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Today, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council ("FAR Council") – Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration – published its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. As the document states, the agenda provides interested parties (e.g., government contractors, industry stakeholders, etc.) an opportunity to participate in the federal rulemaking process. Under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), agencies must publish proposed rules in the Federal Register (notice) and allow interested parties to ...

Shareholder Joshua Duvall (Washington, D.C.) was quoted in Law360's article, "Biden's Small Biz Contract Plan In Need Of Definitive Regs." The Law360 article discusses a recent memorandum from the Office and Management and Budget ("OMB") that provides agency acquisition officers with guidance on increasing small businesses participation in the federal market through multiple-award government contracts, including changes to the small business "rule of two." As the article states, "[i]ntending to increase the number of small businesses in the federal supplier base and ...

Last week, the White House announced that the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") issued guidance to help small businesses in the federal contracting marketplace. With the guidance, as the announcement states, the government will be able to support a broader and more diverse market, drive cost savings, and, ultimately, improve the federal supply chain. The announcement also states that the guidance will advance the President's goal of increasing the small business contracting goal for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals ("SDBs") to 15% by FY2025.

Briefly ...

The recent bid protest decision in ELS, Inc., B-421989, December 21, 2023, 2023 CPD highlights an important aspect of bid protest litigation before the U.S. Government Accountability Office ("GAO"): task order jurisdiction.

As many contractors are aware, and generally, GAO has jurisdiction over task orders where: (a) the value of the order exceeds $25 million (DOD/NASA) or $10 million (civilian) and (b) the order increases the scope, period, or maximum value of the underlying IDIQ contract. In other words, and excluding (b), where the value of the task order is below the monetary ...

The 2023 clock is winding down, meaning some folks are planning New Year's Eve parties, and others are googling the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.  For service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses ("SDVOSB"), the end of the year also coincides with their ability to "self-certify," as the grace period under Small Business Administration's ("SBA") rules is set to expire.  In other words, under SBA's regulations, SDVOSBs must submit their complete certification applications to the SBA on or before December 31 to remain eligible for SDVOSB set-aside contracts while their applications ...

The Department of Justice ("DOJ") recently announced a $1.75 million false claims settlement with a contractor that "improperly obtained government contracts that were set-aside for small businesses." The DOJ settlement highlights the criticality of accurate small business representations and certifications in government contracting, and in particular, those that may arise during or after an M&A transaction involving a small business.

Briefly, the False Claims Act ("FCA") is the primary enforcement tool in the government's arsenal to combat fraud in government ...

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office ("GAO") published its much anticipated Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2023. GAO's annual report is required under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 ("CICA") and provides the government contracting community with good insight into GAO's bid protest function. [1] Despite being just four pages, GAO's report is highly informative because it showcases key bid protest statistics and GAO's most prevalent grounds on which it sustained bid protests during FY23.

To that end, government contractors that ...

In April 2023, the FCC established the Space Bureau, reorganizing the functions of the Satellite Division in the FCC’s former International Bureau (IB) into a new, stand-alone bureau, with an eye towards promoting a competitive and innovative global satellite and space-based communications marketplace.   

Yesterday, in furtherance of this objective, the Space Bureau launched its Transparency Initiative, with the goal of providing interested parties with user-friendly information and guidance regarding the Commission’s space station and earth station ...

Joshua Duvall was quoted by Law360 in its article "SBA Small Biz Program Changes Likely To Limit Participation." In July, U.S. District Judge Clifton L. Corker (E.D. Tennessee) held in Ultima Servs. Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Agric. that the "rebuttable presumption" of social disadvantage under SBA's 8(a) program regulations violated a plaintiff's Fifth Amendment right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the court enjoined SBA from using the rebuttable presumption in administering the 8(a) program.

In discussing the court's decision and SBA's recent ...

We recently wrote about a federal court decision in Ultima Servs. Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., which held that the "rebuttable presumption" of social disadvantage under Small Business Administration's ("SBA") 8(a) Program ("8(a) Program") was unconstitutional. Following the court's decision, SBA paused all applications for its 8(a) Program and provided a short update on certify.SBA.gov.

Today, the SBA, in conjunction with the National 8(a) Association, held a webinar to provide another update on how SBA plans on moving forward in light of the court's decision in Ultima. This ...

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