On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, entitled “Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, and Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity,” adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of prohibited forms of employment discrimination. This Executive Order amended prior Executive Orders 11246 (President Johnson, 1965) and 11478 (President Nixon, 1969), which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
On December 29, 2014, Small Business Administration proposed rules in the Federal Register to, among other things, relax the affiliation rules for similarly situated entities. Similarly situated entities are those companies that share the same size status or other socioeconomic program status. For example, two small businesses are similarly situated to each other and two 8(a) Business Development Program participants are similarly situated to each other. Specifically, the SBA proposed to amend the ostensible subcontractor rule located in 13 CFR § 121.103(h)(4) and broaden the exception to joint-venture affiliation located in 13 CFR § 121.103(h)(3).
In a bid protest filed by Swets Information Services (B-410078, Oct. 20, 2014), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest based upon inadequate documentation of the agency’s evaluation. However, the agency denied the protest on other grounds, including protester’s challenge that the agency’s past-performance evaluation was erroneous, because the protester failed to show it was prejudiced as a result of the alleged error.