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The Government Accountability Office sustained a protest (Innovate Now, LLC, B-419546, April 26, 2021) against an Air Force solicitation that required the protégé member of any mentor-protégé joint venture offeror to meet the same experience requirements as all other offerors.  Specifically, the RFP required that a joint venture offeror must provide a minimum

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On April 21, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inked its second civil settlement resolving allegations of fraud involving loans issued pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sandeep S. Walia, M.D., a Professional Medical Corporation (Walia PMC), and its owner, Dr. Walia, agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and penalties to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) tied to allegations that Dr. Walia falsely certified in a second PPP loan application that his medical practice had not previously received a PPP loan after it had already received one from a different lender.  Walia PMC also agreed to repay the second PPP loan for $430,000.  This latest settlement is a continued reflection of the heightened scrutiny of the PPP, and suggests that the FCA may quickly become a favored enforcement tool by the government in its continued pursuit of PPP-related fraud.
Continue Reading Avoiding Loan Forgiveness Is No Shield from False Claims Act Liability in Latest Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Settlement

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has added emergency loans for small businesses to its list of government programs vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. On March 2, 2021, GAO released its latest High Risk List identifying troubled federal government programs in need of significant improvement. The GAO concluded that the Small Business Administration (SBA) must demonstrate more robust integrity controls and better management practices over the PPP and EIDL programs. GAO’s findings put pressure on the SBA to ensure quicker adoption of GAO’s recommendations for improvements and keeps public focus on the need for SBA audits and investigations of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program participants.
Continue Reading GAO’s High Risk List Puts Spotlight on Emergency Loans For Small Businesses, Reinforcing Audit and Investigation Risk for PPP and EIDL Program Participants

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In this episode, hosts Rob Sneckenberg and Olivia Lynch are joined by colleague Amy O’Sullivan to discuss the Court of Federal Claims’ recent decision in HWI Gear, Inc., which held that the solicitation’s inclusion in full of the text of FAR 52.219-28 required a small business offeror to recertify its size status prior to award

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On February 25, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois announced a settlement to resolve allegations that a contractor that was not an eligible participant in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program violated the False Claims Act by controlling a joint venture that claimed 8(a) status and won an

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This week’s episode covers the new Supply Chain Executive Order, a False Claims Act settlement involving small business matters, and waiver of a GSA Schedule solicitation requirement, and is hosted by partner Peter Eyre. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a brief summary of significant government contracts legal and

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In a previous blog post, we covered the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) consolidation of the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program.  Beyond consolidating the programs, SBA also made a host of additional changes to the 8(a) Program, almost all of which took effect on November 16, 2020.  As

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As we’ve stressed about the mentor-protégé program, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) primary concern is that the program benefits the small business protégés.

Past performance is a particularly delicate topic for small businesses, presenting something of a what-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg question.  Past performance is not strictly required in order to win prime federal contracts, and its weighting

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In the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) October 2019 Final Rule covering Consolidation of Mentor-Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, SBA also included modification to two of the affiliation tests under 13 C.F.R. § 121.103.

(Note, SBA made a number of other changes to 13 C.F.R. § 121.103 focused on the joint venture affiliation test.)

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On October 16, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued a final rule enacting a number of now-effective changes to SBA’s regulations, including changes to the rules governing size recertifications on unrestricted multiple award contracts (“MACs”).

The final rule requires contractors to certify their size and socioeconomic status at the time of initial offer for