Affiliation Determination Results from Unofficial Mentoring

8(a)’s Unapproved Mentor-Protege Arrangement Leads To Affiliation

Source: SmallGovCon, By Steven Koprince, February 23, 2015

An 8(a) small business was found to be affiliated with its large subcontractor under the ostensible subcontractor rule based in part on the fact that the large subcontractor was providing mentoring services to the small business–even though the SBA had rejected a proposed mentor-protege agreement between the companies.

The recent decision of the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals in Size Appeal of Brown & Pipkins LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5621 (2014) is a warning to 8(a) firms about the potential dangers of accepting mentoring services outside the confines of a SBA-approved mentor-protege agreement.

OHA’s decision in the Brown & Pipkins case involved a NIH procurement for janitorial services at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  The solicitation was set-aside for 8(a) participants under NAICS code 561720 (Janitorial Services).

Brown & Pipkins LLC submitted a proposal.  Brown & Pipkins was an active 8(a) participant.  As a stand-alone concern, Brown & Pipkins qualified as a small business under NAICS code 561720.   More…


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