Recent Task Force Meeting Underscores Challenges Facing SDVOSB Transfer from VA to SBA

Sometimes, task force meetings are held just for the sake of having meetings. However, on June 2nd and 3rd the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) met to discuss important issues facing small businesses. This shed much needed light on the issues fast approaching and what steps the SBA needs to take.

The main topic of discussion was the pending CVE transfer. The transfer, as I soon found out, is deceptively complex. In a separate point, SBA noted that the Biden Administration announced it will use the purchase power of the federal government to make more awards to disadvantaged businesses, raising the target from 5% to 10%.

The star of the show, however, was the CVE transfer. So, what does this mean for you?

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GAO: No SBA Certificate of Competency Review Needed for Failure to Adequately Explain Technical Approach

For small businesses, the SBA’s Certificate of Competency process can offer a powerful “second bite at the apple,” essentially allowing a small business to appeal to the SBA if a procuring agency finds the small business non-responsible.

But the SBA CoC process is limited to findings of non-responsibility under FAR Part 9. As GAO recently held, there is no right to appeal to SBA if the proposal was rejected for failing to adequately explain the small business’s technical approach.

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Event: SBA Training Webinar on 8(a) Joint Ventures

8(a) joint ventures are a powerful tool–both for non-8(a)s to participate in 8(a) contract opportunities and for 8(a) companies to gain valuable experience in their industries. But it is crucial that 8(a) joint ventures follow all of SBA’s requirements if they want to get (and keep) 8(a) awards.

Some of those requirements underwent significant revisions this past year. Join Shane McCall and me on February 9 for the SBA Training Webinar: 8(a) Joint Ventures, where we will discuss the ins and outs of 8(a) joint ventures and keep you up-to-date on all of SBA’s requirements.

Please register here. Hope to see you there!

SBA Eases Lifetime Limit on Mentors

The SBA has long had a lifetime limit of two mentors for each protégé–and this limit was enforced very strictly. Say the mentor ghosted the protégé, or the two just never did any contracts together. Well, too bad, that still used up one of the two lifetime mentors that a protégé could have.

They say there are no second chances, but the SBA’s new rule will allow for second chances on a mentor protégé arrangement in some circumstances, which should benefit protégés going forward.

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SBA Inspector General Says SBA’s Corrective Actions Have Effectively Resolved 8(a) Eligibility Concerns

SBA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently inspected SBA’s 2019-2020 corrective actions to determine whether they had effectively reduced the risks previously found in SBA’s 8(a) Program eligibility determinations. Apparently, the OIG liked what it saw.

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Inspector General: SBA’s Certify.SBA.gov Platform “Has Not Accomplished Its Objectives”

The SBA’s “Certify” website, certify.SBA.gov, has fallen far short of meeting its objectives, according to an eye-opening report from the SBA’s Office of Inspector General.

The OIG concludes that, despite an investment of $30 million, Certify “does not have many of the essential search, analytical, and reporting tools it was supposed to have.” Additionally, Certify’s lack of functionality has forced SBA employees to use time-consuming workarounds, causing delays in screening and approving applications, among other things.

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SBA Issues 2019 Small Business Scorecard, Small Business Contracting Over $130 Billion!

The SBA’s FY2019 Small Business Procurement Scorecard came out recently and revealed some interesting trends in the dollars and cents of small business contracting. While there are a lot of positives for small businesses, not all the numbers are great. Read on for the details!

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