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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

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.

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

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 March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which is expected to increase government contracting spend and opportunities for government contracting at the federal, state, and local levels through 2021 and beyond. To facilitate entry into what can otherwise be viewed as a daunting web of regulations and restrictions, Crowell

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

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

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

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.)

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