Small biz size status ordinarily is based on underlying GSA Schedule contract

July 8, 2014 by

When a small business submits an offer for a Blanket Purchase Agreement issued against a GSA Schedule contract, the offeror does not automatically recertify its size.  Rather, a new regulation effective December 31, 2013 provides that an offeror’s size status for a BPA issued against a GSA Schedule ordinarily is determined by looking to the offeror’s self-certification for the underlying GSA Schedule contract.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals relied, in part, on the new regulation to find that an offeror had not recertified its small business status by submitting a quotation for a BPA to be issued against the offeror’s GSA Schedule contract.

SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Total Systems Technologies Corp., SBA No. SIZ-5562 (2014) involved a Homeland Security RFQ for business management support at the Coast Guard’s C4IT Service Center.  The Coast Guard issued the RFQ under the MOBIS Schedule 874, and stated that the RFQ would result in the award of a single BPA.  The RFQ was set aside for HUBZone firms.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/sbaohadecisions/gsa-schedule-bpa-awards-size-status-ordinarily-is-based-on-underlying-gsa-schedule-contract/

 

GSA to hold industry day in Atlanta for HUBZone and SDVOSB firms on May 28

May 21, 2014 by

The General Services Administration (GSA) is planning an Industry Day focusing on Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and HUBZone certified small businesses with specific NAICS codes.  The program’s planned presentations will outline contracting and potential subcontracting opportunities in GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS).  GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) also will be presenting.  This event is being facilitated by GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization.

The top NAICS codes for Region 4 PBS:

236220   Commercial and Institutional Building Construction
337214   Furniture
53              Real Estate (includes rental & leasing)
541611    Administrative, Management & General Management Consulting Services
561720   Janitorial Services
561210   Operations and Maintenance
GSA Schedule 70

AGENDA

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Opening Comments
Chasity Ash, Small Business Technical Advisor, GSA Office of Small Business Utilization
Mildred Quinley, Director, GSA Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU)

1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.  GSA, Federal Acquisition Service
1:45 p.m. –  2:15 p.m. Services Branch, GSA Public Buildings Service
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.  Small Projects Branch, GSA Public Buildings Service
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  Capital and Program Support Branch, GSA Public Buildings Service
3:15 p.m. – 4 :00p.m.  Wrap Up, GSA Office of Small Business Utilization

This event is open to small business firms whose primary NAICS codes are listed above.  Pre-registration is required.  Please send attendee names, company name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses to vog.asgnull@zibllams4r.  Limit two attendees per firm.  Please include your NAICS codes, CAGE code, and HUBZone certification number or SDVOSB status in the email.  Please direct all inquiries to Region 4 OSBU at (404) 331-5103 or vog.asgnull@zibllams4r.

If you are unable to attend this even, a conference line  is being set-up.  Be advised that this will be a “Listen Only Call” and all phones will be muted.  If you have any questions during the call, please email them to vog.asgnull@zibllams4r. The Conference Call-In Number is 559-546-1000 and the Access Code is 584979.

Controversial IT contractor charged with murder

April 8, 2014 by

Braulio Castillo, the president of IT contractor Strong Castle, was arrested April 1 by Loudon County, Va., authorities and charged with first degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Michelle.

Castillo gained notoriety as a result of a June 2013 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that examined the validity of the service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) status enjoyed by the firm he co-owned with his wife.

Castillo’s disability arose from a sports injury incurred at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School. Additionally, Castillo’s firm enjoyed a special status as a HUBZone company under a Small Business Administration program that gives preference to firms located in designated neighborhoods. SBA decertified Strong Castle’s HUBZone status in May 2013, while the Department of Veterans Affairs affirmed Strong Castles SDVOSB status last September.

keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2014/04/02/castillo-murder-charges.aspx 

HUBZone Summit to be held in Atlanta on April 2nd

February 21, 2014 by

A free, one-day educational and networking conference for HUBZone and other small businesses – featuring one-on-one match-making meetings with federal agencies and prime contractors — will be held in Atlanta on April 2, 2014.

The 3rd Annual Summit for HUBZone small businesses is being held by the HUBZone Contractors National Council.  The event is free, but advance registration is required.

