Procurement

Size protest proposal would allow more flexibility to SBA

FAR image GSA

The Obama administration wants to revise several acquisition rules dealing with small-business size protests in an effort to standardize rules. The proposal to update the Federal Acquisition Regulation was detailed in a Federal Register notice published March 7.

Among other measures, the proposal would:

  •   Allow SBA 15 days to determine the size of a protested company, up from 10 days;
  •  Clarify that contracting officers have the authority to give SBA more time to make that determination;
  •  Give guidance to contracting officers on what to do if SBA misses the deadline, and;
  •  Clarify that contracting officers would determine whether to suspend the work until SBA’s Office of Hearing and Appeals renders a decision.

At SBA, the rule change would give OHA discretion to accept an appeal or reopen a formal case to correct an error, if it is within the appeal period and no appeal was filed with the office.

More broadly, the proposal would emphasize to contracting officers that they must update the Federal Procurement Data System to reflect the final size determination.

The proposed amendments match SBA’s rules that clarify the initial and appeal eligibility decisions across the small business programs, including the new Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.

SBA processes almost 500 size protests each fiscal year. Most protests fail because officials determine the target of the protest to be properly designated as a small business (41 percent) or because the protest is dismissed on procedural grounds (33 percent). Officials determine the protested company to not actually merit the designation in 26 percent of the protests.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • IT Modernization
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    OMB's user guide to the MGT Act

    The Office of Management and Budget is working on a rules-of-the-road document to cover how agencies can seek and use funds under the MGT Act.

  • global network (Pushish Images/Shutterstock.com)

    As others see us -- a few surprises

    A recent dinner with civil servants from Asia delivered some interesting insights, Steve Kelman writes.

  • FCW Perspectives
    cloud (Singkham/Shutterstock.com)

    A smarter approach to cloud

    Advances in cloud technology are shifting the focus toward choosing the right tool for the job and crafting solutions that truly modernize systems.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.