An adverse inference is a penalty that the Small Business Administration (SBA) can enforce as part of a size protest. During a size protest determination, SBA will ask the protested company lots of questions. Sometimes, a protester will not answer those questions, either on purpose or due to oversight. Depending on the circumstances, SBA can apply an adverse inference if a protested company fails to respond to questions. If SBA applies an adverse inference, that means that the SBA Area Office will determine that the information that was not provided would prove that the company is not a small business. A recent decision reminds us about this penalty. If you are in a similar situation, reach out to a firm like ours to help think of a way to respond to SBA.Continue reading
There are many things to know about responding to size protests. One could probably fill a book with the information-(actually I did, for those who want a real deep dive!). But if you need to know just the basics, here are five things you should know about size protests that can help you be prepared if your company is facing a size protest.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
The SBA’s regulations do not allow an 8(a) company to file a size protest challenging the award of an 8(a) sole source contract to a competitor.
In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that size protests relating to 8(a) sole source awards can be filed by contracting officers or the SBA itself–but not by competitors.
An offeror with a “relatively weak proposal” can nonetheless file a size protest challenging the small business eligibility of the prospective awardee, provided that the protester was not found technically unacceptable or otherwise incapable of being selected for award.
In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that the mere fact that the protester was evaluated as “less than satisfactory” on four out of five non-price factors did not justify dismissing the protester’s size protest for lack of standing.
GAO ordinarily will not hear any argument that is based on a company’s small business status, even if the alleged large company is only a proposed subcontractor.
In a recent decision, GAO declined to hear a protester’s argument that the awardee’s supposedly-small subcontractors were affiliated with other entities, holding that such a determination is reserved solely for the SBA.