Breaking: SBA Proposed Rule Gives OHA Jurisdiction over HUBZone Status Protests

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.

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OHA: CVE Appeals Go Directly to Us, Not CVE

OHA recently confirmed it lacked jurisdiction over a CVE appeal mistakenly filed with CVE, not OHA, by the deadline. You might be thinking: “Oh come on, the CVE appeal was filed with CVE on time!” But OHA’s strict timeliness rules make no exception for any such mistakes in the CVE appeal process. In fact, OHA disclaims the authority to even consider a late appeal, regardless of whether or not it was timely (but improperly) filed with CVE itself.

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VA CVE Verification Appeals Must be Filed at SBA, Not VA

If the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation denies a company’s application for verification as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, the applicant has the right to appeal–but the appeal must be filed with the SBA, not the VA.

In a recent case, an applicant tried to appeal its denial to the VA, apparently based on the erroneous advice of a VA employee. By the time the applicant realized that it had appealed to the wrong agency, it was too late.

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Don’t Forget the Attachments: A Quick Reminder from SBA’s OHA

Did you remember to staple the cover sheet to your TPS report? And, more importantly, if you recently filed a CVE Appeal with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, did you remember to attach a copy of your CVE denial or cancellation?

In OHA’s recent, and very short, decision, Joy Corporation, SBA No. CVE-155-A (Aug. 13, 2020), it reminded appellants that failure to do so will result in almost instant dismissal. To ensure you avoid this fate, read on.

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OHA Lacks Jurisdiction for NAICS Appeal of GPO Procurement on VA’s Behalf

OHA recently confirmed that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a NAICS code appeal regarding a GPO procurement, even though that procurement was conducted on behalf on the VA. OHA’s dismissal was based on the fact that GPO, a legislative branch agency, is not subject to the same rules as the executive agencies.

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OHA Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear HUBZone Status Appeals

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.

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