82 FR 25507, June 2, 2017, unless otherwise noted.
(a) The rules of practice in this subpart apply to Size Standard Petitions.
(a) A Size Standard Petition may be filed with OHA by any person that is adversely affected by the Administrator's decision to revise, modify, or establish a size standard.
(b) A business entity is not adversely affected unless it conducts business in the industry associated with the size standard that is being challenged and:
(1) The business entity qualified as a small business concern before the size standard was revised or modified; or
(2) The business entity qualifies as a small business under the size standard as revised or modified.
(a) A Size Standard Petition must be filed at OHA not later than 30 calendar days after the publication in the Federal Register of the final rule that revises, modifies, or establishes the challenged size standard. An untimely Size Standard Petition will be dismissed.
(b) A Size Standard Petition filed in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking is premature and will be dismissed.
(c) A Size Standard Petition challenging a size standard that has not been revised, modified, or established through publication in the Federal Register will be dismissed.
(a) Form. There is no required form for a Size Standard Petition. However, it must include the following information:
(1) A copy of the final rule published in the Federal Register to revise, modify, or establish a size standard, or an electronic link to the final rule;
(2) A full and specific statement as to which size standard(s) in the final rule the Petitioner is challenging and why the process that was used to revise, modify, or establish each challenged size standard is alleged to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law, together with argument supporting such allegation;
(3) A copy of any comments the Petitioner submitted in response to the proposed notice of rulemaking that pertained to the size standard(s) in question, or a statement that no such comments were submitted; and
(4) The name, mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, email address, and signature of the Petitioner or its attorney.
(b) Multiple size standards. A Petitioner may challenge multiple size standards that were revised, modified, or established in the same final rule in a single Size Standard Petition, provided that the Petitioner demonstrates standing for each of the challenged size standards.
(c) Format. The formatting provisions of § 134.203(d) apply to Size Standard Petitions.
(d) Service. In addition to filing the Size Standard Petition at OHA, the Petitioner must serve a copy of the Size Standard Petition upon each of the following:
(1) SBA's Office of Size Standards, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; facsimile number (202) 205-6390; or email@example.com; and
(2) SBA's Office of General Counsel, Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; facsimile number (202) 205-6873; or OPLService@sba.gov.
(e) Certificate of service. The Petitioner must attach to the Size Standard Petition a signed certificate of service meeting the requirements of § 134.204(d).
Upon receipt of a Size Standard Petition, OHA will assign the matter to a Judge in accordance with § 134.218. Unless it appears that the Size Standard Petition will be dismissed under § 134.910, the presiding Judge will issue a notice and order initiating the publication required by § 121.102(f) of this chapter; specifying a date for the Office of Size Standards to transmit to OHA a copy of the administrative record supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard(s); and establishing a date for the close of record. Typically, the administrative record will be due seven calendar days after issuance of the notice and order, and the record will close 45 calendar days from the date of OHA's receipt of the Size Standard Petition.
In accordance with § 134.210(b), interested persons with a direct stake in the outcome of the case may contact OHA to intervene in the proceeding and obtain a copy of the Size Standard Petition. In the event that the Size Standard Petition contains confidential information and the intervener is not a governmental entity, the Judge may require that the intervener's attorney be admitted to a protective order before obtaining a complete copy of the Size Standard Petition.
The provisions of § 134.204 apply to the filing and service of all pleadings and other submissions permitted under this subpart unless otherwise indicated in this subpart.
The Office of Size Standards will transmit to OHA a copy of the documentation and analysis supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard by the date specified in the notice and order. The Chief, Office of Size Standards, will certify and authenticate that the administrative record, to the best of his or her knowledge, is complete and correct. The Petitioner and any interveners may, upon request, review the administrative record submitted to OHA. The administrative record will include the documentation and analysis supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard.
The standard of review for deciding a Size Standard Petition is whether the process employed by the Administrator to revise, modify, or establish the size standard was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. OHA will not adjudicate arguments that a different size standard should have been selected. The Petitioner bears the burden of proof.
The Judge must dismiss the Size Standard Petition if:
(a) The Size Standard Petition does not, on its face, allege specific facts that if proven to be true, warrant remand of the size standard;
(b) The Petitioner is not adversely affected by the final rule revising, modifying, or establishing a size standard;
(d) The matter has been decided or is the subject of adjudication before a court of competent jurisdiction over such matters.
Although not required, any intervener may file and serve a response supporting or opposing the Size Standard Petition at any time prior to the close of record. SBA may intervene as of right at any time in any case until 15 days after the close of record, or the issuance of a decision, whichever comes first. The response must present argument.
Discovery will not be permitted. Oral hearings will not be held unless the Judge determines that the dispute cannot be resolved except by the taking of live testimony and the confrontation of witnesses.
Disputes under this subpart ordinarily will be decided based on the pleadings and the administrative record. The Judge may admit additional evidence upon a motion establishing good cause.
The Judge will issue his or her decision within 45 calendar days after close of record, as practicable. The Judge's decision is final and will not be reconsidered.
If OHA grants a Size Standard Petition, OHA will remand the matter to the Office of Size Standards for further analysis. Once remanded, OHA no longer has jurisdiction over the matter unless a new Size Standard Petition is filed as a result of a new final rule published in the Federal Register.
(a) If OHA grants a Size Standard Petition of a modified or revised size standard, SBA will take appropriate action to rescind that size standard and to restore the one that was in effect before the one challenged in the Size Standard Petition. The restored size standard will remain in effect until SBA issues a new size standard. The OHA decision does not affect the validity of a concern's size representation made under the challenged size standard prior to the effective date of the SBA action rescinding that challenged size standard. Such a concern remains eligible for award as a small business, and the procuring agency may count the award towards its small business goals. If the procuring agency amends the solicitation and requires new self-certifications, those self-certifications will be based on the size standard in effect on the day those self-certifications are made. If the size standard in question was newly established, the challenged size standard remains in effect while SBA conducts its further analysis on remand.
(b) If OHA denies a Size Standard Petition, the size standard remains as published in the Code of Federal Regulations.
A prevailing Petitioner is not entitled to recover attorney's fees. Size Standard Petitions are not proceedings that are required to be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge under § 134.603.
The publication of a final rule in the Federal Register is considered the final agency action for purposes of seeking judicial review.