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The agency awarded the contract to an SBA-approved mentor-protégé. The protester said the mentor-protégé arrangement was a ruse for the mentor to bid on small business contracts. OHA found the protester’s arguments were nothing but bald assertions, unsupported by evidence. 

Size Appeal of Daniels Building Company, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-6250 
  • Size Protest – The agency awarded a contract to mentor-protégé joint venture. A disappointed bidder filed a size protest. The protester alleged the mentor-protege joint venture was a ruse. The protester said the mentor was a large business using the joint venture to bid on small business set asides. SBA denied the protest as speculative. 
  • OHA Affirms – The protester appealed to OHA. But OHA affirmed the denial. The protester alleged the awardee had not fulfilled its obligations as a mentor-protégé and had no intention of fulfilling the contract’s requirements. OHA found these allegations were speculative. The protester had not provided any direct evidence, beyond mere assertions, to support its claims. Moreover, the protest amounted to a challenge to SBA’s approval of the awardee as a mentor-protégé. Objections to the approval of a mentor-protégé are not proper grounds for a size protest. 

The appellant is represented by Marcus S. Sanborn of Blevins Sanborn Jezdimir Zack PLC. The awardee is represented by Peter B. Ford and Meghan F. Leemon of the Piliero Mazza PLLC. 

–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior Editor