As I’m sure most other attorneys can commiserate with, I
often have a recurring nightmare that I miss a filing deadline. Doing so can lead
to terrible results: dismissed cases and, in some cases, sanctions against the
attorney. For this reason, we always check, double-check, and triple-check our
filing deadlines, and strive to file documents early, when possible.
Given my fear, I gain no pleasure in reading about missed
filing deadlines, especially when the goof is the subject of a matter outside
the attorney’s control.
But as a recent decision by the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals demonstrates, even the most sympathetic of excuses won’t excuse a late appeal filing.
Following a size determination, any person adversely affected by that determination may file an appeal with the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. To be timely, the appeal has to be filed within 15 calendar days from the date the person receives the determination. If not timely-filed, the appeal will be dismissed.
This 15-day deadline is strict. The OHA doesn’t have the power to extend it, even if good reason exists to do so. In fact, the OHA’s recent decision in Sentient Digital, Inc. dba Entrust Government Solutions, SBA No. SIZ-5963 (2018) makes clear that this deadline applies even when an agency changes its decision to terminate a contract following an adverse size determination.
Everyone has that one friend who has an inbox overflowing with emails. You know the one who just can’t seem to delete any old emails, or go through and sort the legit emails from junk. Well, when it comes to size protests and appeals, government contractors may want to be extra vigilant about checking their email inboxes and spam folders, just in case an important government email arrives.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals found that the size appeal clock started ticking on the day that the SBA sent an email to a contractor–even though the contractor did “not recall” receiving the email.