In VA Tiered Evaluation, Small Business Couldn’t Protest SDVOSB Discussions

After the Supreme Court’s unanimous Kingdomware decision affirmed the VA’s statutory obligation to prioritize SDVOSBs in its contracting, the VA authorized the use of so-called “tiered evaluations.” In a typical VA tiered evaluation, various categories of offerors can submit proposals, but SDVOSB proposals are considered first, then VOSB proposals, and so on.

Recently, a non-SDVOSB small business protested the VA’s decision to open discussions with the only SDVOSB offeror to submit a proposal–discussions that allowed the SDVOSB to win the contract. But according to the GAO, the small business couldn’t file a valid protest because the small business wasn’t in the same tier.

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Strings Attached? Don’t Put Conditions on SDVOSB Ownership, Cautions OHA

Ownership of a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business has to be unconditional. As the owner of an SDVOSB recently found out, unconditional ownership generally means there can be no restrictions on the service-disabled veteran owner’s ability to sell the ownership interest. Let’s explore the details.

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Joint Ventures: Is “Unequivocal Control” Required?

Fans of the blog know that we’re wild about joint ventures: they allow small business contractors to use their size status while, at the same time, leveraging their joint venture partner’s experience and capabilities.

But joint ventures—particularly joint ventures under one of the SBA’s socioeconomic programs—can be tricky to create. For joint ventures between a small and a large company, the venturers first need an approved mentor-protégé agreement. And regardless, for the joint venture to qualify under a socioeconomic designation, that joint venture must have a compliant agreement.

But that’s still not enough to create a compliant joint venture. As a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision explains, the small business venturer must unequivocally control the joint venture.

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Clean-Up on Aisle “FAR”: Joint Venture and Subcontracting Plan Rules Get Modernized

Joint ventures and small business subcontracting are two issues near and dear to the hearts of many small business federal contractors. Well, the Federal Acquisition Regulation will soon be updated with respect to both of these topics. The new rules will align with SBA’s rules and remove any inconsistencies. Let’s dive in!

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GAO: VA’s Market Research Improperly Compared Apples to Oranges, Violated Rule of Two

Under the VA’s Rule of Two, the VA is required to set aside solicitations for veteran-owned businesses if there is a reasonable expectation of receiving offers from two or more such businesses capable of performing the required work at a fair and reasonable price. But how reasonable does the VA’s expectation have to be in a given procurement? GAO recently reviewed the reasonableness of VA’s efforts and found them lacking.

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DoD SDVOSB Contracts: OIG Reports Major Problems

The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released an audit report about Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Contract Awards at DoD . The report noted major concerns with how DoD is confirming eligibility for SDVOSB contract awards as well as monitoring subcontracting limitations. These concerns could lead to increased monitoring and enforcement, so SDVOSB contractors should be keen to see what the report unearthed.

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SmallGovCon Year in Review: The Top Ten

As we reflect on the end of 2019 and look forward to what 2020 will bring, it’s interesting to see what was noteworthy to our readers in 2019. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of some of our most popular posts from 2019. 2020 will certainly bring many more changes in the federal contracting world and SmallGovCon will be here to provide insight on all of them.

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