is it better to team up for government work with a prime-sub arrangement or with a joint venture?” Well, (spoiler alert) the answer is: it depends. But I won’t leave you with just that. This three-part series will provide insight on some of the major differences between these two types of “teams” that offerors should consider when making the decision between a joint venture or prime/subcontractor team in competing for and performing federal contracts. While this series will not provide a comprehensive list of all the differences between these two types of teams, it will cover some of the big ones that seem to come up more frequently in this decision-making process. The focus of the first article in this three-part series was work share considerations. This second article will focus on evaluations of a team’s past performance.Continue reading
GSA has been hard at work on the Polaris solicitation. The goal: provide federal agencies with information technology services from qualified small businesses. GSA recently released the updated draft versions of the submission instructions and evaluation criteria for Polaris. Like CIO-SP4, which we blogged on in detail, Polaris is going to be of interest to many small business IT contractors. So, here are a few highlights from the draft sections.Continue reading
With less than 24 hours left until proposals were due, NIH released Amendment 9, staying the proposal deadline until August 20, 2021 at Noon Eastern. Amendment 9 says it changes very little, but the innocuous cover letter belies a major change to evaluations for Other Than Small and Emerging Large Businesses (OTSBs and ELBs).Continue reading