For small and large businesses alike, joint venturing and prime/subcontractor teaming on federal contracts can bring powerful benefits. But the rules governing teaming and JVs can be complex, and in focusing on compliance, sometimes best practices can get lost in the shuffle.
On April 20 through 22, please join me and Nicole Pottroff for a special, three-part course on joint ventures and prime/subcontractor teaming, hosted by Govology. We’ll cover the key compliance rules in plain English, dispel common myths, and discuss best practices to help your teaming documents go beyond bare-bones compliance. It’s easy to register: just click here.
We hope to see you starting on April 20!
The ostensible subcontractor rule says that, for a small business or socioeconomic set-aside such as 8(a), the small business prime contractor must perform the primary and vital parts of the contract and can’t be unduly reliant on a subcontractor. If the small business is found to violate the rule, the size of the small prime contractor and the large subcontractor are grouped for size purposes, which can result in loss of award. But the ostensible subcontractor rule is different from SBA’s joint venture rules, because SBA rules (and other federal law) distinguish between a prime-sub team and a joint venture. In a recent decision, OHA reversed a determination that a small business prime was affiliated with a subcontractor where the Area Office mixed up the analysis of the ostensible subcontractor rule and the joint venture rules.
I’m excited to announce that I am featured on the Contracting Officer Podcast, hosted by Kevin Jans and Paul Schauer! The episode is available here (Apple podcast here) and, in it, I discuss three common forms of contractor relationships: Teaming Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, and the federal Mentor-Protégé Program. Be sure to check out this episode and the plethora of other podcast topics, helpful to both beginning and experienced federal contractors.
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.
I am back in Lawrence after a great trip to the Pacific Northwest for the SAME 2017 Small Business Symposium, hosted by the SAME Seattle Post. I gave two talks at the Symposium: the first focused on the legal requirements for joint ventures and prime/subcontractor teaming arrangements, and the second on the SBA’s new All Small Mentor-Protege Program.
A big “thank you” to Julie Erickson for organizing the event and inviting me to speak, and thanks also to Thomas Nichols for his kind introductions at both talks. And of course, thank you to all of the contractors, government officials and clients who attended the sessions and asked such insightful questions.
I’ll be sticking around Kansas for the next several weeks, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll be taking a break from speaking about government contracts. Please join me and the Kansas PTAC for in-depth sessions on the government’s four major socioeconomic programs: 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, and WOSB. These sessions will be held in Wichita and Overland Park; click here for details and to register. Hope to see you there!
Joint venture partner or subcontractor? An offeror’s teaming agreement for the CIO-SP3 GWAC wasn’t clear about which tasks would be performed by joint venture partners and which would be performed by subcontractors–and the agency was within its discretion to eliminate the offeror as a result.
A recent GAO bid protest decision demonstrates that when a solicitation calls for information about teaming relationships, it is important to clearly establish which type of teaming relationship the offeror intends to establish, and draft the teaming agreement and proposal accordingly.
The Department of Labor has announced a new “preassessment” initiative, under which a government contract can voluntarily ask the DOL for an assessment of the contractor’s record of labor law compliance.
The preassessment program is designed to help contractors discover if they may have any trouble with their mandatory disclosures under the new Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which will take effect beginning on October 25. Voluntary use of the preassessment program may be a good idea for any contractor with a history of labor issues, but I wonder what will be more likely–contractors choosing to use it on their own, or being pushed to use it by prospective teammates?