Small Business Programs
On October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Rothe Development, Inc. in Rothe Development, Inc. v. Department of Defense & Small Business Administration. Rothe, a non-minority-owned federal contractor, challenged the SBA’s 8(a) Program, a program which gives benefits to small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Rothe alleged that the statutory basis of the 8(a) Program denies it, a company not owned or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, equal protection of the law, in violation of the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Recently, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals issued a decision, Veterans Contracting Group, Inc., SBA No. VET-265 (2017), which reaffirmed the SBA SDVOSB Program’s requirement that an SDVOSB be 51-percent unconditionally and directly owned by one or more service-disabled veterans (“SDV”). 13 C.F.R § 125.12(a), (d). More specifically, OHA upheld an SBA determination that a concern named Veterans Contracting Group, Inc. (“VCS” or the “Company”) did not meet SDVOSB eligibility requirements due to certain provisions in a shareholders agreement among VCS’ owners which placed impermissible conditions on the SDV’s ownership interest in VCS.
Having just presented on data rights issues to a number of government contracting officers and procurement professionals, as well as private sector contract management personnel, during the 2017 National Contract Management Association World Congress, it became clear that many people are confused (and rightly so) about what is happening with regard to the segregation and reintegration rules.
The new HUBZone map designates areas as eligible HUBZone locations and indicates whether an address qualifies as one or more HUBZone designations, such as census tract, county, Indian land, disaster area, closed base area, or redesignated area.
H.R. 3294, the HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act of 2017, proposes several changes to the HUBZone program that are intended to reduce certification timelines, stabilize the program, and collect and report on performance metrics designed to measure the success of the HUBZone program. While this is a step in the right direction, the proposed changes do not go far enough to provide a meaningful impact to the deficiencies in the program.