Small Business Just Got a Little Bigger…Maybe

Effective January 6, 2020, a small business may use a 5-year lookback to calculate its revenue for a “receipts-based” NAICS code. However, if a 3-year lookback is more beneficial, it may use that instead…at least until January 6, 2022. After this two-year transition period, all small businesses will use the 5-year lookback period.

SBA to examine disconnect between Joint Ventures and Agency Facility Security Requirments

SBA is finally looking into the disconnect between its Joint Venture (JV) rules and Agency Facility Security Clearance requirements. Many of you may have run into this problem. Your JV is is the “prime offeror” and the agency’s solicitation requires the prime to have a facility security clearance. Your JV (being a separate legal entity) is “unpopulated” and cannot qualify for a facility security clearance since the clearance is dependent upon the personnel who will be monitoring/administering the security requirements. Technically, you fail to meet the solicitation requirement and a decision by GAO (ProTech Services USA, LLC , File: B-417484, Date: July 19, 2019) agreed with the agency on this point. (The decision involved SBA because the protester claimed that the determination was one of “responsibility” rather than a material requirement of the solicitation.) However, each of the members that make up the JV do have facility security clearances. To remedy this problem, SBA has asked for comments on how best to remedy this problem in its proposed rule regarding merging the 8(a) and All Small Mentor Protégé Programs ( The SBA recommends that either the JV itself or the “lead” venturer could hold the required clearance. If you are a small business “protégé” in the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program, this may not be much help since you are the lead venture and may not have the required clearance. However, the SBA added that if “security” is ancillary to the principal purpose of the procurement, the non-lead partner, e.g. the Mentor, could possess such a clearance and satisfy the requirement. If you want to weigh in on this issue with SBA, you have until January 17, 2020. For any questions on Joint Ventures or Mentor-Protégé Programs, please give us a call at 732-380-7739.

Former CECOM Attorney Joins F&A

We are very pleased to announce that Susan Harbort has joined our team!

Prior to joining Ferlise and Associates, Susan was a Department of the Army civilian attorney for 30 years. Susan has significant experience in all aspects of the source selection process, protests before the Government Accountability Office and Court of Federal Claims, as well as Agency level protests, contract claims and appeals, and contract administration issues.  Susan most recently served as a Business Law Division Chief, serving as the senior legal advisor to PEO IEW&S and CECOM ILSC.

Welcome aboard Susan!

WOSB/EDWOSB proposed rule

On May 14th, the SBA published a Proposed Rule to amend its regulations to require Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs) to be certified by either SBA, other Federal Agencies, a State government, or a national certifying entity approved by SBA in order to be awarded a set-aside or a sole-source contract.  Currently, WOSBs/EDWOSBs are permitted to self-certify and can continue to self-certify for contract awards that are not set-aside or sole-source.

The text of the proposed rule can be found at with comments due by July 15, 2019. 

If you have any questions about this program, please contact us at or (732) 380-7739.

Two F&A Associates Join the CECOM Hall of Fame

Mark Sagan and Dave Sharman were elected to the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Hall of Fame, and will be inducted at a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Grounds on May 1st. They join F&A founder Victor Ferlise in the Hall of Fame, who was part of the inaugural class of inductees.

Mark was a central player in the Army Legal Community for 32 years, culminating in his service as CECOM Chief Counsel. During his tenure, Mark was recognized as the “go to” attorney within the Department of Army and was frequently hand-picked to participate in the most complex and politically sensitive matters where his expertise and counsel were relied upon with absolute confidence by DA and DoD senior leaders in connection with the Army’s most critical, complex, and controversial multi-billion dollar programs. Mark’s work was a key component in the Army’s ability to successfully field systems that vastly improved warfighter survivability, as recognized by his selection to the Hall.