Businesses that register for the Summit by March 21 will have an opportunity to request 15-minute meeting times with participating agencies and primes.  Contractors must register for the Summit by March 21 to request appointments.  Appointments are not required.  There may be open appointments for those who register after March 21.

The April 2nd Summit is being held at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, located in downtown Atlanta at 61 Forsyth St SW, adjacent to the Five Points MARTA Rail Station.  The building is situated a few blocks from CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Georgia Dome.  Parking is available in many nearby garages.  Summit participants must provide a government-issued ID (such as a valid driver’s license, passport, or federal employee badge) to enter the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center.

To register for the Summit, visit: http://www.hubzonecouncil.org/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=528&pubmenuoptID=39280.

HUBZONE SUMMIT SCHEDULE
April 2, 2014
(subject to change)

Morning9:00 – 10:30 Welcome RemarksFederal Regional Administrators
HUBZone Program Update
  HUBZone Council
Top 10 Strategies for Federal Contracting Success
  Federal OSDBU Directors
10:30 – 11:15 CONCURRENT SESSIONS - Choose one:
Contract Compliance & SBA Compliance Control Panel
  The Centric Group
Market Research: Searching for Opportunities
  Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center
Navigating the HUBZone Application Process
  HUBZone Council
Agency & Prime Contractor Procurement Forecasts
  US Army et al.
11:15 – 12:00 CONCURRENT SESSIONS - Choose one:
Bid Protest Guidelines for Small Business Contractors
  HUBZone Council
Pre- and Post-Award Issues
  Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center
Agency & Prime Contractor Procurement Forecasts
  Battelle et al.
Afternoon

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch on Your Own
1:00 – 3:00 HUBZone Help Desk
1:00 – 4:00
Match-Making Sessions
Small business contractors who register by March 21 will be able to reserve 15-minute appointments with participating agencies and prime contractors.

GSA schedules mentor-protege HUBZone conference in DC on Feb. 24

February 3, 2014 by

On February 24, 2014 small businesses are invited to obtain free training on HUBZone Certifications and the Mentor Protege Program.  This event will include matchmaking with the GSA Acquisition Workforce and representatives of GSA’s Mentor Protege Program. There also will be opportunities for counseling, on-site Mentor Protege applications, and a walk through the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities.

The event is being held at the General Services Administration, 1800 & F Street, NW, Room 1460, Washington, DC 20405.

GSA believes this conference will best benefit businesses in the following industries:

  • Utilities and housekeeping
  • Construction services
  • Maintenance, Repair and Rebuilding of Equipment
  • Professional Administrative and Management Support
  • Architect and Engineering Services
  • Information Technology Services including Telecommunication Services
  • Electrical
  • Janitorial

The agenda for the event is as follows:

  • Small Business Vendor training 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Lunch on your own 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Contracting and Mentor Matchmaking 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Closing Remarks 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The registration deadline is February 10, 2014.  Register on-line here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nTS9NHlpHUiT6X6xfXZsvLyIrM94mFEddwmzeh9sL9c/viewform

For questions, please contact Lucy Jenkins via email at: vog.asgnull@sniknej.ycul.

SBA holds 8(a) and HUBZone eligibility workshop Nov. 13

November 4, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration is holding a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 to provide an overview of the eligibility requirements for 8(a) and HUBZone certifications, and other procurement related information.

Event Details:

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013
  • 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
  • Location: 233 Peachtree Street NE, Ste. 1900, Harris Tower-Peachtree Center, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Register at: http://events.sba.gov/EventManagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=8627e5fb-a22a-e211-aa20-02bfa56e2a24

Federal rule mandates small business updates, imposes monetary penalties

September 24, 2013 by

Small businesses need to pay closer attention than ever to their “small business size status.”

New rules from the Small Business Administration (SBA), recently published in the Federal Register, require that small businesses:

  1. Accurately maintain their size status with the federal government, and
  2. Face substantial financial penalties, if willful misrepresentation of size or socioeconomic status is proven.

What actions are expected to be taken by small businesses?

