SBIR Program: Agencies Have Broad Discretion Over Phase III Awards, GAO Confirms

A federal agency has broad discretion to make a sole source award under Phase III of the Small Business Innovation Research program.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that an agency may make a Phase III award when the contract “derives from, extends, or completes efforts made under prior funding agreements under the SBIR program.” What’s more, an agency has “relatively limited requirements to justify a phase III award,” and considerable discretion when it comes to determining whether a new contract fits this definition.

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COVID-19 & SBA 8(a) Program Suspensions: FAQs

If you are a government contractor participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, there is a good chance you received an email this week about COVID-19 and the SBA’s 8(a) suspension authority. What is this authority and, more importantly, how would suspension impact your 8(a) status?

In this post, we aim to provide some answers to frequently asked questions about these suspensions.

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The Coronavirus Stimulus Package Could do More for Small Business Contractors

Congress is expected to pass a huge coronavirus stimulus package in the coming days. While lobbyists and congressional staffers wrestle over the last bits and pieces to find their way in to the bill, there seems to be a pretty important group left out—small business federal contractors.

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DOD: Sole-Source Contracts up to $100 Million Don’t Need Justification

Effective March 17, DOD contracting officers won’t have to issue a justification or obtain approval for award of a sole-source contract under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program for awards up to $100 million, up from the prior $22 million limit. This Department of Defense class deviation implements the higher dollar amount that Congress set in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

This change will likely matter most for 8(a) concerns owned by an Indian Tribe, Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) or Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO), as other 8(a) firms are limited to a smaller dollar amount for sole source awards unless only one 8(a) firm can perform the work.

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The Basics: Socioeconomic Sole Source Awards

Just last week during a Govology webinar on Women-Owned Small Businesses, one of the attendees asked an insightful question about the different standards for giving sole source awards to participants in various government programs. She wanted to know the difference between how contracting officers go about offering an 8(a) sole source award and a WOSB sole source award.

So, let’s take a look, shall we?

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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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House Passes Bill to Increase Potential Size of Sole Source Awards

Amidst the news cycle focusing on the government shutdown, there is some other action in the House of Representatives that recently caught our eye.

The House recently passed a bill called the “Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2019.” If the bill becomes law, we will see a dramatic expansion in the size of sole source contracts for SDVOSBs, WOSBs, and HUBZones.

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