This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
Welcome to Reed Smith's viewpoints — timely commentary from our lawyers on topics relevant to your business and wider industry. Browse to see the latest news and subscribe to receive updates on topics that matter to you, directly to your mailbox.
| 1 minute read

Protest POV: U.S. Court of Federal Claims declares “status is everything,” that is, small business status

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) recently issued a decision holding the court lacked jurisdiction to consider protestor FYI- For Your Information, Inc.’s (FYI) claims related to a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) set-aside task order procurement pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act’s (FASA) bar on task order protests. FYI challenged the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) determination that FYI was ineligible for award under a task order solicitation because FYI was not certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a WOSB and did not have a pending WOSB certification application as of the date of proposal submission. Similarly, FYI challenged the General Services Administration’s (GSA) determination, in an unrelated WOSB set-aside procurement, that FYI had only self-certified as a WOSB but was not SBA-certified as such. The court found that FYI’s challenges stemmed from the company’s confusion about a 2022 regulatory change that no longer allowed for self-certification of WOSB status and instead required companies to formally apply for certification through SBA. 

CFC determined that, even if it had jurisdiction to consider FYI’s task order protest (which it did not), FYI would still lose on the merits because it was not SBA-certified as a WOSB at the time of proposal submission, and thus, ineligible for WOSB set aside contracts under both the USCIS and GSA procurements.

POV:   Companies competing for federal government contracts set aside for certain small business concerns must formally apply for and obtain SBA certification of their small business status. When submitting bids and proposals for these set-aside procurements, “status is everything,” and self-representing your status may not be enough.  


bid protests, government contracts