On October 7, 2016, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a proposed rule in response to recent legislation authorizing the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) to decide Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards. OHA now has the responsibility of reviewing petitions filed by parties adversely affected by a new, revised or modified size standard. Under the proposed rule, the SBA may be forced to re-evaluate its size determination if the petitioner can demonstrate that the decision to change or establish the size standard was not in accordance with the law.
The new legislation grants OHA and businesses greater involvement in setting SBA size standards. The right to file a petition arises only where the SBA has issued a final rule that modifies, revises or creates a new size standard – making existing and proposed size standards exempt from challenge. Further, only businesses that have been "adversely affected" have standing to file a petition in the first place. A party is deemed "adversely affected" if it conducts business in the industry associated with the challenged size standard, and it either qualified as a small business prior to the modified size standard, or it now qualifies as a small business as a result of the size standard determination.
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