13 C.F.R. § 125.6 sets out the limitations on subcontracting for all small business set-asides (including 8(a), SDVOSB/VOSB, HUBzone, and WOSB/EDWOSB set asides.) These limitations on subcontracting are crucial for any small business federal contractor to be familiar with, and we have discussed how they work here. But, while the regulation does provide for certain legal penalties for violations of these limitations, up until SBA’s recent rule change, it didn’t provide for any direct consequences for a company’s past performance (although conceivably an agency could mention limitations on subcontracting as part of a CPARS review). Furthermore, SBA now will require that compliance with the limitations be looked at on an order-by-order basis for multi-agency set aside contracts where more than one agency can issue orders under the contract, and for full and open contracts where the task order is set aside for small businesses. All this is effective May 30, 2023, and we explore these changes here.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Task Orders
GAO Sustains Protest Where Agency Fails to Properly Justify “Brand Name Only” Requirement
When an agency restricts a solicitation to a single brand-name, the agency must appropriately justify its decision, even where the solicitation is competed among holders of a governmentwide acquisition contract.
In a recent case, the GAO sustained a protest, holding that an agency violated the FAR by failing to properly justify its brand-name restriction.Continue reading
Small Business Being Acquired by a Large Business? For Multiple Award Contracts, the 180-Day Rule Doesn’t Apply to Task Orders, says GAO
You may recall a post of ours back in April 2021, where we discussed a little-known change to SBA’s size determination rules that occurred in October 2020. SBA created an exception, at 13 C.F.R. § 121.404(g)(2)(iii), to the usual “size is determined at offer date” rule. Now, prior to award, when a small business is part of a merger or acquisition after it makes an offer on a solicitation, the business has to recertify its size, and depending on when that acquisition occurred, if the business is now large, it may lose its award.
However, the rule is for better or worse not that straightforward, as a small business learned in a recent GAO decision. Because a part of the rule says that task order awards in such cases may not be treated as small business awards, GAO concluded that such awards are still allowed.Continue reading
GAO: Small Business Rule of Two Doesn’t Require Set-Aside for Task Order
Generally, the small business Rule of Two requires an agency to set aside contracts for small business, assuming that there are at least two small businesses with competitive prices who will bid on the contract. But does the small business Rule of Two apply to orders under a multiple award contract? In a recent decision, GAO affirmed the answer is no–application of the small business Rule of Two for orders under a multiple-award contract is discretionary.Continue reading
GAO Clarifies Increase-the-Scope Exception For Task Order Jurisdiction
GAO may only consider protests to civilian agency task or delivery orders under $10,000,000 if the protests allege that the order increases the scope, period, or maximum value of the underlying contract. GAO recently dismissed a case for lack of jurisdiction where the protester relied on the underlying contract’s ordering clause to argue that the agency’s amendment to the evaluation scheme was “out of scope.” Let’s take a look.Continue reading
Unreasonable Cost Adjustment Leads to Sustained Protest
Of late the pages of this blog have been entirely coronavirus and COVID-19 obsessed—and for good reason. But that does not stop the Government Accountability Office from deciding bid protests.
With all that’s been going on, writing about a GAO decision regarding run-of-the-mill unreasonable cost realism evaluation is downright refreshing.Continue reading
COFC: No Jurisdiction Over Bundling of Contracts into Task Order
When considering where to file a bid protest, you have options at the agency level, Government Accountability Office, and Court of Federal Claims. But not all options are available for protests of task and delivery order awards. The Court of Federal Claims recently reminded a protester that it lacks jurisdiction over task and delivery orders, even where an agency is proposing to bundle multiple separate contracts into one task order.Continue reading