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On February 24, 2022, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration proposed to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to account for changes made by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in its regulations in late 2019 to implement several provisions of the National Defense Authorization Acts of 2016

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This week’s episode covers the final rule implementing further revisions to the Buy American Act, a proposed rule that would amend the FAR to account for recent changes in the Small Business Administration’s regulations, the NIST Secure Software Development Framework, and the first False Claims Act settlement under the DOJ’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, and is

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In a February 11, 2022 decision, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Court) dismissed for lack of interested party status a post-award protest filed by Colsa Corp. (Colsa) in which it challenged the status eligibility of other offerors.

In September 2018, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) issued a solicitation seeking a single contractor to provide

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This week’s episode covers DoD’s Software Modernization Strategy Memorandum, proposed updates to the DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program, a GAO report examining the current status of the DoD artificial intelligence weapon systems capabilities, and the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee report on Zero Trust and Trusted Identity Management, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Monica Sterling.

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On February 28, 2022, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) published a proposed rule to reauthorize and improve DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program (“the Program”).

Briefly, under the Program, approved mentor firms enter into mentor-protege agreements with eligible protege firms to provide developmental assistance to enhance the capabilities of the protégé firms to perform as subcontractors and suppliers

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On February 7, 2022, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) changes to the “surviving spouse” provision in its regulations on Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) status became effective.  SBA had issued a direct final rule covering this change, 86 FR 61670, on November 8, 2021.

In brief, SBA’s now provides for a 3-year

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On January 12, 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced a $1.15 million civil settlement in a case implicating misuse of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Mentor-Protégé Program.  The settlement is to be partially paid by both the SBA-approved mentor and protégé relating to conduct associated with winning and performing two set-aside awards.

Native American Services Corp. (NASCO) was the mentor to Mirador Enterprises, Inc. (Mirador), a small business and participant in the SBA’s 8(a) Program.  The contracts at issue in this settlement were two Army set-asides for construction projects at Fort Carson—one set-aside for small businesses and one for 8(a) participants.  At the time that Mirador submitted offers as a prime contractor for each of these procurements, Mirador qualified both as a small business and as an 8(a).

The problem, as alleged by DOJ, was that NASCO prepared the bids with the intent that NASCO would primarily perform the contracts.  DOJ further alleged that, after the Army made award to Mirador, NASCO took the lead in the performance of these two contracts and provided assistance that far exceeded what was permitted under the Mentor-Protégé relationship.

Once the government raised concerns about NASCO’s “improper level of involvement,” the parties purportedly doubled down and took steps to conceal how they were actually performing.  As laid out in DOJ’s press release:

  • The parties tried to make it appear that NASCO was transferring employees to Mirador, but these employees remained under NASCO’s control;
  • NASCO provided information to Mirador employees to make them appear more involved or knowledgeable about the contracts than they actually were; and
  • NASCO drafted correspondence for Mirador’s signature, to be submitted to the government.

Of the $1.15 million civil settlement, NASCO will pay $750,000 and Mirador $400,000.

There are two takeaways from this settlement.

Continue Reading DOJ Reaches Settlement in Fraud Case Regarding Misuse of the Mentor-Protégé Program

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In early January 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program’s procedures for verifying whether tribes identified by program applicants were federally or state-recognized Indian tribes.

As is well known, the ability of a small business to participate in the 8(a) Program can be

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The Small Business Act affords the Small Business Administration (SBA) authority to determine the responsibility of small business concerns.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has held that when a procuring agency finds that a small business is not eligible for award due to being nonresponsible or for a failure to satisfy definitive responsibility criteria, the

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During December 2021, the House and Senate reached agreement on a compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  On December 23, 2021, Congress presented S. 1605 to President Biden, which he signed on December 27, 2021.

The FY2022 NDAA contains numerous provisions relating to acquisition policy—which provide new opportunities for government contractors, will result in the imposition of new clauses or reporting requirements on government contractors, require government reporting to Congress on acquisition authorities and programs, alter processes and/or procedures to which government contractors are subject, etc.  Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group discusses the most consequential changes in the FY2022 NDAA for government contractors below.
Continue Reading National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022: Acquisition Policy Changes of Which Government Contractors Should Be Aware