SBA OHA Issues Its First Ever CVE Protest DecisionThe Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) recently issued what appears to be its first ever decision on a bid protest challenging a company’s eligibility for participation in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) veteran-owned small business (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) program, known as the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) Veteran Information Pages (VIP) database. See Blue Cord Design and Construction, LLC, SBA No. CVE-100-P (Dec. 3, 2018).

Previously, the VA CVE Director decided such protests. As the SBA OHA explained in the Blue Cord decision, however, “[o]n October 1, 2018, 13 C.F.R. § 134.102(h) took effect, establishing OHA’s jurisdiction over protests of eligibility for inclusion in the [CVE VIP] database.”

In Blue Cord, the protester not only challenged the competitor’s CVE eligibility but also the competitor’s size. As the SBA OHA also explained in its decision, however, “OHA does not have jurisdiction to make formal size determinations.” Instead, as the SBA OHA explained, “[t]he responsible SBA Government Contracting Area Director or designee makes formal size determinations in response to a size protest.” As such, the SBA OHA only addressed Blue Cord’s allegations about the competitor’s CVE eligibility, ultimately denying them as “meritless.”

If you have any questions about the SBA OHA’s new jurisdiction in this regard or about CVE or size protests in general, please do not hesitate to contact Aron Beezley.

All Small Mentor-Protégé Program 2018 Year-End ReportThe Small Business Administration (SBA) started accepting applications for the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) in 2016, but SBA has seen a surge in applications in 2017 and 2018.

Under the ASMPP, any small business—including 8(a) small businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zone (or HUBZone) small businesses, veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs/SDVOSBs), woman-owned and economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses (WOSBs/EDWOSBs)—may enter into an agreement with a large business under which the large business will provide mentorship and assistance. In return, the large and small businesses are permitted to joint venture to perform federal small business set-aside contracts.

As a 2018 year-end report, here are some fast figures about the ASMPP that both large and small businesses need to know:

629 SBA reports that it has approved at least 629 different ASMPP agreements.
132 SBA reports that at least 132 of the 629 SBA-approved ASMPP agreements were approved under the protégé’s secondary—rather than primary—North American Industry Classification System (or NAICS) code.
210 SBA reports that at least 210 of the ASMPP participants are 8(a) firms.
237 SBA reports that at least 237 of the ASMPP participants are SDVOSBs.
85 SBA reports that at least 85 of the ASMPP participants are HUBZone companies.
54 SBA reports that at least 54 of the ASMPP participants are EDWOSBs.
102 SBA reports that at least 102 of the ASMPP participants are small businesses without any other set-aside status.
46 SBA reports that ASMPP participants are based or incorporated in 46 different U.S. states.
1 SBA reports that at least one ASMPP participant has been “Suspended pending a Size Determination.”

If you have any questions about the ASMPP or any related issues, please feel free to contact Aron Beezley.

GSA to Consolidate Multiple Award SchedulesThe General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced that it “will modernize federal acquisition by consolidating the agency’s 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into one single schedule for products and services.” According to a press release issued by the GSA, “[t]he MAS transformation is part of GSA’s Federal Marketplace strategy to make the government buying and selling experience easy, efficient and modern,” and “[i]t supports GSA’s strategic goal to establish the agency as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the government.”

Under MAS (also commonly referred to as Federal Supply Schedules and the GSA Schedules), the GSA “establishes long-term, governmentwide contracts with commercial firms offering more than 10 million commercial supplies and services that federal, state, and local agencies order directly from GSA Schedule contractors, or through the GSA Advantage!® online shopping and ordering system.”

According to the GSA, approximately $31 billion dollars “is spent through MAS each year.”

The GSA’s transition to a consolidated schedule reportedly will take place over the course of Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020.

If you have any questions about how the GSA’s planned transition in this regard may impact your company, please do not hesitate to contact Aron Beezley.