124.503 - How does SBA accept a procurement for award through the 8(a) BD program?
(a) Acceptance of the requirement. Upon receipt of the procuring activity's offer of a procurement requirement, SBA will determine whether it will accept the requirement for the 8(a) BD program. SBA's decision whether to accept the requirement will be sent to the procuring activity in writing within 10 working days of receipt of the written offering letter if the contract is valued at more than the simplified acquisition threshold, and within two days of receipt of the offering letter if the contract is valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, unless SBA requests, and the procuring activity grants, an extension. SBA is not required to accept any particular procurement offered to the 8(a) BD program.
(1) Where SBA decides to accept an offering of a sole source 8(a) procurement, SBA will accept the offer both on behalf of the 8(a) BD program and in support of a specific Participant.
(2) Where SBA decides to accept an offering of a competitive 8(a) procurement, SBA will accept the offer on behalf of the 8(a) BD program.
(3) Where SBA has delegated its contract execution functions to a procuring activity, the procuring activity may assume that SBA accepts its offer for the 8(a) program if the procuring activity does not receive a reply to its offer within five days.
(4) In the case of procurement requirements valued at or below the Simplified Acquisition Procedures threshold:
(i) Where a procuring activity makes an offer to the 8(a) program on behalf of a specific Program Participant and does not receive a reply to its offer within two days, the procuring activity may assume the offer is accepted and proceed with award of an 8(a) contract;
(ii) Where SBA has delegated its 8(a) contract execution functions to an agency, SBA may authorize the procuring activity to award an 8(a) contract without requiring an offer and acceptance of the requirement for the 8(a) program. In such a case, the procuring activity must notify SBA of all 8(a) awards made under this authority.
(5) Where SBA does not respond to an offering letter within the normal 10-day time period, the procuring activity may seek SBA's acceptance through the AA/BD. The procuring activity may assume that SBA accepts its offer for the 8(a) program if it does not receive a reply from the AA/BD within 5 days of his or her receipt of the procuring activity request.
(b) Verification of SIC code. As part of the acceptance process, SBA will verify the appropriateness of the SIC code designation assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer.
(1) SBA will accept the SIC code assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer as long as it is reasonable, even though other SIC codes may also be reasonable.
(2) If SBA and the procuring activity are unable to agree as to the proper SIC code designation for the requirement, SBA may either refuse to accept the requirement for the 8(a) BD program, appeal the contracting officer's determination to the head of the agency pursuant to §124.505, or appeal the SIC code designation to OHA under part 134 of this title.
(c) Sole source award where procuring activity nominates a specific Participant. SBA will determine whether an appropriate match exists where the procuring activity identifies a particular Participant for a sole source award.
(1) Once SBA determines that a procurement is suitable to be accepted as an 8(a) sole source contract, SBA will normally accept it on behalf of the Participant recommended by the procuring activity, provided that:
(i) The procurement is consistent with the Participant's business plan;
(ii) The Participant complies with its applicable non-8(a) business activity target imposed by §124.509(d);
(iii) The Participant is small for the size standard corresponding to the SIC code assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer; and
(iv) The Participant has submitted required financial statements to SBA.
(2) If an appropriate match exists, SBA will advise the procuring activity whether SBA will participate in contract negotiations or whether SBA will authorize the procuring activity to negotiate directly with the identified Participant. Where SBA has delegated its contract execution functions to a procuring activity, SBA will also identify that delegation in its acceptance letter.
(3) If an appropriate match does not exist, SBA will notify the Participant and the procuring activity, and may then nominate an alternate Participant.
(d) Open requirements. When a procuring activity does not nominate a particular concern for performance of a sole source 8(a) contract (open requirement), the following additional procedures will apply:
(1) If the procurement is a construction requirement, SBA will examine the portfolio of Participants that have a bona fide place of business within the geographical boundaries served by the SBA district office where the work is to be performed to select a qualified Participant. If none is found to be qualified or a match for a concern in that district is determined to be impossible or inappropriate, SBA may nominate a Participant with a bona fide place of business within the geographical boundaries served by another district office within the same state, or may nominate a Participant having a bona fide place of business out of state but within a reasonable proximity to the work site. SBA's decision will ensure that the nominated Participant is close enough to the work site to keep costs of performance reasonable.
(2) If the procurement is not a construction requirement, SBA may select any eligible, responsible Participant nationally to perform the contract.
(3) In cases in which SBA selects a Participant for possible award from among two or more eligible and qualified Participants, the selection will be based upon relevant factors, including business development needs, compliance with competitive business mix requirements (if applicable), financial condition, management ability, technical capability, and whether award will promote the equitable distribution of 8(a) contracts.
(e) Formal technical evaluations. Except for requirements for architectural and engineering services, SBA will not authorize formal technical evaluations for sole source 8(a) requirements. A procuring activity:
(1) Must request that a procurement be a competitive 8(a) award if it requires formal technical evaluations of more than one Participant for a requirement below the applicable competitive threshold amount; and
(2) May conduct informal assessments of several Participants' capabilities to perform a specific requirement, so long as the statement of work for the requirement is not released to any of the Participants being assessed.
(f) Repetitive acquisitions. A procuring activity contracting officer must submit a new offering letter to SBA where he or she intends to award a follow-on or repetitive contract as an 8(a) award. This enables SBA to determine:
(1) Whether the requirement should be a competitive 8(a) award;
(2) A nominated firm's eligibility, whether or not it is the same firm that performed the previous contract;
(3) The affect that contract award would have on the equitable distribution of 8(a) contracts; and
(4) Whether the requirement should continue under the 8(a) BD program.
(g) Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs). A Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) is not a contract under the FAR. See 48 CFR 16.703(a). Each order to be issued under the BOA is an individual contract. As such, the procuring activity must offer, and SBA must accept, each task order under a BOA in addition to offering and accepting the BOA itself.
(1) SBA will not accept for award on a sole source basis any task order under a BOA that would cause the total dollar amount of task orders issued to exceed the applicable competitive threshold amount set forth in §124.506(a).
(2) Where a procuring activity believes that task orders to be issued under a proposed BOA will exceed the applicable competitive threshold amount set forth in §124.506(a), the procuring activity must offer the requirement to the program to be competed among eligible Participants.
(3) Once a concern's program term expires, the concern otherwise exits the 8(a) BD program, or becomes other than small for the SIC code assigned under the BOA, new orders will not be accepted for the concern.
(h) Task and delivery order contracts. If a task or delivery order contract was previously offered to and accepted into the 8(a) BD program, task and delivery orders under the contract are not to be offered to or accepted into the 8(a) BD program. See §121.404(g)(3) for rules concerning size re-certifications in connection with long-term contracts.
(i) Requirements where SBA has delegated contract execution authority. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, where SBA has delegated its 8(a) contract execution authority to the procuring activity, the procuring activity must still offer and SBA must still accept all requirements intended to be awarded as 8(a) contracts.
(j) The contracting officer should consider setting aside the requirement for HUBZone, 8(a) or SDVO SBC participation before considering to set aside the requirement as a small business set-aside.
[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 70 FR 51248, Aug. 30, 2005; 71 FR 66444, Nov. 15, 2006; 74 FR 45753, Sept. 4, 2009]
124.503 - How does SBA accept a procurement for award through the 8(a) BD program?