The SBA’s Guide to the Ostensible Contractor Rule

By Grace Mahan In a recent size appeal decision, Emergent, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5875, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) reinforced the criteria it uses to evaluate the “ostensible subcontractor” rule. The rule provides that when a prime contractor is unusually reliant on a subcontractor or when a subcontractor is […]

Bargains or Red Flags: Satisfying An Agency’s Cost-Realism Analysis

By Grace Mahan Like any other commercial customer, government agencies seek out bargains in their contracts for goods and services. Accordingly, it behooves government contractors to price their bids competitively. However, although tendering the lowest bid seems like a surefire way to win a contract award, the strategy can lead to the correction or dismissal […]

Government Contracts in the Domain of Cyber

By Grace Mahan In the past few years, changes in cybersecurity requirements have proved to be among the most important developments in the world of government contracts. In 2017 alone, the White House issued a cybersecurity executive order, and the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) issued a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) that imposed […]

Devil’s in the Details

By Grace Mahan Because a high level of detail allows for substantive comparison between different bids, it is important both in securing contract awards and in the process of protesting awards after unsuccessful bids. A recent GAO protest ruling, Beacon Grace, LLC, recently highlighted the importance of detail in the government contract bidding process. In […]

The Danger of the “Plug Number” and a Simple Strategy to Avoid Death by Mistake

By Grace Mahan Ideally, prospective contractors make bids for government contracts without error. However, whether because of a clerical oversight or off-the-mark subcontractor bids, mistakes do occur. Often, errors in bids for government contracts result in the forced removal of a bid, or worse, the retroactive reversal of an award. However, as highlighted by a […]

A Change That Would Simplify and Improve SBA’s HUBZone Program

By Carol L. O’Riordan A HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) is a geographic area that benefits from a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program that was established in 1998. The program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The SBA regulates and implements the HUBZone program by […]

Our Latest Article: When Desperate Situations Call for Immediate and Targeted Response

Managing Partner Carol L. O’Riordan recently wrote an article in the National Law Review about how small law firms can bring in former government employees and other specialists to help them in their government contracts cases, especially suspension and debarment cases,  thus serving their clients better and reducing costs. The article describes a distinctly new […]

SBA Rule Allows Prime Contractors to Claim Credit for Small Lower-Tier Subcontractors

By Taimur Rabbani The Small Business Administration recently issued a rule to allow a large, prime government contractor with an individual subcontracting plan to receive small-business credit for subcontracts issued to small businesses at any tier. The rule has significant implications for businesses performing on unrestricted federal contracts – at all tiers. The final rule, […]

Appeals Court Upholds 8(a) Program Against Constitutional Challenge

By Pamela J. Bethel The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program, which provides for contracting preferences to small business owners, against a constitutional challenge that the program involves impermissible racial classifications. The decision in Rothe Development, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense and […]