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Last year, on November 8, 2019, the Small Business Administration (SBA) published a comprehensive proposal to revise various aspects of its regulations in response to President Trump’s executive order calling for the reduction in unnecessary and burdensome regulations.  Given the nature of the proposed revisions and the timing of the release, SBA provided an extended time period for comments—ultimately receiving over 180 comments on the proposed rule.  Close to a year later, on October 16, 2020, SBA issued the final rule.  With one exception, the changes in final rule took effect on November 16, 2020.

The relevant SBA rulemakings are available here:

  • Proposed Rule: Consolidation of Mentor Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, 84 FR 60846-01, 2019-23141.pdf (govinfo.gov)
  • Final Rule: Consolidation of Mentor-Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, 85 FR 66146-01, 2020-19428.pdf (govinfo.gov)

As reflected by the name of the rulemaking, the marque change was the consolidation of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program.  SBA went well beyond just consolidating that program—the final rule contains amendments and changes to a whole host of key SBA rules such as the regulations governing small business joint ventures (at 13 C.F.R. § 125.8 and the corresponding joint venture rules for the various statuses), the affiliation tests (at 13 C.F.R. § 121.103), the recertification rule (at 13 C.F.R. § 121.104), and the 8(a) rules (at 13 C.F.R. Part 124).

On December 16, 2020, Amy O’Sullivan and Olivia Lynch presented a webinar on the regulatory updates to the All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program and SBA’s joint venture rules.  Also on this webinar, Crowell’s Robert Burton engaged in a Q&A with Robb Wong, former Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development of the Small Business Administration, to provide greater insight into the purpose of the rulemaking.  You can access the audio recording and slides from this webinar here.

Crowell’s team focused on small business issues will be publishing a series of blog posts providing practical guidance and analysis on the most significant of the changes from this rulemaking or those for which we’ve received the most questions to date.  These include:

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Photo of Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan

Amy Laderberg O’Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, a member of the Steering Committee for the firm’s Government Contracts Group, and former chair of the firm’s Diversity Council. Her practice involves a mix of litigation, transactional work, investigations, and

Amy Laderberg O’Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, a member of the Steering Committee for the firm’s Government Contracts Group, and former chair of the firm’s Diversity Council. Her practice involves a mix of litigation, transactional work, investigations, and counseling for corporate clients of all sizes and levels of experience as government contractors. On the litigation side, she has represented corporate clients in bid protests (agency level, GAO, ODRA, Court of Federal Claims, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as state and local bid protests in numerous jurisdictions), size and status protests before the U.S. Small Business Administration, claims litigation before the various Boards of Contract Appeals, Defense Base Act claims litigation at the Administrative Law Judge and Benefits Review Board levels, civil and criminal investigations, and she has been involved in complex commercial litigation.

Photo of Olivia Lynch Olivia Lynch

Olivia L. Lynch is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group in the Washington, D.C. office.

General Government Contracts Counseling. Olivia advises government contractors on navigating the procurement process, compliance and ethics, commercial item contracting, accessibility, supply chain assurance, and…

Olivia L. Lynch is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group in the Washington, D.C. office.

General Government Contracts Counseling. Olivia advises government contractors on navigating the procurement process, compliance and ethics, commercial item contracting, accessibility, supply chain assurance, and various aspects of state and local procurement law.

Photo of Michael Samuels Michael Samuels

Michael Samuels is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group. His practice involves counseling and representing government contractors on a wide range of issues.

Photo of Zachary Schroeder Zachary Schroeder

Zachary Schroeder is an associate in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he practices in the Government Contracts Group.

Zach represents contractors in both litigation and counseling matters. His practice focuses on representing contractors in bid protests before the Government Accountability Office…

Zachary Schroeder is an associate in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he practices in the Government Contracts Group.

Zach represents contractors in both litigation and counseling matters. His practice focuses on representing contractors in bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA). His practice also includes federal regulatory and ethics compliance, as well as various aspects of state and local procurement law, including representing contractors in size protests and affiliation matters. In the transactional context, Zach has performed government contracts diligence for government contractors in a range of industries.