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  1. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. The contributions of small businesses are so great that federal legislation has been enacted to ensure that small businesses have fair and equitable access to federal spending. This legislation includes the requirement that federal agencies meet goals for small business and establishes several socioeconomic categories by which they can do so. The SBA negotiates with agencies to establish individual agency goals that, in the aggregate, constitute government-wide goals. There are 24 agencies that are subject to meeting socioeconomic goals, and the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), through our Best in Class Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), is uniquely poised to assist each of these agencies in meeting their goals and fulfilling their information technology-related missions. Goals Met with CIO-SP3 Small Businesses The NITAAC CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features a wide variety of leading small business innovators and can be used by any federal, civilian or DoD agency to fulfill information technology requirements and meet socioeconomic goals. CIO-SP3 Small Business boasts pre-vetted contract holders in key socioeconomic categories, such as: 8(a): The SBA 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain entry in government contracting. This certification is intended for organizations that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 133 8(a) designated Contract Holders. Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone): The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in HUBZones. It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 22 HUBZone small businesses located in underutilized urban and rural communities. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB): The SDVOSB designation is given to small businesses that are at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 53 SDVOSB Contract Holders. Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB): To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program. In fact, the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 21 dynamic Women-Owned Small Businesses. NITAAC Has You Covered No matter your socioeconomic goal, CIO-SP3 Small Business can help you meet it. To learn more about CIO-SP3 Small Business, visit https://nitaac.nih.gov/services/cio-sp3-small-business.
  2. Congratulations: you’ve certified as small business for federal contracting purposes. In a typical contract setting, you keep your size status for the life of the contract. But in the instance of a merger or acquisition or if a contract lasts longer than 5 years, you must recertify to maintain your size status. For multiple-award contracts, the Contracting Officer is also given a good deal of latitude in terms of whether a small business must recertify for an individual order. In a recent case, Unissant, Inc. protested the size status of a competitor who’d recently earned a task order award. Read on to learn what small businesses contractors need to know about small business status in light of this case. Read the full article at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
  3. In the case of Veterans Technology, LLC and MDW Associates, LLC (MDW), small business size status was endangered by a high level of subcontracting with a small business. The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) applied a rule of thumb to disqualify an awardee as a small business. The Court of Federal Claims (COFC) intervened and reversed the determination. This case illustrates two important issues: (1) Size determinations are subject to SBA rules, and sometimes principles not in those rules that are adopted by SBA’s OHA. (2) If an adverse size determination leads to loss of a contract award, the COFC can review the decision, and if warranted, overturn it. Read the full article at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
  4. Hi All I was told my a upper management Contracting Officer that I must fill out and have the 2689 approved prior to synopsis. I have always used a Sources Sought and/or RFI to gauge interest, then synopsis per the requirements of the FAR. I have never considered that there was an order in which these needed to be completed. I can not find a reference to this in the FAR or GSAM. Is there a FAR regulation that covers this or is it just good contracting practice. I'm good either way, but am concerned I have been doing it incorrectly for some time.
  5. If you terminate a contract for Default and fail to notify the SBA offices in accordance with FAR 48 CFR 49.402-3 (e)(4), is this a big deal or not? Is it worse if this occurred 10 times over the course of two years? What are they supposed to do with this info, anyway?
  6. I'm interested in feedback... My Assertion No. 1: A size standard protest under FAR 19.302 is not a protest to the agency under FAR 33.103. It's not a protest to the agency because the agency cannot decide the protest. My Assertion No. 2: Accordingly, FAR 33.103( f ) (with its prohibition on awarding the not-yet-awarded contract or requirement to suspend performance of the already-awarded contract) does not apply to size standard protests. Rather, for size standard protests, FAR 19.302( h ) applies. This seems so simple and self-evident to me. But others tell me that FAR Subpart 33.1 applies simply because of the word "protest." Has anyone else faced this question?
  7. Our SBA just notified us that: "If the contract is modified and the dollar value goes up or down the subcontracting plan goals need to be renegotiate to reflect the dollar change and the percentages that may be effected do the change. This will also be reflected in the eSRS reports." This doesn't make sense to me. My interpretation of FAR 19.705-2 and 19.702 leads me to believe that it must meet a certain dollar threshold and subcontract opportunites must exist. That means we would be negotiating the SB goal dollars on a $3k mod. Background on our contract, $232M CPIF. Am I missing something or is the SBA right?
  8. I work for an 8(a) certified small business, primarily doing business with DoD, which is quickly growing and will soon exceed the size standards for remaining Small under the applicable NAICS codes in our industry. Many of our current contracts are 8(a) sole-source awards. The 8(a) sole source route will not be an option for us in the near future, however our existing customers are would still like us to have the opportunity to compete for the work on a full and open basis. I am researching the process for removing a contract from the 8(a) Business Development, and would appreciate any insights on the following: 1. I've reviewed 13 CFR 124.504, which provides a process for releasing a requirement from the 8(a) program; however, it seems to require that the incumbent nevertheless be eligible as a small business, and that the follow-on contract be procured as a small business set-aside, WOSB, HubZone, etc. but not Full and Open. 2. I came across a 2010 Court of Federal Claims case, K-LAK Corporation v. United States, that involved an Air Force contract which was an 8(a) sole-source. The Air Force declined to exercise the option on the 8(a) sole-source award, and subsequently procured the items through a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS). The SBA provided notice to the Air Force that the requirement could not be withdrawn from the 8(a) program, but Air Force did so anyway. The court held that the small business set-aside requirements under FAR part 19 do not apply to orders made through Federal Supply Schedules, and consequently, the Air Force was not required to comply with "the rule of Two or any of the other regulations applicable to small businesses that the plaintiff relies upon..." https://interact.gsa.gov/sites/default/files/cofc_-_ok_to_use_fss_when_procurement_is_currently_set_aside.pdf This case was recently (November 27, 2012) cited and reaffirmed in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, where the court stated that it is "well-settled that when placing an order against the FSS, the agency is exempt from the small business set-aside programs under FAR Part 19." http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/FIRESTONE.KINGDOMWARE112712.pdf This is fascinating, as it seems to suggest that a contract may be removed freely from the 8(a) program as long as the Government procures the follow-on contract through an FSS. I'd like to make sure that I'm interpreting this correctly, and is there anything I'm missing here? 3. If a DOD agency wishes to procure a follow-on contract to an 8(a) sole-source through an FSS using Full and Open competition, is there a process in terms of notifying the SBA, completing a J&A or anything else? Are there any special forms that need to be completed? I appreciate your assistance very much! Thanks.
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