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Guest carl r culham

Your first question could imply two different needs. If you are asking whether you can do a sole source procurement with an 8(a) firm when the value is below $3.5 the answer is Yes. FAR reference 19.805 has already been provided and I would suggest 19.800(B) as well.

However if your question is whether you can award the contract direct to the firm rather than using the tripartite award process stipulated in the FAR then the answer depends on what agency you work for and whether or not your agency has entered into an agreement with the SBA to allow direct awards to 8(a) firms.

As to your second question the answer is, No if you question relates directly to FAR Part 8.002 because as you see 8(a) is not listed. Small Business Programs such as 8(a) can be considered when using non-mandatory GSA-Federal Supply Schedules and are to be considered after you have clicked through the priority sources to the point where you will use "commercial sources".

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Guest Vern Edwards

I do not think that the answers that have been given to the first question are as comprehensive as they could be.

elevenohtwo asked:

I am trying to find out where in the FAR it says that I can make a direct award to an 8(a) firm if the value is below $3.5M.

That question could be understood to ask about sole source 8(a) awards or about agency execution of an 8(a) contract directly with the contractor, rather than through a tri-partite agreement signed by SBA as the prime contractor.

If the question is about sole source awards, FAR 19.805-1 says:

19.805-1 General.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this subsection, an acquisition offered to the SBA under the 8(a) Program shall be awarded on the basis of competition limited to eligible 8(a) firms if—

(1) There is a reasonable expectation that at least two eligible and responsible 8(a) firms will submit offers and that award can be made at a fair market price; and

(2) The anticipated total value of the contract, including options, will exceed $5.5 million for acquisitions assigned manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and $3.5 million for all other acquisitions.

(B) Where an acquisition exceeds the competitive threshold, the SBA may accept the requirement for a sole source 8(a) award if—

(1) There is not a reasonable expectation that at least two eligible and responsible 8(a) firms will submit offers at a fair market price; or

(2) SBA accepts the requirement on behalf of a concern owned by an Indian tribe or an Alaska Native Corporation.

? A proposed 8(a) requirement with an estimated value exceeding the applicable competitive threshold amount shall not be divided into several requirements for lesser amounts in order to use 8(a) sole source procedures for award to a single firm.

Any procurement of less than $3.5 million must be awarded on a sole source basis, except as provided in 19.805-1(d):

(d) The SBA Associate Administrator for 8(a) Business Development (AA/8(a)BD) may approve an agency request for a competitive 8(a) award below the competitive thresholds. Such requests will be approved only on a limited basis and will be primarily granted where technical competitions are appropriate or where a large number of responsible 8(a) firms are available for competition. In determining whether a request to compete below the threshold will be approved, the AA/8(a)BD will, in part, consider the extent to which the requesting agency is supporting the 8(a) Program on a noncompetitive basis. The agency may include recommendations for competition below the threshold in the offering letter or by separate correspondence to the AA/8(a)BD.

If the question is about an agency signing a contract directly with the 8(a) firm instead of through the SBA, see 13 CFR ? 124.501(a):

? 124.501 What general provisions apply to the award of 8(a) contracts?

(a) Pursuant to section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, SBA is authorized to enter into all types of contracts with other Federal agencies, including contracts to furnish equipment, supplies, services, leased real property, or materials to them or to perform construction work for them, and to contract the performance of these contracts to qualified Participants. Where practicable, simplified acquisition procedures should be used for 8(a) contracts at or below the simplified acquisition threshold. Where appropriate, SBA will delegate the contract execution function to procuring activities. In order to receive and retain a delegation of SBA's contract execution and review functions, a procuring activity must report all 8(a) contract awards, modifications, and options to SBA.

See also 124.508(a):

? 124.508 How is an 8(a) contract executed?

(a) An 8(a) contract can be awarded in the following ways:

(1) As a tripartite agreement in which the procuring activity, SBA and the Participant all sign the appropriate contract documents. There may be separate prime and subcontract documents (i.e., a prime contract between the procuring activity and SBA and a subcontract between SBA and the selected 8(a) concern) or a combined contract document representing both the prime and subcontract relationships; or

(2) Where SBA has delegated contract execution authority to the procuring activity, directly by the procuring activity through a contract between the procuring activity and the Participant.

Then see FAR 19.800(f):

(f) When SBA has delegated its 8(a) Program contract execution authority to an agency, the contracting officer must refer to its agency supplement or other policy directives for appropriate guidance.

For an example of such a delegation, see DFARS PGI 219.800 and 219.811. The latter says:

PGI 219.811 Preparing the Contracts

PGI 219.811-1 Sole source.

(1) Awards under the PA cited in DFARS 219.800 may be made directly to the 8(a) contractor and, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection and in DFARS 219.811-3, award documents shall be prepared in accordance with procedures established for non-8(a) contracts, using any otherwise authorized award forms. The “Issued by” block shall identify the awarding DoD contracting office. The contractor’s name and address shall be that of the 8(a) participant.

(2) Use the following alternative procedures for direct awards made under the PA cited in DFARS 219.800:

(i) Cite 10 U.S.C. 2304?(5) as the authority for use of other than full and open competition.

(ii) Include the clause at DFARS 252.219-7009, Section 8(a) Direct Award, in accordance with the prescription at DFARS 219.811-3(1). Identify the cognizant SBA district office for the 8(a) contractor.

(iii) No SBA contract number is required.

(iv) Do not require an SBA signature on the award document.

PGI219.811-2 Competitive.

Awards made under the PA cited in DFARS 219.800 shall be prepared in accordance with the procedures in PGI 219.811-1.

There is a link to the DOD/SBA Partnership Agreement (PA) at DFARS PGI 219.800: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/pgi/docs/PA.pdf. It's too long to quote.

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Great answer, Vern. You must be a very good mood today, because 1102 never really did clarify what she was asking. B)

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Guest Vern Edwards


We have a lot of trainees running around out there these days, and most of them do not know the proper terminology to use when posing a question. They're PWACs. They really shouldn't come here for answers. They should be able to get answers from those responsible for their training, but it appears that they cannot.

I think that when those of us with knowhow answer questions we owe more than just answers--we owe explanations. An explanation should be as complete as possible. I see no point in responding to an inquiry if I'm not going to take the time to do it right--the way a professional should.

We should try to be examples to the newcomers: Here is how you answer a question, Newbie. Pay attention and learn. By your answers shall ye be judged.

They say they want mentors. Well, okay.


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