Picking Your Team: Joint Ventures Versus Prime/Subcontractor Teams (Part Two, Past Performance)

Federal contractors often ask: “It is better to team up for government work with a prime-sub arrangement or with a joint venture?” Well, (spoiler alert) the answer is: it depends. But I won’t leave you with just that. This three-part series will provide insight on some of the major differences between these two types of “teams” that offerors should consider when making the decision between a joint venture or prime/subcontractor team in competing for and performing federal contracts. While this series will not provide a comprehensive list of all the differences between these two types of teams, it will cover some of the big ones that seem to come up more frequently in this decision-making process. The focus of the first article in this three-part series was work share considerations. This second article will focus on evaluations of a team’s past performance.

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CIO-SP4 Amendment 7 – Major Changes to Small Business Teaming Arrangements

CIO-SP4 proposals are now due August 3, 2021. Currently, seven bid protests have been filed with GAO. These amendments are now coming fast and furious. Amendment 6 went live on July 9, 2021, and 10 days later we have another new amendment. Below are some of the key changes in Amendment 7.

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Introducing Our GovCon Teaming Resource Guides!

When it comes to federal contracting, teaming is an invaluable strategy for many businesses–large and small alike. But the rules and processes surrounding teaming can be complex and confusing, even for experienced contractors.

That’s why Koprince Law has teamed up ourselves–with the government contracts experts at The Pulse of Government Contracting to create special, in-depth Teaming Resource Guides for federal contractors and subcontractors. After an introduction to the basics of teaming, Part I of our series focuses on joint venturing, while Part 2 is a deep dive into prime/subcontracting teaming.

You can check out our Teaming Resource Guides by clicking here. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the other services our friends at Pulse offer to federal contractors!

Event: Three-Part Series on Joint Ventures & Prime/Subcontractor Teams

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!

OHA to Area Office: Prime-Subcontractor Teams are Different than Joint Ventures for Size Purposes

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.

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Koprince Law Discusses Teaming for Federal Contractors on Contracting Officer Podcast

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.

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.

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