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!

Continue reading

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 blog 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the SDB program is still alive and kicking, the rules will be simplified to eliminate a lot of language that is simply no longer applicable.

Continue reading

SBA Clarifies Subcontracting Plan Rules

The SBA recently issued a final rule concerning numerous aspects of small business contracting. In previous posts, we wrote about a few parts of the rule, including changes to the limitations on subcontracting. The new rule also clarifies some important facets of the rules governing subcontracting plans.

Continue reading

Miscalculation of Subcontracting Percentage Leads to Sustained Protest

Agencies and contractors must do their math right (even fractions) when evaluating proposals against solicitation terms, and GAO will call them on it if they don’t. GAO recently sustained a protest where an agency improperly calculated a small business subcontracting percentage by including the prime contractor’s fee as part of the subcontracted costs when the fee shouldn’t have been included.

Continue reading

Offeror Provides Only First Pages of Teaming Agreements, Gets “Marginal” Score

An offeror provided a procuring agency with only the first pages of its teaming agreements with proposed subcontractors–and received a “Marginal” score on the small business participation factor as a result.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that the agency reasonably downgraded the offeror for failing to provide its entire teaming agreements, saying that the agency correctly determined that it was unable to determine what work would be performed by the subcontractors.

Continue reading

GAO: Subcontracting Plan Required by Solicitation Must be in Proposal

It’s a basic tenet of government contracting that a contractor must comply with the requirements of an agency solicitation. Those are the rules of the game. But in practice, there can be some tricky calls. For instance, what if a solicitation includes a requirement that appears to conflict with the FAR? Does an offeror still have to comply?

A recent GAO decision explored this situation in the context of a solicitation’s requirement for subcontracting plans.

Continue reading

Small Business Goaling: Army Evaluation Offers Lesson For SBA

Last month, I wrote that the SBA shouldn’t have awarded the government an “A” for its FY 2016 small business goaling achievement.  Even though the government exceeded the 23% small business goal, it missed the WOSB and HUBZone goals (the latter by a lot).

In a different context, a recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal evaluation offers a grading lesson for the SBA.  In that case, the Corps assigned a large prime offeror a middling “Acceptable” score for small business participation where the offeror proposed to meet the contract’s overall small business subcontracting goal, but not the SDB, WOSB, HUBZone, VOSB and SDVOSB goals.

Continue reading