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Competitive 8(a) & Synopsis Requirements


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#1 Gns

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:11 AM

I found the following on Ask a Professor. I have a related question about synopsizing a competitive 8(a) requirement but am confused about the answer provided. Can anyone shed some light?

Specifically, I'm reading FAR 5.202(a)(4), the exceptions to synopsizing, which discusses exempting 8(a) requirements but references 5.205(f). 5.205(f) requires a synopsis for a competitive national buy. Looking at 19.801, the definition for "national buy" "as used in this subpart, means a supply or service purchased to meet the needs of one or more users in two or more locations where supply control, inventory management, or acquisition responsibility have been assigned to a central contracting activity." In my instance, I'm looking at a competitive 8(a) buy but I wouldn't classify it as a "national buy" as the requirement is to be performed solely at my location. That would then seem to exempt me from synopsizing. Further, 19.805-2(a) in discussing competitive 8(a) procurements indicates "Offers shall be solicited from those sources identified in accordance with 19.804-3." However, 9.804-3 says next to nothing about identifying sources. I don't have a problem synopsizing and getting maximum competition under the 8(a) program but I'd like to better undersand my options. Any help appreciated.

From Ask a Professor:
Title - Competitive 8(a) and Limiting Competition?

Question -

We believe we have to synopsis due to $ amount, so can any 8(a) propose on the competitive 8(a)requirement? Can SBA limit competition by naming 4 companies and not a region? Lastly, doesn t contracting make the decision on whether to limit competition to an 8(a) Region?

Scenario - We have a $4 million service. We are setting it aside as a competitive 8(a). We are synopsising. SBA has provided approval to accept, but SBA wants to limit competition to four companies,(not a Regional Set Aside). Side Note: Ask the Professor is a Great Tool.

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You are right in that you are required to synopsize the requirement in accordance with the Competition in Contracting Act, FAR 6.204, and FAR 5.101 as there is not an appropriate exemption from synopsizing in FAR 5.202.

FAR 5.205(f) provides guidance that the synopsis should include a statement that the competition is limited to eligible 8(a) concerns. As a matter of fact, FAR 5.205(f) states that the synopsis should include information advising that the acquisition is offered for competition limited to eligible 8(a) concerens, NAICS code, advising that eligibility participate may be restricted to firms in either the developmental state or the developmental and transitional stages; and (4) encouraging interested 8(a) firms to request a copy of the solicitation as expeditiously as possible since the solicitation will be issued without further notice upon SBA acceptance of the requirement for the section 8(a) program.

FAR 19.804-2©states that the synopsis for construction must include the geographical area of the competition as set forth in the SBA's acceptance letter.

Background: The restricted competition language comes from the Small Business Administration rules at 13 CFR 124.507© - see at https://acc.dau.mil/...i...&lang=en-US. Not all of 13 CFR has been incorporated into the FAR. Since the Contracting Officer's warrant is issued under the FAR, the Contracting Officer is required to follow the FAR and those portions of 13 CFR that have been incorporated by reference.

I cannot find any FAR language that would permit limitation ofcompetition to specific firms.


#2 Jacques

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:18 PM

I couldn't find anything on the meaning of "national buy requirement," but I don't think it matters. Even if synopsis is not required for competitive 8(a) procurements under Part 5, it is required by Part 19. See FAR 19.804-2? (in discussing 8(a) competitions, it provides, "All requirements, including construction, must be synopsized through the GPE.")

Edit: On "national buy requirement," see this Ask a Professor. The reference to "national buy" in Part 5 looks like an anachronism. See former FAR 19.801 (before FAC 90-43) & discussion of "national buys" and "local buys" under earlier versions of Part 19 in Electronic Systems & Associates v. Dep't of the Air Force, GSBCA 11883-P, July 15, 1992.

Edit 2: See the revisions to 13 CFR Part 124 made at 60 Fed. Reg. 29969 (June 7, 1995) (describing the new rules as 'simplifying 8(a) contracting procedures by eliminating the distinction established in SBA's regulations between "local buy" and "national buy" requirements, except with regard to construction projects.')


More specifically, the background provides:

The rule eliminates the definitions for ?local buy? and ?national buy? requirements from ?124.100. The limitations in former ?124.311 (h)(3) and (h)(4) effecting who may bid on local contracts has been eliminated, except for construction contracts. All requirements other than construction requirements will now be open to eligible 8(a) Participants nationally. Construction requirements are exempt from this change because section 8(a)(11) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 637(a)(11), requires, ?to the maximum extent practicable,? that 8(a) construction contracts ?be awarded within the county or State where the work is to be performed.? The final rule limits competition for 8(a) construction contracts to those Program Participants within the geographical boundaries of one or more SBA district offices. SBA believes that a Program Participant may be considered as being located within a geographical boundary if it regularly maintains an office which employs at least one full-time individual within that geographical boundary. SBA also believes that a procuring agency may offer a local sole source 8(a) construction requirement to SBA on behalf of a concern that regularly maintains an office which employs at least one full-time individual within that geographical boundary.



#3 Gns

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

Thanks, I double-checked and yes the definitions including "national buy" at 19.801 have been removed. I'm not sure what version of the FAR I stumbled to online but it was obviously out of date.

FAR 5.205(f) still references doing a synopsis for a national buy so I'm still not that clear.

#4 Jacques

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:39 AM

Gns, I think effectively you should read "national buy requirement" as any requirement other than for construction. This means that FAR 5.205(f) requires synopsis of competitive 8(a) procurements other than construction. For construction, FAR 19.804-2© requires synopsis. Even if you think FAR 5.205(f) means something other than what I think it means, you still have FAR 19.804-2© to reach all competitive 8(a) procurements.




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