VA Tries to Improve Qualification Process for Contract Preferences

By Carol L. O’Riordan Last March, we took note of an effort by the Veterans Administration to simplify its process for qualifying businesses as veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs). We noted that without the need for congressional action, the VA was permitting applicants to correct minor issues in their applications without courting an automatic denial of […]

D.C.-Area Company Is Stripped of “HUBZone” Designation by SBA

While we support the various programs for granting preferences in federal contracting to companies in traditionally disadvantaged groups such as women, minorities, and disabled veterans, it is also critical that potential contractors not abuse the preferences that Congress has granted. Although this type of abuse is not nearly as common as some in the media […]

Bill Would Open New Opportunities for Small Business Contracting

Right now, if a federal agency brings in a subcontractor to a project that itself subcontracts to another company, all the dollars that flow to that second-tier subcontractor, if it’s a small business, are able to “count” against the agency’s goal of contracting with small businesses. And that’s how it should be. However, the prime […]

Why Has Participation in 8(a) Program Declined Recently?

According to a recent article in FedScoop, there has been a recent decline in the number of companies that are participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) and HUBZone set-aside programs, and the SBA is planning some targeted recruitment efforts to increase the number of companies in the programs. That’s not necessarily all bad news, […]

This Newspaper ‘Expose’ May Show Nothing But Good Business Practices

In an April 10, 2013, article entitled “Minority contractors ‘game the system,’ find havens in DC homes,” two reporters for The Washington Times wrote what they evidently believed to be an expose of the District of Columbia’s Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) program, which is designed to help small, local, and minority-owned businesses. The article, by […]

Agencies Too Often ‘Just Say Yes’ in Evaluating Their Contractors

It can be difficult enough on many occasions for small businesses to land their fair share of federal contracts. Often, large government agencies seem to have an unstated preference for dealing with large contractors. This apparent preference is one of the reasons that Congress has authorized contract set-asides for small businesses and for other types […]

Issa Bill Would Create More Problems Than It Would Solve

By Marilyn Della-Badia Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) recently released a discussion draft of a bill entitled the Stop Unworthy Spending or SUSPEND Act. The bill would set up a Board of Civilian Suspension and Debarment to consolidate more than 40 civilian suspension and debarment offices under a single set of regulations, and in Issa’s view, […]

VA Tries to Simplify Process of Qualifying as Veteran-Owned Small Business

By Carol L. O’Riordan Businesses often complain about the minutiae involved with the federal requirements for qualifying as veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs). Now, the federal government is making the whole process a bit simpler and more straightforward. As a recent article by Jill Aitoro in the Washington Business Journal points out, contractors applying to the […]

This Type of Whistle-Blower Protection Just Isn’t Needed

By Marilyn Della-Badia Jill Aitoro of the Washington Business Journal reported on Jan. 25, 2013, that there’s some concern in the government procurement community that a new law to protect defense contractor employees who blow the whistle on their own companies for procurement fraud doesn’t go far enough. The concern is that contractors don’t receive […]

Agency Is Taking a New Look at HUBZone Program for Small Businesses

Although it is not giving much detail about precisely what it plans to do, the Small Business Administration has announced that it has been reviewing the processes and procedures that it uses for implementing its HUBZone program and that it has determined that several of the program’s regulations should be amended in order to resolve […]