Bid Protests and the SBA: The Wrong Forum Will Defeat You: GAO Defers

By: Christine V. Williams on 05/18/2016

On April 27, 2016, the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) issued an order dismissing a size appeal.  The protestor had filed the original size protest in front of the General Accountability Office (“GAO”), rather than the SBA’s Area Office.  The protestor was hoping for an automatic stay with the GAO, but did not receive it and then went directly to OHA.

 In dismissing the appeal, OHA reminded the protestor that OHA is the appellant forum for size determinations.  Both the Federal Acquisition Regulations and the SBA’s regulations require that the protest must be filed with the contracting officer and forwarded to the Area Office for determination.  FAR 19.302; 13 CFR 121.1003.  If unsatisfied with the result, the protester may proceed to appeal the decision to OHA.  As this procedure was not followed, there was no determination to appeal, and the case was dismissed.

 Here is a link to the OHA site to plug in the SIZ No. (5734) if you would like to review the brief decision.  CLICK HERE