§ 124.1010What procedures apply to disadvantaged status protests?
(a)General. The protest procedures described in this section are separate and distinct from those governing size protests and appeals. All protests relating to whether a concern is a “small” business for purposes of any Federal program, including SDB set-asides and SDB evaluation adjustments, must be filed and processed pursuant to part 121 of this title.
(1) All protests challenging the disadvantaged status of a concern with respect to a particular Federal procurement requirement must be submitted in writing to the procuring activity contracting officer, except in cases where the contracting officer or SBA initiates a protest.
(2) Any contracting officer who initiates a protest must submit the protest in writing to SBA in accord with paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) In cases where SBA initiates a protest, the protest must be submitted in writing to the DC/SDBCE and notification provided in accord with § 124.1022(a).
(c)Timeliness of protest—
(1)SDB evaluation adjustment and set-aside protests—
(i)General. In order for a protest to be timely, it must be received by the contracting officer prior to the close of business on the fifth day, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, after the bid opening date for sealed bids, or after the receipt from the contracting officer of notification of the identity of the prospective awardee in negotiated acquisitions.
(ii)Oral protests. An oral protest relating to an SDB set-aside or SDB evaluation adjustment made to the contracting officer within the allotted 5-day period will be considered a timely protest only if the contracting officer receives a confirming letter postmarked, FAXed, or delivered no later than one calendar day after the date of such oral protest.
(iii)Protests of contracting officers or SBA. The time limitations in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section do not apply to contracting officers or SBA, and they may file protests before or after awards, except to the extent set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
(iv)Untimely protests. A protest received after the time limits set forth in this paragraph (c)(1) will be dismissed by SBA.
(2)Section 8(d) protests. In connection with an 8(d) subcontract, the contracting officer or SBA must submit a protest to the DC/SDBCE prior to the completion of performance by the intended 8(d) subcontractor.
(3)Premature protests. A protest in connection with any procurement which is submitted by any person, including the contracting officer, before bid opening or notification of intended award, whichever applies, will be considered premature, and will be returned to the protestor without action. A contracting officer that receives a premature protest must return it to the protestor without submitting it to the SBA.
(d)Referral to SBA.
(1) Any contracting officer who receives a protest that is not premature must promptly forward it to the SBA's DC/SDBCE, 409 3rd Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416.
(2) A contracting officer's referral of a protest to SBA must contain the following:
(i) The written protest and any accompanying materials;
(ii) The date on which the protest was received by the contracting officer;
(iii) A copy of the protested concern's selfrepresentation as an SDB, and the date of such self-representation; and
(iv) The date of bid opening or the date on which notification of the apparent successful offeror was sent to all unsuccessful offerors, as applicable.