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According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. The contributions of small businesses are so great that federal legislation has been enacted to ensure that small businesses have fair and equitable access to federal spending. This legislation includes the requirement that federal agencies meet goals for small business and establishes several socioeconomic categories by which they can do so. The SBA negotiates with agencies to establish individual agency goals that, in the aggregate, constitute government-wide goals. There are 24 agencies that are subject to meeting socioeconomic goals, and the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), through our Best in Class Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), is uniquely poised to assist each of these agencies in meeting their goals and fulfilling their information technology-related missions. Goals Met with CIO-SP3 Small Businesses The NITAAC CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features a wide variety of leading small business innovators and can be used by any federal, civilian or DoD agency to fulfill information technology requirements and meet socioeconomic goals. CIO-SP3 Small Business boasts pre-vetted contract holders in key socioeconomic categories, such as: 8(a): The SBA 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain entry in government contracting. This certification is intended for organizations that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 133 8(a) designated Contract Holders. Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone): The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in HUBZones. It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 22 HUBZone small businesses located in underutilized urban and rural communities. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB): The SDVOSB designation is given to small businesses that are at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 53 SDVOSB Contract Holders. Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB): To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program. In fact, the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 21 dynamic Women-Owned Small Businesses. NITAAC Has You Covered No matter your socioeconomic goal, CIO-SP3 Small Business can help you meet it. To learn more about CIO-SP3 Small Business, visit https://nitaac.nih.gov/services/cio-sp3-small-business.
A recently posted NAVFAC solicitation for construction services under NAICS 237XXX as an EDWOSB set-aside identifies a 25% limitation on subcontracting. FAR 52.219-14 Limitations on Subcontracting confirms a 15% requirement for “General Construction” and a 25% requirement for “Construction by Special Trade Contractors”. Other agencies (USACE, VA) have concluded that “Special Trade Contractors” refers ONLY to NAICS 238XXX (I assume based on the Title of NAICS 238…“Specialty Trade Contractors”) and further conclude that 237XXX falls under “General Construction”. I plan to ask about this as an official question during the Q&A to the NAVFAC contracting office QUESTION 1 - Does anyone on this forum know of any definitive reference (or ruling) for determining which NAICS would fall under “general construction” vs. “special trade construction” as it applies to all of the various limitations on subcontracting clauses. QUESTION 2 - Can the CO, in ANY solicitation, supersede the FAR requirement(s) and impose a limitation on subcontracting higher than the FAR-required limitation. I ask because the FAR clause is not only incorporated by reference, but the 25% is explicitly stated in the solicitation. Of course, no mention is made of the 2013 NADA and “similarly situated entity” discussions, but I’m not really addressing those at this time. Any help that the forum can offer here would be greatly appreciated as I’m sure the answer would apply to SDVOSB and 8(a) set-aside acquisitions as well.
Scenario: 1. SDVOSB (or plug in any other socioeconomic category) performing on several FFP, competitively bid, construction contracts. 2. The ownership of the business passes from father to son, acknowledged that the business no longer qualifies as a SDVOSB. 3. Made all appropriate changes in SAM, Reps&Certs. Clearly, the company is permitted to complete any active contracts, irrespective of the change in small business status. One particular active contract had subsequent change orders (that amounted to more than the original contract) based on unforeseen site conditions. Now, in the process of applying for 8(a) status (for which the son would qualify), the SBA is questioning the execution of those MODIFICATIONS as if they were AWARDS under the SDVOSB program during a time when the company was clearly not a SDVOSB. The SBA is using terms such as "Presumption of Loss" clauses under 13CFR121.108 associated with "misrepresentation". Can anyone point me to specific references where I can validate that the firm was correct to complete the contract and that the status at time of award of the original contract (and NOT any subsequent modifications) is what had to satisfy the applicable set-aside. I'm not sure if the answer would be different if this were a services-type contract and we were talking about executing an "option"...but I don't think so. I have seen several 8(a) companies land 5-8 year IDIQ type contracts with one base year and one year extensions just prior to graduation, yet still perform throughout the option years. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm certain that we were correct to complete the performance of the SDVOSB contract and am ticked that we have to defend ourselves from these attacks, coming from the SBA of all places! Thank you.