When you submit your proposals for government contracts, bidders often forget to actually check their Offeror Representations and Certifications or reps and certs form and comply with FAR 52.212-3.
There Can be Consequences for Misrepresentation
Failure to check you reps and certs for each bid submission can sometimes create problems. This can be a fatal mistake, for example, is if the agency finds out that you have intentionally represented your company as being a small business. Although you may think it to be an honest mistake, the implications can be fatal and you may even lose a bid protest on the issue.
As a small business competing for federal government contracts, you must make sure that you comply with the FAR and DFARS Offeror representations and certifications clauses. Although your company is consistently bidding on government contracts to increase your bottom line, an honest mistake can cause you to lose the contract in a bid protest.
If a government contracting agency finds inaccurate information is SAM.Gov, you might still be saved if the procurement was for full and open competition. However, if it was a small business set-aside, the mistake can be hard to overcome.
FAR 52.212-3 When are Reps and Certs Required?
Typically, all government proposals incorporate by reference standard Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clauses governing commercial items acquisition, including, FAR 52.212(3) Offeror Representations and Certifications-Commercial Items. This information is required as a standard practice when submitting bids to the federal government.
This clause requires you to electronically complete the representations and certifications form provisions on the System for Award Management (SAM) website or to complete the representations and certifications required by paragraphs (c) through (o) of FAR Clause 52.212-3 with your submissions in response to the solicitation.
The proposal requirements also require bidders to certify that it is eligible for an award under a small business set-aside acquisition.
- Always use your compliance matrix to make sure that your proposal requirements for representations and certifications certs and reps form are accurate and complete.
An honest mistake will not allow you to escape losing in a GAO bid protest.
For example, in the 2015 case of Nationwide Value Computer, Inc., GAO found that the agency acted reasonably by deciding that because Nationwide’s reps and certs form showed that it was not listed as a small business under any NAICS code that it was ineligible for award because it did not certify itself as a small business.
- At the time that the agency checks SAM and your information is not correct, any adverse action by the contracting agency could stand.
This decision sends a crucial message to all bidders that the oversight can cause serious consequences
Never assume that government contracting agencies will give you a break. Despite meeting the other proposal requirements, and even beating your competition on all other source selection requirements, you can still lose the contract as a result of a protest.
For additional questions or help with proposal requirements for offeror representations and certifications / reps and certs form for commercial items under FAR 52.212-3 offeror representations and certifications, call our government contracting consultants at 1-866-601-5518. FREE Initial Consultation.