First and foremost, it’s imperative that every small business update its profile in the System for Award Management (SAM) at least once a year.  A small business failing to perform annual updating will no longer be identified in the SAM database as a small business.  Lack of updating also will cause a firm’s other socioeconomic designations (such as SDB, 8(a), HUBZone, WOSB, EDWOSB, VOSB and SDVOSB) to be dropped from SAM.   Losing these designations in SAM potentially means losing eligibility for federal contracts set-aside for various small business classifications.  Firms not identified as small businesses also will not likely be considered as potential subcontractors by prime contractors who are required to meet small business subcontracting goals.

The possible penalty for a business misrepresenting itself as a small business has never been as severe as now.  If the SBA finds that a business “willfully misrepresented” itself as a small business in order to win a federal contract, the agency can cancel the contract and impose a penalty equal to the total dollar value of the contract.  Previously, when a contractor misrepresented its size or small business status, the contractor had to forfeit its contract and pay back profits associated with the contract.

The bottom line is this.  Businesses should make sure they update SAM at least annually.  In addition, businesses should expect to see a new certification form in bid and proposal solicitations, requiring each small business to certify its status as a small business along with any other socioeconomic classification the firm may hold.  The form must be signed by an authorized official.  If a federal solicitation does not contain a certification section, offerors (bidders and proponents) are expected to prepare a signed certification of their own to be included in their offer.

 

Does your firm qualify as a SDB?

August 26, 2013 by

Small businesses, if qualified, can self-represent their status as a small disadvantaged business (SDB).  Doing so could qualify your firm to be considered for federal contracting, including subcontracting, opportunities.

You do not have to submit an application to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for SDB status.

To self-represent as an SDB, you must register your business in the federal government’s vendor database known as the System for Award Management (SAM).  Navigate to end of the SAM database to find the section that deals with small business certifications.   However, first make sure you and your firm understand the SBA eligibility criteria for SDBs.

In order to qualify as an SDB, generally:

  • The firm must be 51% or more owned and controlled by one or more disadvantaged persons.
  • The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The firm must be small, according to SBA’s size standards.

While SBA must still certify all firms that participate in the 8(a) Business Development Program, the requirements to be approved are different and more rigorous than SDB status.  If you believe your firm is ready for the 8(a) Business Development program, click here.

For more information on SDB certification, view the October 3, 2008 Federal Register notice  which explains why SDBs do not need to submit an application to the SBA.

In addition to self-representing your business as an SDB, if qualified, your firm might also meet the requirements for one or more of the following programs:

  • SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program provides managerial, technical, and contractual assistance to small disadvantaged businesses to ready the firm and its owners for success in the private industry.
  • SBA’s HUBZone Program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The company must also maintain a “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas.
  • The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned small businesses.
  • The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program provides procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.

Small business certification is a thorny issue

March 5, 2013 by

The ever-evolving small business government contracting landscape presents myriad ethical quandaries for small businesses seeking set-aside and sole source contracts.

Rules governing eligibility for various small business programs are becoming more complex with amendments and case law interpretation.  Hence, whether a firm is eligible for a particular small business program or procurement often presents a thorny question.

Small business government contracting programs generally rely upon a contractor’s self-certification. To
compete, a company usually only needs to certify — with no government verification — that it meets a small business program’s requirements.

Notable exceptions include the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans First contracting program for Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small
Businesses.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2013/march/Pages/SmallBusinessCertificationaThornyIssue.aspx

GSA targets small businesses for new IT contracts

August 30, 2012 by

The General Services Administration is leaning toward splitting its next major  multiple award IT contract into two parts: one that would be unrestricted and one for small businesses.

Jim Ghiloni, the program manager for the One Acquisition  Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS)  contract, wrote in a   blog postthat this is GSA’s “current thinking.”

“GSA believes this approach affords the opportunity for the broadest participation  by all small businesses in the industry and will provide a vehicle that will  facilitate agencies’ ability to comply with the small business set-aside  procedures and manage their small business program goals,” Ghiloni wrote in the  blog.

The small business set-aside would be for firms who qualify as 8(a), service- disabled veteran owned, Historically Underutilized Business Zone and women-owned.  The unrestricted contract would be open to all vendors.

Keep reading this article at http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=445&sid=3000121.