A federal judge in Tennessee struck down the Small Business Administration’s use of presumed racial and ethnic disadvantage as a qualification for SBA’s 8(a) Program—a keystone program intended to broaden the government contracting landscape for small business government contractors—throwing it into uncertainty. In an interview with FedScoop, PilieroMazza’s managing partner, Tony Franco, said he doesn’t believe the ruling would apply to people currently in the program, but that it could have a chilling effect on working with businesses in the program. “The problem is going to be can those people still benefit from the program if agencies are reluctant to award contracts to these companies because they believe that they’re going to be challenged using this case.” Please visit this link for the full article and this link for PilieroMazza’s client alert on this topic.
Excerpt taken from the article “Federal Judge Enjoins Use of Presumed Racial Disadvantage in SBA Contracting Program” by Madison Adler for FedScoop.
About Tony Franco
In addition to serving as Managing Partner of PilieroMazza, Tony has an active practice in the Firm’s Government Contracts Group where he has over 30 years of experience representing government contractors and commercial businesses. His practice encompasses all aspects of federal government contracting. Tony also works closely with attorneys in the Firm’s Business & Transactions Group on corporate transactions and the Labor & Employment Group to address employer-employee challenges in the highly regulated market of government contracting.
Tony counsels clients on a wide range of complex legal and regulatory matters, including (i) protests and claims against the federal government; (ii) commercial and contractual disputes; (iii) investigations and compliance audits; (iv) suspension and debarment proceedings; and (v) entity formation, including joint ventures, operating agreements, and shareholder agreements.
Tony primarily represents government contractors—large and small—interested in pursuing set-aside opportunities under SBA’s small business programs. He advises firms on teaming, joint ventures, mentor protégé arrangements, and strategies to defend awards from size, status, and bid protests. Tony assists firms in complying with the FAR and rules applicable to all small business contracting programs. His practice also encompasses the representation of Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and their government contracting subsidiaries.