GAO Says Air Force Broke Small Biz Mentor-Protege Rules

Law360 (April 27, 2021, 8:56 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Government Accountability Office has sustained a mentor-protege joint venture's protest over an Air Force support services solicitation, saying the Air Force imposed an experience requirement on protege companies that contradicted Small Business Administration rules.

SBA regulations specify that agencies cannot require protege members of mentor-protege joint ventures, by nature the less experienced partner, to demonstrate the same level of experience as other bidders, and the Air Force broke that rule by imposing the same assessment standards on all bidders for the deal at issue, including both partners in joint venture Innovate Now LLC, the GAO ruled Monday.

"The plain...

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