Comparing the GAO and the COFC

By Grace Mahan There are a number of ways to pursue a protest of a federal contract award. Generally, such protests are pursued in one of three forums: with the procuring agency, the Government Accountability Office, or the Court of Federal Claims. In broad terms, these three bodies differ in the formality of their procedures, […]

The Rule of Two

By Grace Mahan Government contracts law and procedure includes a number of rules intended to facilitate or require the awarding of contracts to small businesses through set-asides. One such rule is the “Rule of Two,” which mandates that a contract officer (CO) set aside any acquisition over $150,000 for small business participation when there is […]

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 […]