Protesting FAA Awards: Understanding the Nuances

Nearly every federal agency is required to follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”). However, one exception is the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), which is not required to comply with the FAR but rather has its own policies and procedures, called the Acquisition Management System (“AMS”). As a result, unlike most bid protests, which may be brought either at the agency-level, Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) or the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”), protests against the FAA contract awards (or solicitations) must . . . Read More

New Government-Wide Category Management Policy for Package Delivery Services Could Signal Changes for Other Industries

Despite the change in Administration, the Government’s efforts to implement category management continue and are about to have a major impact in how the Government contracts for package delivery services. What is category management? Essentially, it is a Government initiative to reduce contract duplication to save money on common goods and services that the Government purchases through the federal procurement system and is also called strategic sourcing. (For more information about what category management entails, click  here .)     In . . . Read More

SBA Launches New HUBZone Map

The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) recently launched a new version of the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (“HUBZone”) map on the SBA website. The new HUBZone map designates areas as eligible HUBZone locations and indicates whether an address qualifies as one or more HUBZone designations, such as census tract, county, Indian land, disaster area, closed base area, or redesignated area. For certain types of HUBZones, like redesignated areas, disaster areas, and closed base areas, the map also indicates the date when . . . Read More

2018 NDAA Could Raise the Stakes for Companies Filing Bid Protests on DoD Contracts

The U.S. Senate has proposed a provision in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that, if adopted, would raise the stakes for larger firms in filing bid protests. The provision would apply to protests against DoD procurements to the GAO. If GAO denies all elements of such protests, the protesting company would be required to pay to DoD the costs the government incurs for processing the protest at the GAO and DoD. It is unclear how the government would track . . . Read More

House Bill Would Reduce Use of LPTA in All Agencies’ Procurement

A recent bill before the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to limit the use of the lowest price technically available (“LPTA”) source selection process in procurements. H.R. 3019, which was introduced on June 22, 2017, would create a policy to avoid using LPTA criteria in circumstances that would deny the Government the benefits of cost and technical tradeoffs in the source selection process. The LPTA process dictates that when conducting a competitive procurement, the agency will select the offeror that . . . Read More

Licensing Third Party Software for Use in Federal Contracts

In the IT sector, it is common for contractors with relationships to various federal agencies to have top-tier talent in-house to provide high quality IT services. Some vendors even have programmers and software engineers in-house to directly develop commercial and non-commercial software products for its clients. However, there are many times when, among other things, (1) the government needs a particular type of solution; (2) the contractor believes that some third-party software would suit the government’s needs best; or (3) . . . Read More

Be Prepared – Be Proactive About Defending Size Protests

Imagine that after months of diligently working on a proposal for a set-aside contract, you learn that your company has been identified as the apparent successful offeror. Then, a few days later, you receive an email from the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) notifying you that another offeror has filed a size protest. The SBA’s email cites multiple regulations and instructs you to respond to the protest allegations. The SBA also directs you to complete a lengthy form called the SBA . . . Read More

House Small Business Committee Approves Legislation Providing For Expedited Partial Payments of Requests for Equitable Adjustment to Small Construction Contractors

A common frustration faced by many small business government contractors, particularly in the construction industry, is how often agencies make very costly unilateral change orders during the course of performance. Although a contractor may be able to receive compensation for the additional work it has performed through a request for an equitable adjustment (“REA”), whether due to agency budgetary constraints or other issues, processing of REAs is often subject to significant delays. The contractor may have serious cash flow constraints . . . Read More

One Size Does Not Fit All: Hidden Size Certification Issues for 8(a) Contractors With Multiple Award Contracts

Savvy small business contractors holding Multiple Award Contracts (“MAC”) know that the small business size representations that they make at the outset of contract award will typically last the “life” of the contract, absent other size status recertification triggering events, such as a merger, acquisition, or contract novation. See, e.g., 13 C.F.R. § 121.404(g). This means that a contractor that represented itself as a small business at the time of contract award may continue to rely upon that small business . . . Read More

Congress Targets VA Procurement Abuse: Seeks Enforcement of Limitations on Subcontracting Rule

A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 2749, known as the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017 (“Bill”), which, if passed, would require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“VA”), in administering the Veterans First Contracting Program (“Vets First”), to identify and penalize violations of the limitations on subcontracting (“LOS”) rule, outlined in the Small Business Act and discussed  here . As a quick primer, under the Vets First Law ( 38 U.S.C. § 8127 ), the VA (1) . . . Read More