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In its recent decision, CVE Appeal of First State Manufacturing, Inc., SBA No. CVE-184-A (2021), the Small Business Administration Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) denied an appeal of a decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) to cancel First State Manufacturing, Inc.’s verification of service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) status. CVE issued its Notice of Verified Status Cancellation based on concerns of present responsibility related to a consent judgment entered into merely a month before to resolve a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against First State that required First State to pay over $393,000. Prior to the FCA lawsuit, First State’s Vice President for Marketing/Contract Administration and Chief Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer were criminally charged, pled guilty, and were sentenced to prison terms for bribing an Amtrak official to win federal Government contracts. In the appeal before OHA, First State argued that CVE erred in cancelling its verified SDVOSB status for two reasons: (1) the FCA consent judgment was based upon an underlying FCA settlement agreement that did not admit liability or wrongdoing by First State; and (2) the Federal Railway Administration, which oversees Amtrak funding, determined that First State was “presently responsible,” and that the likelihood of future harm to the Government did not warrant suspension or debarment. First State further argued that as the Federal Railway Administration is the agency with the potential injury, its determination of present responsibility should have been given greater deference by CVE.
Continue Reading False Claims Act Consent Judgment Prompts Termination of SDVOSB Status Even Without an Admission of Liability

This week’s episode covers a new Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, the final DFARS provision on contract closeout, a new SBA decision involving a mentor-protégé joint venture, and a FedRAMP update, and is hosted by partners Peter Eyre and Olivia Lynch. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a

In this bullet point Olivia Lynch, Amy O’Sullivan, Michael Samuels, and Zachary Schroeder discuss a proposed Department of Defense rule requiring contracting officers to consider an offeror’s past performance as a first-tier subcontractor or individual partner of a joint venture under construction and/or architect-engineer services contracts.

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 proposed DFARS rule for enhanced debriefings.

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In this bullet point, Olivia Lynch, Amy O’Sullivan, Michael Samuels, and Zachary Schroeder address the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals’ (OHA) recent decision in DSC-EMI Maintenance Solutions, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6096. In the decision, OHA affirmed a size determination holding that a joint venture formed pursuant to SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program was other-than-small because

On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) issued an Interim Final Rule to provide long-awaited guidance on the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (“the Fiscal Recovery Funds”) established under the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”).  The Rule became effective on May 17, 2021.  To facilitate the implementation of these funds, this Interim Final Rule establishes a framework for determining the types of programs and services that are eligible under the ARPA along with a list of eligible uses that State, local, and Tribal governments may consider.
Continue Reading Treasury Issues Guidance on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act

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 Court of Federal Claims decision with interesting implications for awardee standing.

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

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

Offerors must be alert to the possibility of technology difficulties when electronically submitting a proposal for a federal procurement as the general rule regarding proposal submissions is that “late is late.”  GAO has heard countless cases in which proposal submission via email has presented complications.  Proposal submission via government portals has presented similar problems for offerors.

Recently, in People, Technology and Processes, LLC, B-419385, B-419385.2, Feb. 2, 2021, GAO heard a challenge to GSA’s rejection of a proposal from consideration for an order under OASIS.  The offeror, People, Technology and Processes or PTP, experienced technical difficulties while trying to submit the proposal via the GSA ASSIST online portal.  Although PTP was unable to submit its proposal, no systemic issues were reported with the portal and GSA timely received six proposals from other offerors.
Continue Reading Lessons Learned at GAO from Technical Difficulties Experienced While Submitting a Proposal on GSA’s ASSIST Portal