SmallGovCon: Final 2022 NDAA Draft Allows HUBZone Appeals

“The final version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, agreed upon by negotiators for both the House and Senate and signed by the president, will allow the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals to hear appeals related to the SBA’s HUBZone status decisions…”

“Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall issue a rule authorizing the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Administration to decide all appeals from formal protest determinations in connection with the status of a concern as a qualified HUBZone small business concern[.]

This change is very welcome news for HUBZone small businesses. That said, we wish that the NDAA had gone a little farther, and also allowed for appeals of denied initial applications to the HUBZone Program.

Under the SBA’s regulation, when an applicant is denied, there is no formal way to appeal the decision. Instead, the applicant has the right to reapply after 90 days. This system works in many cases, but not if the declination decision is arguably wrong as a matter of law. If the SBA’s HUBZone Office misunderstands or misapplies its own regulations once, there is no reason to think it will reach a different outcome 90 days later. In such cases, an applicant’s only legal recourse is to file suit against the SBA–something most applicants don’t wish to do…” Read the full article here.

Source: Final 2022 NDAA Draft Allows HUBZone Appeals – By Nicole Pottroff, January 3, 2022. SmallGovCon.



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