2013 Federal Small Business Contracting Scores an A!

  By Barbara Connell with Aronson LLC On August 1, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the  Small Business Procurement Scorecard for fiscal year 2013. The annual scorecard is an assessment tool that measures how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals and reports agency-specific progress. Federal agencies scored an A for fiscal year 2013, achieving 100.6% of their 2013 small business contracting goals. For the first time in over 7 years, the federal government exceeded . . . Read More

“Justice Delayed?” Not here. Be prepared for the “Rocket Docket”

As you arrive at the front door of the courthouse of the Alexandria Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (“EDVA”), you are met with a sculpture of a blindfolded Lady Justice bearing the slogan “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” And believe me, they are not kidding. Resolution of your business dispute will occur at breakneck speed, so be prepared! Known nationally as the “Rocket Docket,” the EDVA resolves cases at a pace roughly twice as fast as that for federal courts nationally; the average time from the . . . Read More

A Husband’s “Illusory” Control: Recent SBA Decision Clarifies Role of Spouse in EDWOSBs

Since inception of the WOSB Program, the SBA has been sensitive to the involvement of husbands in WOSBs and EDWOSBs.  To combat the risk of a husband (or another man) running a WOSB or EDWOSB, the regulations require that the management and daily business operation of the concern be controlled by one or more women. However, the SBA also recognizes that as part of her management and control over the company, a woman may choose to hire her husband. But . . . Read More

Social Media Strikes Back! The Impact of Off-Hours Communications with Employees on Claims of Discrimination

How many of us have stared at a Facebook friend request from a boss or co-worker and wondered if clicking “accept” was a good decision? I know I’ve wondered if I really want my boss to know how many tattoos my sister has or what festival I spent the day at on Saturday instead of churning out more work. I’m willing to bet you’ve wondered something similar and for good reason. There is a massive amount of information stored on . . . Read More

Potential Blacklisting of Government Contractors Based on Labor Law Violations

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13673 , which will require companies bidding on federal contracts to disclose to agency contracting officers any violations (whether by administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment) of various federal wage and hour, discrimination, safety and health, labor and other laws (such as OSHA and workers’ compensation laws), as well as equivalent state laws during the previous three years. In addition to violations, the Executive Order requires prospective contractors to disclose . . . Read More

Protests: Timing Is of the Essence

Another federal government fiscal year end is quickly approaching and with it comes the usual uptick in spending, awards…and inevitable protests. If you are considering a protest, it is critical to understand the deadlines for filing. When to file varies depending on a number of factors including: the type of solicitation; whether or not a debriefing is required; the protest grounds; and whether the solicitation was a set-aside that may trigger a size or status protest. Different forums are available . . . Read More

Employee Stock Ownership Plans: More Confusion for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

My house, my rules. That was the approach seemingly taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) when it crafted the regulations governing eligibility of Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (collectively, “VOSBs”) for the Veterans First Contracting Program (the “VA Program”).  The VA appears to have patterned its rules off the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) rules for both the 8(a) Business Development Program and the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern (“SDVO SBC”) Program (the “SBA Program”), which has created a lot of confusion for veterans participating in both . . . Read More

What to Do When an Investigator Comes Knocking

Our firm has observed a significant uptick in the investigation of government contractors in the last few years. This is driven, in large part, by a political and regulatory environment that assumes fraud, waste and abuse are endemic in the government contracting space. Operating in this environment, contractors should have plans in place to deal with government investigators. We usually recommend that firms take the following steps in the event an investigator comes knocking at their door: Contact your legal . . . Read More