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flitzer

Process of Excluding Small Businesses

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     I hope I'm stating this correctly.  From how I interpret FAR part 19.2, generally, I am honor-bound to seek out and utilize small businesses to the maximum extent possible.  But, at what point can I say that it is not beneficial to limit a solicitation to small businesses?  For example, say I use the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search Engine and find only three small business concerns 2000 miles away that meet the requirement, is that justification for full and open competition?  As far as distance is concerned, what is reasonable to exclude small businesses?  Statewide searches?  Congressional district searches? 

      And to what extent would I need to utilize the SBA office?  If I ask the SBA office for assistance and they can not find any small businesses that can meet the requirement, is that sufficient to exclude small businesses from the solicitation?

     Is it my responsibility to find small businesses in the area and document my attempts to persuade them to register for SAM and the SBA? 

     If I post a RFI and no one shows interest, how much weight is this given?  If the only business concern that shows interest is not a small business, how does that weight in my consideration?

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It is not a matter of being honor-bound.  There is a statutory requirement for a CO to set-aside certain procurements, which is implemented at FAR Subpart 19.5.

If the acquisition exceeds the micropurchase threshold, but not the SAT it "is automatically reserved exclusively for small business concerns and shall be set aside for small business unless the contracting officer determines there is not a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible small business concerns that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality, and delivery. If the contracting officer does not proceed with the small business set-aside and purchases on an unrestricted basis, the contracting officer shall include in the contract file the reason for this unrestricted purchase."  See FAR 19.502-2(b) for actions over the SAT.

Also, by making a decision not to set-aside a procurement for small business, it does not exclude small business from participating or receiving award.  It simply means they must compete with entities that are other than small businesses.

As you may already be aware of, FAR 19.202-2 provides some guidance on locating small business sources.

If your concerned about the adequacy or reasonableness of a decision not to set-aside an acquisition for small business, I'd recommend reviewing some of the protests decisions and opinions that are listed here on Wifcon at the link below.  A new opinion by the Court of Federal Claims regarding the "rule of two" was just posted yesterday.

http://www.wifcon.com/pd19_502.htm

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58 minutes ago, flitzer said:

For example, say I use the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search Engine and find only three small business concerns 2000 miles away that meet the requirement, is that justification for full and open competition?

Are you saying that the contractor's location relative to the site of performance is a crucial consideration?

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An RFI or Sources Sought Notice is usually given quite a bit of weight in the protest decisions I've read.  I instruct my staff to do a fair amount of market research and if it doesn't appear that there will be two small business contractors that will respond with a fair and reasonable price, be sure to do a Sources Sought Notice before making the decision to go out full and open.

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51 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

Are you saying that the contractor's location relative to the site of performance is a crucial consideration?

No, I'm asking.  I don't mean to be glib.  I'm not really sure when it would be a consideration or not.  The solicitation will not have any type of geographical limitations except if must be situated in the USA.

 

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1 hour ago, Todd Davis said:

It is not a matter of being honor-bound.  There is a statutory requirement for a CO to set-aside certain procurements, which is implemented at FAR Subpart 19.5.

If the acquisition exceeds the micropurchase threshold, but not the SAT it "is automatically reserved exclusively for small business concerns and shall be set aside for small business unless the contracting officer determines there is not a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible small business concerns that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality, and delivery. If the contracting officer does not proceed with the small business set-aside and purchases on an unrestricted basis, the contracting officer shall include in the contract file the reason for this unrestricted purchase."  See FAR 19.502-2(b) for actions over the SAT.

Also, by making a decision not to set-aside a procurement for small business, it does not exclude small business from participating or receiving award.  It simply means they must compete with entities that are other than small businesses.

As you may already be aware of, FAR 19.202-2 provides some guidance on locating small business sources.

If your concerned about the adequacy or reasonableness of a decision not to set-aside an acquisition for small business, I'd recommend reviewing some of the protests decisions and opinions that are listed here on Wifcon at the link below.  A new opinion by the Court of Federal Claims regarding the "rule of two" was just posted yesterday.

http://www.wifcon.com/pd19_502.htm

Thank you, I had no idea what the "rule-of-two" is. 

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