Scrutiny for 8(a) sole-source follow-on contract awards between subsidiaries of same ANC

“….. SBA’s ability to enforce its regulation prohibiting subsidiaries owned by the same ANC from operating in the same primary line of business as reported to SBA is hindered by limited tracking and sharing of information across SBA’s 68 district offices.”


Oversight Weaknesses Continue to Limit SBA’s Ability to Monitor Compliance with 8(a) Program Requirements

GAO-16-113: Published: Mar 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2016.

What GAO Found

GAO has reported in the past that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) ability to enforce regulations prohibiting the award of follow-on, sole-source contracts to 8(a) subsidiary firms of the same Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) relies on contract information from other federal agencies that is sometimes incomplete. SBA’s regulations prohibit program participants from receiving an 8(a) sole-source contract that immediately follows another 8(a) contract with the same requirements performed by another participant owned by the same ANC.  Read the whole report on GAO’s Website…


Notable protest is denied by GAO

If you’ve followed this story since November of last year, the GAO has just announced that Boeing and Lockheed’s protest has been denied for this $80 billion dollar bomber contract.

GAO Denies Boeing’s Protest of Bomber Contract

Defense News

WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office has denied Boeing’s protest of the US Air Force’s decision to award Northrop Grumman a contract to build the Long Range Strike Bomber, allowing Northrop to move forward with engineering and development work after a three-month delay. Continue reading

GAO: Performance-Based Contracts Are The Way To Go

Is this the wave of the future for government contracting?

Forbes LogoForbes – 1/27/2015 – Performance-based contracting received a boost this month when the Government Accountability Office found that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is making progress in moving toward a national performance-based approach.

The key word here is national and to that you can add “better contract management.” Under a typically-named government initiative—Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)—the DOT recognized the importance of a more progressive approach in the way federal agencies and states do business with each other, with planning organizations and with private vendors.

Linking transportation programs to performance is an idea that’s been around for some time but wide-scale implementation has been slow. That’s why GAO decided to step in.

In the fiscal year 2013, DOT provided about $50 billion to states and other “grantees”—such as metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies—to support highway and transit infrastructure and safety. However, it is not clear if this funding has improved system performance because, in part, these programs have lacked links to performance and national goals, the watchdog agency said this month in its latest report on the topic.

Read the full article here. 

Enforcement of 8(a) Subcontracting Limitations Likely to Increase​​

dorsey-logoDorsey Blackford Forum
By: Jonathan DeMella

Last month, the Government Accountability Office issued a report at the request of Senator Claire McCaskill, who asked the GAO to review how federal agencies monitor the work performed by subcontractors under 8(a) contracts, and the potential effects from recent changes to the Small Business Act. After examining a representative sample of ten 8(a) prime contracts and interviewing both Government and 8(a) contractor representatives, the GAO concluded that 8(a) prime contractors are not complying with the federal limitations on subcontracting requirements, and Contracting Officers are not adequately monitoring compliance.

The GAO thus recommended that the FAR be amended to include the three following requirements:

  1. At the time of contract award, contracting officers shall conduct and document an assessment of the 8(a) firm’s ability to comply with subcontracting limitations;
  2. Contracting officers shall include monitoring and oversight provisions in all 8(a) contracts to ensure that the contractors comply with the subcontracting limitations;
  3. and Prime 8(a) contractors shall periodically report to the contracting officer on the percentage of work being performed.​

Read More…​

Protests Up & Sustains Down – A Brief Review Of GAO’s FY 2014 Bid Protest Stats

Following up on our last article about Protest Statistics, this article delves deeper into the numbers reported by the GAO which show a decrease each year in the number of sustained protests.

Article by Derek R. Mullins
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

On November 18, 2014, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published its Annual Report to Congress (B-158766, November 18, 2014), which contains the statistics for bid protests filed at GAO in FY 2014. Frankly, it’s a mixed bag – protests are up, sustained protests are down, but the overall “effectiveness rate” (where the agency grants some type of remedy or corrective action for a protestor) remains flat. Because there are many who think that the bid protest process is broken, it might be worth a closer look at some of the statistics to see if bid protests are being abused (as some in Government might claim) or if the process is working.

Here are the statistics taken from the report (along with those for FYs 2010-2013)

PROTEST STATISTICS FY 2014 FY 2013 FY 2012 FY 2011 FY 2010
Cases Filed 2,561 2,429 2,475 2,353 2,299
(up 5%) (down 2%) (up 5%) (up 2%) (up 16%)
Cases Closed 2,458 2,538 2,495 2,292 2,226
Merit (Sustain + Deny) Decisions 556 509 570 417 441
Number of Sustains 72 87 106 67 82
Sustain Rate 13% 17% 18.60% 16% 19%

Read the full article with additional statistics here.