Sanford Federal, Inc., the selected awardee for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) contract, learned the hard way that a contractor simply cannot ignore a size protest, regardless of its actual merit.
On August 8, 2023, the VA issued an RFQ for boiler plant safety device testing, calibration and inspection for one of its facilities in Arizona. The RFQ was set aside entirely for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and assigned NAICS code 238290, Other Building Equipment. The corresponding size standard for this code was $22 million in average annual receipts. The VA received two timely quotes and selected Sanford for the award. The non-awardee, Caldaia Controls, Inc., filed a protest with the contracting officer asserting that Sanford was not a small business because it received significant contract awards between 2019 and 2023, which, when averaged, exceeded the procurement’s applicable size standard. The contracting officer forwarded the protest to the cognizant SBA Area Office (Area Office).Continue Reading An SBA Public Service Announcement: If You See Something, Say Something