In what is quickly becoming an epic saga centered around the repercussions from the Ultima Servs. case, 8(a) program participants should have received a direct communication from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday (August 21), providing direction on next steps regarding social disadvantage eligibility determinations. As that communication stated, if your firm’s 8(a) eligibility was based on an individual or individual(s) who relied upon the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage, the firm will now be required to submit a social disadvantage narrative. (Entity-owned firms, such as firms owned by Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, or Native Hawaiian Organizations, will not need to submit narratives; nor will 8(a) participants who previously established their social disadvantage through submission of a social disadvantage narrative.) Each owner claiming disadvantaged status must submit a narrative. This is all consistent with our previous coverage on this topic. What is new, however, is that there is now some more specific guidance on timing and how this process is going to play out.Continue Reading The Continuing Saga of 8(a) Social Disadvantage Eligibility
For those of you eagerly awaiting news on the recent shake-up of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program, I have updates! (For those of you who have not been following, you can catch up on the legal context and background here.) Consistent with industry predictions, SBA will now require all applicants and certain existing 8(a) program participants to submit a social disadvantage narrative and prove social disadvantage by a preponderance of the evidence. Entity-owned firms, such as firms owned by Indian tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, or Native Hawaiian Organizations will not need to submit narratives; nor will 8(a) participants who previously established their social disadvantage through submission of a social disadvantage narrative. For any company that previously relied on the rebuttable presumption, though, you have some work ahead of you. Read on for more detail.Continue Reading SBA Confirms Social Disadvantage Narrative Is Required for 8(a) Program Participants
As many GovCon news junkies following recent events had predicted, the Small Business Administration (SBA) just “temporarily suspended” new 8(a) application submissions. For those of you who haven’t been following along the past two weeks, this critically important development might be a little confusing. Let’s get you up to speed.Continue Reading SBA Cries Time Out! Temporary Suspension of New 8(a) Applications Following Ultima Servs.
In a previous post, we mentioned the April 27, 2023 Small Business Administration (SBA) Final Rule, which made a number of revisions to the Small Business Regulations. A few of those revisions relate to the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule, a topic that has confused contractors for years. The Final Rule seeks to clear up that confusion, or at least some of it. Specifically, the Final Rule revises 13 CFR 121.103(h) to (1) clarify how the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule applies to general construction contracts and (2) provide guidance on the utilization of the DoverStaffing factors in determining whether a subcontractor is an “ostensible subcontractor.”Continue Reading Ostensible Clarity: SBA Rule Addresses Ostensible Subcontractor Rule in General Construction Contracts and DoverStaffing Factors
On April 27, 2023, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule, finalizing a September 9, 2022 proposed rule, and making a myriad of changes to the Small Business Regulations. Those changes are effective at the end of this month, on May 30, 2023. We will be covering a number of those changes in upcoming posts. But for now, we’re focusing on a change that will make some contractors very happy and other contractors very worried: real, negative consequences for small businesses that fail to comply with 13 CFR 125.6, which governs subcontracting limitations for small business set-aside contracts over the simplified acquisition threshold (presently defined in FAR 2.101 as $250,000).Continue Reading Small Business Contractors Rejoice or Repent: Final SBA Rule Adds Teeth to 13 CFR 125.6 Subcontracting Limitations
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has returned from an extended vacation to publish a final rule to align the FAR with similar subcontracting regulations implemented by the Small Business Administration more than a half decade ago. McCarter & English Government Contracts and Global Trade co-leaders Franklin Turner and Alex Major and Senior Associates Cara…
In a time of uncertain federal budgets and an increasingly crowded marketplace, contractors of all sizes are on the lookout for ways to enhance their chances of winning federal business opportunities. Step one in this process is, of course, the identification of the government’s needs—which are typically codified in requests for proposals or quotations. Step two (i.e., the “pursuit” phase) involves the preparation of an offer designed to fulfill the government’s requirements. As most government contractors know all too well, this is an often laborious and expensive process that requires painstaking attention to detail. But what happens when there is, in fact, a real devil lurking in those details? What if the RFP or RFQ simply doesn’t make sense? What if the terms are in conflict with one another? What if the government includes requirements that run afoul of a law or regulation? Enter the pre-award protest exorcism.
Continue Reading Recent GAO Decision Demonstrates the Utility of Pre-Award Protests
Each year, Congress presents us in Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a potpourri of procurement reforms, changes, and additions. Some are effective immediately, while some are bound for rulemaking and regulation and surface years from enactment. Some require analyses, reports, and studies which have no immediate impact but provide a roadmap that can and should be used by government contractors in their business planning. Finally, some provisions of the NDAAs just wither away and have no impact whatsoever. Nineteen days before the Trump Administration ended, the US Senate followed the US House of Representatives in overriding the President’s veto of the William (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (H.R. 6395) (FY2021 NDAA), making it law on January 1, 2021. Happy New Year! As for its Title VIII, the FY2021 NDAA is no different from its predecessors in its procurement potpourri. Here’s a tour of key provisions you oughta know.
Continue Reading Here to Remind You of the Key Provisions of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act – You Oughta Know!
Although many of us have canceled vacations during this (unusual) year, summer is nevertheless upon us. While we wholeheartedly recommend firing up the grill and enjoying the sunshine in the coming months, companies planning to enter into joint venture (JV) agreements to compete for Government contracts should first make sure that they set aside some time to consider the impacts of proposed changes coming to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). These changes have the potential to create significant opportunities for both veteran Government contractors and new entrants to the federal marketplace who might consider competing for procurements through JV agreements.
Continue Reading Proposed Rule Introduces Critical Changes for SBA Contractors
The Prospect of False Claims Act’s Treble Damages Requires Meticulous Recordkeeping Under the CARES Act
On April 10, 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced its effort to root out fraud associated with the billions of dollars in payments promised under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Congressional watchdog is encouraging individuals – private citizens, government workers, contractors, etc. – to anonymously and confidentially report any allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement through FraudNet (the GAO’s fraud-reporting website), via e-mail or by calling 1-800-424-5454 (the GAO’s automated phone answering system). The GAO, of course, is seeking as much detail as possible about any allegations so the reports can be handed off to its own investigative unit, appropriate inspector general offices, or to the ultimate enforcer – the Department of Justice.Continue Reading Borrowers Beware: GAO Ramps Up Efforts to Root Out Fraud Among CARES Act Loan Recipients