HUBZone Appeals & Penalties

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HUBZone Appeals and Penalties

So Nancy?  Who can appeal the decision of a protest?  Well that is a great question.  First,  the protested HUBZone small business, second the protestor company, or lastly the Contracting Officer may file appeals.  Send your appeal to the Director of HUBZone.  By the way, there is a time limit to the appeal process.  Likewise file your appeal within five (5) business days after the date of the protest determination.  You must remember that SBA will not accept any appeals after this time frame.  Now we will discuss how to file the appeal.

Today, we are going to discuss the HUBZone Appeals & Penalties section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). For more information please refer to 13 CFR 126.  First, let’s discuss the procedures for appeals.

What are the procedures for appeals of HUBZone status determinations?

So Nancy?  Who can appeal the decision of a protest?  Well that is a great question.  First,  the protested HUBZone small business, second the protestor company, or lastly the Contracting Officer may file appeals.  Send your appeal to the Director of HUBZone.  By the way, there is a time limit to the appeal process.  Likewise file your appeal within five (5) business days after the date of the protest determination.  You must remember that SBA will not accept any appeals after this time frame.  Now we will discuss how to file the appeal.

What are the procedures for appeals of HUBZone status determinations?

The party wishing to appeal the decision can deliver the appeal in person, by facsimile, by express delivery service, or by U.S. mail.  Remember the HUBZone appeal has a five day window. Also, the appealing party must also provide a notice of appeal to the contracting activity contracting officer and either the protested HUBZone small business or original protestor, whichever is appropriate.

SBA will only re-examine a protested determination if there is a clear and significant error in the processing of a protest. In short, if the Director of HUBZone failed to consider a significant fact contained within the information supplied by the protestor or the protested HUBZone business.  Remember, SBA will not consider any additional information or changed circumstances. Thus you cannot appeal based on disagreement with the findings and conclusions contained in the determination.

Therefore, all HUBZone appeals must be in writing.  Next the appeal must identify the protest determination being appealed and state why the decision of the HUBZone Director is erroneous or what significant fact that SBA failed to consider.

As a rule the SBA HUBZone Director will have five business days to consider the appeal.  Remember the Director of HUBZone’s decision is the agency’s final decision.

 What are the requirements for representing HUBZone status, and what are the penalties for misrepresentation?

The U.S. Government will consider a lost on any contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, cooperative research and development agreement, or grant that is set-aside, reserved, or otherwise classified as intended for award to HUBZone businesses when a business wins that contract and is not a HUBZone business.  Thus the government will consider that the small business willfully sought and received the award by misrepresentation.

Remember that all small business must sign stating their certifications and representations.  If a small business falsely certifies that they are a HUBZone small business and are not the government can issue penalties to that business.  SBA takes these matters seriously.  Any persons or businesses that make false statements or misrepresentation to SBA for the purpose of influencing SBA actions can lead to penalties.

However,  a prime contractor acting in good faith will not be held liable for misrepresentations made by any subcontractors regarding the subcontractors’ HUBZone status.  In addition, the government will not hold a business liable for a mistake in the certification system or when government personal have erroneous identified a business as a HUBZone firm.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed today’s article.  On Monday we will release an article on the HUBZone Program Price Preference.  So stay tuned.  For more articles.

 

 

 

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