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8(a) sole-source awards against GSA Schedule

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I have a question relating to the procedure for an 8(a) sole-source award against a GSA Schedule (such as GSA IT Schedule 70), for which the offeror is qualified as an 8(a) small business.

My question is whether the Ordering Contracting Officer is required to submit an offer to SBA for each task order issued as an 8(a) sole-source on a GSA Schedule that was awarded to a vendor as an 8(a) small business.

In my research, I noted FAR 19.804-6 (a), which states, “Separate offers and acceptances must not be made for individual orders under multiple award, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), multi-agency contracts or Governmentwide acquisition contracts. SBA’s acceptance of the original contract is valid for the term of the contract.”

This clause references Federal Supply Schedules, which would include GSA PES Schedule, and GSA IT Schedule 70, etc.

Is my understanding correct, that if a vendor is classified as an 8(a) Small Business on their GSA Schedule, an Ordering Contracting Officer may issue 8(a) sole-source awards against this Schedule without submitting each order to SBA for acceptance?

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FAR 8.405-6( a )( 1 )( i )( A ), ( B ), and ( C ) provide your authorities for sole-source awards under Federal Supply Schedule contracts. None of these provide an 8( a ) sole-source authority.

However, FAR 8.405-5( a )( 1 )( i ) allows you to do a competitive 8( a ) set-aside using Federal Supply Schedule contracts.

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JI20874, I noted your prior post on 11 February 2014, in which you stated, "A sole-source (or "directed") 8(a) award by task order under a schedule is permissible. See 19.804-6."

http://www.wifcon.com/discussion/index.php?/topic/2380-gsa-schedules-and-far-19000a3/

Can you clarify your comments? Has the law on 8(a) sole-sources under GSA Schedules changed very recently?

For what it's worth, in practice I have seen agencies awarding 8(a) sole-sources against GSA Schedules very frequently. I'm unclear about the relationship between FAR 8.405-6 and other independent authority for 8(a) sole-source awards.

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You need to look at my next post on the same page -- I acknowledged I needed to re-visit my understanding regarding sole-source 8(a) orders under Federal Supply Schedule contracts.

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You're not missing anything. I think there is not a common universal understanding on this matter.

I think our GSA friends purposefully avoid addressing this question on their webpages.

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Sole source is not allowed on the FSS. The FSS might be a means to identify an 8(a), but then the regular 8(a) procedures are utilized at FAR 19.8.

Competitive is allowed on the FSS. One follows the same proceudres as one does with anycompetitive, but specifies with the communication to SBA that the work is on the FSS. See 13 CFR 124.503(h)(2).

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