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On March 23, 2022, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act. Designed to identify and address potential conflicts of interest in the federal acquisition system, current and prospective government contractors should closely monitor the Act’s progress.

The Act emphasizes the potential for conflicts of interest

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

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

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

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

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Olivia Lynch and Rob Sneckenberg interview in-house counsel from LMI, Adele Navarrete, about organizational conflicts of interest.

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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

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Christian Curran and Olivia Lynch discuss a recent decision from GAO regarding the interplay between price reasonableness and price

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

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