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76fj40

No Longer Eligible Under STARS II After Taxes Filed?

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It was my understanding that we would continue to be eligible as an 8(a) under STARS II until we had to recertify.  I was told today that we are no longer eligible as an 8(a) under STARS II once we file our federal taxes following our graduation from the 8(a) program. Does this sound correct to the all knowing WIFCON community?

Thanks for your assistance.

 

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I don’t know about STARS II particularly, but in general terms my understanding is like yours.

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76, what you were told does not make any sense.  Filing of tax returns relates to size determinations.  Graduation relates to your status as an 8(a) participant.  Both size and 8(a) status are determined when you submit your proposal for a contract.  Once a contract is awarded, a change in size or status does not generally effect a contractor's ability to complete the contract.  I glanced over the STARS II contract and did not find any exception to this general rule.

You did not say that the person who told you this had anything to do with the STARS II contract.  If there is any doubt about your ability to continue to pursue orders under that contract, you should contact your contracting officer.

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A couple of references that might help....

13 CFR § 121.404

FAR 19.301 especially at FAR 19.301-2(e)

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Retreaded is exactly right.  Unless the Stars II CO requires companies to recertify size status prior to exercise of an option, you are good to go. 

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4 hours ago, 76fj40 said:

Thanks to all for your help.  I will contact the CO for clarification.

Why will you ask the question?  The CO wasn’t the one who told you, and as long as the CO has neither said nor done anything to cause you concern, I recommend being silent and continuing to accept orders.  Don’t ask a question if you don’t need to.  Don’t ask a question if you can’t stand the answer.  Leave well enough alone.  My two cents...

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Ahh, I left out the early part of the story.  Our PM was told by the COR that either the CO or Procurement Office made the decision that we were no longer considered an 8(a) even though we are on STARS II and another 8(a)-specific IDIQ.  We consulted the former OSDBU rep mentioned above in an attempt to verify or refute what our PM had been told.  Sorry for the confusion.

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That part left out makes a difference.  Now I see you’re talking about an agency considering placing an order under your STARS II contract.  Ordering agencies can require a contractor to recertify their status prior to placing an order.  They don’t have to and most don’t but it’s at the ordering office COs discretion.  I just checked the contract and their a provision like that in clause number 26.  You need to ask the GSA CO what that means to you exactly. 

To state if differently, you’re a small business 8(a) for the duration of the STARS II contract unless an ordering office asks you to certify your status and you can’t say you are small any longer for that NAICS.  

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I just went to a GSA training event yesterday and heard that the 8(a) STARS II contract is just entering its Option Period this year so all contractors will need to recertify their small business status in October per the GSA rep.  That recertification is required per 13 CFR § 121.404(g)(3) for long term contracts at the 5th year of the contract and at the start of subsequent option periods. 

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13 hours ago, 76fj40 said:

Our PM was told by the COR that either the CO or Procurement Office made the decision that we were no longer considered an 8(a) even though we are on STARS II

To be an 8(a) contractor, a concern must be admitted into the 8(a) program by the SBA.  Participation in the program is limited to 9 years.  At the end of the 9 year period, the participant graduates.  From your earlier post, it appears that the agency is taking the position that since you have graduated, you are no longer an 8(a) participant.  That is true for the award of new contracts.   However, the SBA rules at 13 CFR 124.514 permit priced options to be exercised under a contract when the 8(a) participant has graduated.  Also, participants who have been graduated early can continue to have options exercised on contracts awarded prior to early graduation.  Similarly, modifications within the scope of the contract can be made to a contract after the participant has graduated.  Unfortunately, the SBA rules do not address a concern's ability to receive orders as an 8(a) after it graduates from the program.  In any event, the determination of a concern's eligibility to compete as an 8(a) participant in an 8(a) procurement is within the sole jurisdiction of the SBA.

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I realize that for 76fj40's purposes, this thread answered the original question and provided additional helpful insights, but I'd like to tag on to what DWGerard1102 heard at the GSA training event regarding the 8(a) STARS II option period.  

The 8(a) STARS II multiple award IDIQ contract has one five-year base period (August 31, 2011 to August 30, 2016) with one five-year option period (August 31, 2016 to August 30, 2021).  The five-year option period was exercised back in the summer of 2016, and a number of companies did not have their option exercised as a result of the small business program rerepresentation process described earlier in this thread and included in the 8(a) STARS II contract (FAR 52.219–28, Post-Award Small Business Program Rerepresentation). 

As far as I am aware, at the basic IDIQ contract level, the general small business program recertification process for the five-year option period is an over and done deal, so the statement that "all contractors will need to recertify their small business status in October per the GSA rep" seems odd to me, both in concept and timing. 

Does anyone know if GSA is imposing additional (i.e., annual) rerepresentation requirements beyond what is included in the 8(a) STARS II IDIQ contract?  If so, can you please elaborate?

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awhinton,  I believe the reason is that GSA is awarding another option for the contract due to either an extension or a protest ruling.  I don't have the slides from the training event yet, (should get them sometime this week), so I can't be more specific.   

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