GAO Sustains Protest to Solicitation’s Implementation of Randolph-Sheppard Act

GAO recently sustained a protest to the terms of a solicitation incorporating the Randolph-Sheppard Act (RSA). The RSA is a statutorily-prescribed preference for blind individuals in the operation of vending facilities (which include cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines) on Federal property.

The protester here, the incumbent contractor and a non-RSA HUBZone concern, challenged the agency’s decision to include the RSA preference in its HUBZone set-aside solicitation for food service attendant services, arguing the work the solicitation contemplated was not for the operation of a cafeteria. And GAO agreed. This GAO decision could have a significant impact, given the broad range of food service solicitations that agencies have been (seemingly increasingly) applying the RSA to lately. Let’s take a deeper dive.

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New Senate Bill Takes Aim at Organizational Conflicts of Interest

These days it often seems like both sides of the congressional aisle cannot agree on anything and bipartisan support is in short supply. However, one thing that Congress can agree on is the fact that organizational conflicts, which can lead to unfair advantages, have no place in Federal contracting. On March 23, 2022, Michigan Senator Gary Peters, with support of three other senators, introduced S. 3905, the Preventing Organizational Conflicts in Federal Acquisition Act (the Act). The bill aims to identify and prevent organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) that have been slipping through the cracks, stating that “[p]rotecting against conflicts of interest in Federal acquisition is vital to the integrity of Government operations.”

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YouTube Tuesday: What is EDWOSB Status?

There have been a few changes recently to the WOSB and EDWOSB certification process–so now is as good a time as any to walk through the requirements for EDWOSB (or Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business) status. In this video, I provide an overview of the benefits of and requirements for EDWOSB status:

If you have questions, we are happy to help! You can reach us here.

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YouTube Tuesday: What is a WOSB?

With changes coming next week to the WOSB program certification process for women-owned small businesses (which we have discussed recently here and here), we thought we’d take a step back to look at the basics of program benefits and eligibility requirements. In this video, I lay out the reasons why women-owned businesses should consider participating in the program and discuss the three primary eligibility requirements:

Need assistance determining whether you’re eligible? Call us!

YouTube Tuesday: WOSB Certification–Changes Coming July 2020

On July 15th, big changes are coming to the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business program certification process! We’ve discussed the changes in depth here, here, and here, but if you’re looking for the highlight reel, this video is for you:

If you have questions about WOSB certification, please give us a call at 785-200-8919.

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Regulatory Update: SBA Moves to Clean Up Small Disadvantaged Business Rules

Last month, the SBA moved to edit its regulations, taking a red pen to its current rules governing Small Disadvantaged Businesses (or SDBs), as described in the Federal Register.

This post will highlight what the new rule will mean for current SDBs—and how businesses can become eligible for SDB subcontractor status under the new rule. While the SDB program is still alive and kicking, the rules will be simplified to eliminate a lot of language that is simply no longer applicable.

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Newsflash: The Final Rule Implementing SBA Certification for WOSBs Is Here!

Update 5/14/2020: Since this post was originally published, SBA’s website has clarified when SBA Certification will be available and when Self-Certification will end. The post has been updated to reflect this information.

On Monday, the Small Business Administration will publish a Final Rule updating the certification methods for businesses applying for and participating in the Women-Owned Small Business program. The new Rule will also impose new thresholds for demonstrating economic disadvantage, impacting applicants not only for the WOSB program, but also the 8(a) Business Development program.

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