Following his service as a Marine, Dave served 31 years as an Army logistician, finishing as Director of the CECOM Logistics and Readiness Center (LRC). As the Command’s senior leader for logistics, he was responsible for not only the management of over 2000 military and civilian employees, but also the creation of the vision, strategy and implementation plans necessary to achieve an integrated enterprise approach to logistics sustainment for all the Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) weapon systems. David’s achievements during his various positions in the LRC were outstanding and have made a lasting impact on CECOM in the areas of national inventory control point, national maintenance point, security assistance to allied nations, production and industrial base management and planning, integrated logistics planning, and field technical assistance with a global footprint encompassing over 20 countries and 100 plus sites.

Congratulations Mark and David!

Enhanced Postaward Debriefing Rights

On March 22, 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a Memorandum entitled “Enhanced Postaward Debriefing Rights.” This was issued to implement paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 which amended 10 USC 2305(b)(5) and 31 USC 3553 (d)(4).

This memo requires the DoD to include more information in the debriefings than currently given. Specifically, the Government must provide a redacted copy of the Source Selection Decision Document and give the unsuccessful offeror an opportunity to submit additional questions within 2 days after the debriefing. The debriefing won’t be considered concluded until those questions are answered in writing, and they must be answered within 5 days. This provision is applicable to small business awards between $10 Million and $100 Million or for any contract (regardless of size of the business) valued over $100 million.

The memo also warned DoD agencies that it must suspend contract performance upon receipt of a GAO protest: within 10 days after the date of award, or 5 days after the debriefing if no additional questions are posed, or 5 days after the written answers are delivered if additional questions are asked – whichever is later.

For help crafting debriefing questions or a discussion about whether or not to protest, please feel free to contact us.

Senior VA TAC Engineer joins F&A!

We are pleased to announce that Chris Swenarton has joined our team!

Prior to joining Ferlise and Associates, Chris functioned as a Program Manager (PM) for the VA’s Technology Acquisition Center (TAC).   In that role, Chris served as the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Chair and as the Technical Factor Chair for numerous high dollar value, mission critical Information Technology (IT) acquisitions at the TAC to include T4 and T4NG.   Chris also managed the development and deployment of numerous cloud-based IT solutions to address the VA’s massive compensation claims backlog.   These innovative IT solutions digitized all paper-based claims documentation, improved the accuracy of claims rating decisions, and reduced the backlog by over 85%.

Prior to his years at the VA, Chris supported the Department of the Army for over 25 years.   His experience includes serving as Acting Director for the CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate (S&TCD) where he managed a workforce of over 400 employees in the development and testing of battlefield communications technologies.   Chris also served as the Deputy PM for Tactical Radio Communications Systems (TRCS) and as Chief of the Technical Management Division for three unique PM offices:  TRCS, Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (FATDS), and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T).

Chris has received numerous civilian awards and decorations, most notably the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the Fort Monmouth Employee of the Year.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Chemical Engineering from Villanova University (1984) and a Masters of Computer Science (1992) from Monmouth University.

Welcome aboard Chris!

Is the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program right for you?

As a small business, do you find yourself missing out on opportunities that you know you can do well but can’t compete because you don’t have the right past performance?

Or, as a large business, do you find yourself shut out from opportunities that are set-aside for small businesses?

In either case, the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) might be a good way for you to overcome these barriers. Once the SBA approves your Mentor-Protégé application, you may form a Joint Venture (JV) to pursue opportunities for which you would otherwise not be eligible.

A large business that mentors a small business through this program can compete for those small business set-asides through the JV and a small business protégé can rely on the large business’ past performance. For more information on the benefits of this program or to discuss whether this is right for your business, please contact us today.

F&A to attend the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Day

Vic Ferlise and Mike Ferlise will be attending the upcoming AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days on April 3-4, 2018 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD. This popular event had attracted over one thousand attendees and has boasted hundreds of industry participants in the past.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) – Belvoir Chapter, supports the Fort Belvoir community, through this event by connecting the Government with IT industry professionals. Fort Belvoir is home to over 90 diverse tenant and satellite organizations from the Department of Defense, including PEO EIS, INSCOM, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Army Cyber Command, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), DTIC, PEO Soldier, and many others