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e-CFR data is current as of January 26, 2021

Title 13Chapter IPart 124Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance
PART 124—8(a) BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS STATUS DETERMINATIONS
Subpart A—8(a) Business Development


Contractual Assistance

§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 regardless of the place of performance, 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. This includes set-asides, partial set-asides and reserves of Multiple Award Contracts and set-asides of orders issued against Multiple Award Contracts. 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.

(b) 8(a) contracts may either be sole source awards or awards won through competition with other Participants. In addition, for multiple award contracts not set aside for the 8(a) BD program, a procuring agency may set aside specific orders to be competed only among eligible 8(a) Participants, regardless of the place of performance. Such an order may be awarded as an 8(a) award where the order was offered to and accepted by SBA as an 8(a) award and the order specifies that the performance of work and/or non-manufacturer rule requirements apply as appropriate.

(c) Admission into the 8(a) BD program does not guarantee that a Participant will receive 8(a) contracts.

(d) A requirement for possible award may be identified by SBA, a particular Participant or the procuring activity itself. SBA will submit the capability statements provided to SBA annually under §124.403 to appropriate procuring activities for the purpose of matching requirements with Participants.

(e) Participants should market their capabilities to appropriate procuring activities to increase their prospects of receiving sole source 8(a) contracts.

(f) An 8(a) participant that identifies a requirement that appears suitable for award through the 8(a) BD program may request SBA to contact the procuring activity to request that the requirement be offered to the 8(a) BD program.

(g) Before a Participant may be awarded either a sole source or competitive 8(a) contract, SBA must determine that the Participant is eligible for award. SBA will determine eligibility at the time of its acceptance of the underlying requirement into the 8(a) BD program for a sole source 8(a) contract, and after the apparent successful offeror is identified for a competitive 8(a) contract. Eligibility is based on 8(a) BD program criteria, including whether the Participant:

(1) Qualifies as a small business under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the requirement;

(2) Is in compliance with any applicable competitive business mix targets established or remedial measure imposed by §124.509 that does not include the denial of future sole source 8(a) contracts;

(3) Complies with the continued eligibility reporting requirements set forth in §124.112(b);

(4) Has a bona fide place of business in the applicable geographic area if the procurement is for construction;

(5) Has not received 8(a) contracts in excess of the dollar limits set forth in §124.519 for a sole source 8(a) procurement;

(6) Has complied with the provisions of §124.513(c) and (d) if it is seeking a sole source 8(a) award through a joint venture; and

(7) Can demonstrate that it, together with any similarly situated entity, will meet the limitations on subcontracting provisions set forth in §124.510.

(h) For a sole source 8(a) procurement, a concern must be a current Participant in the 8(a) BD program at the time of award. If a firm's term of participation in the 8(a) BD program ends (or the firm otherwise exits the program) before a sole source 8(a) contract can be awarded, award cannot be made to that firm. This applies equally to sole source orders issued under multiple award contracts. For a competitive 8(a) procurement, a firm must be a current Participant eligible for award of the contract on the initial date specified for receipt of offers contained in the solicitation as provided in §124.507(d).

(i) A Participant must certify that it qualifies as a small business under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to each 8(a) contract. 8(a) BD program personnel will verify size prior to award of an 8(a) contract. If the Participant is not verified as small, it may request a formal size determination from the appropriate General Contracting Area Office under part 121 of this title.

(j) Any person or entity that misrepresents its status as a “small business concern owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” in order to obtain any 8(a) contracting opportunity will be subject to possible criminal, civil and administrative penalties, including those imposed by section 16(d) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 645(d).

(k) In order to be awarded a sole source or competitive 8(a) construction contract, a Participant must have a bona fide place of business within the applicable geographic location determined by SBA. This will generally be the geographic area serviced by the SBA district office, a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a contiguous county (whether in the same or different state), or the geographical area serviced by a contiguous SBA district office to where the work will be performed. SBA may determine that a Participant with a bona fide place of business anywhere within the state (if the state is serviced by more than one SBA district office), one or more other SBA district offices (in the same or another state), or another nearby area is eligible for the award of an 8(a) construction contract.

(1) A Participant may have bona fide places of business in more than one location.

(2) In order for a Participant to establish a bona fide place of business in a particular geographic location, the SBA district office serving the geographic area of that location must determine if the location in fact qualifies as a bona fide place of business under SBA's requirements.

(i) A Participant must submit a request for a bona fide business determination to the SBA district office servicing it. Such request may, but need not, relate to a specific 8(a) requirement. In order to apply to a specific competitive 8(a) solicitation, such request must be submitted at least 20 working days before initial offers that include price are due.

(ii) The servicing district office will immediately forward the request to the SBA district office serving the geographic area of the particular location for processing. Within 10 working days of receipt of the submission, the reviewing district office will conduct a site visit, if practicable. If not practicable, the reviewing district office will contact the Participant within such 10-day period to inform the Participant that the reviewing office has received the request and may ask for additional documentation to support the request.

(iii) In connection with a specific competitive solicitation, the reviewing office will make a determination whether or not the Participant has a bona fide place of business in its geographical area within 5 working days of a site visit or within 15 working days of its receipt of the request from the servicing district office if a site visit is not practical in that timeframe. If the request is not related to a specific procurement, the reviewing office will make a determination within 30 working days of its receipt of the request from the servicing district office, if practicable.

(A) Where SBA does not provide a determination within the identified time limit, a Participant may presume that SBA has approved its request for a bona fide place of business and submit an offer for a competitive 8(a) procurement that requires a bona fide place of business in the requested area.

(B) In order to be eligible for award, SBA must approve the bona fide place of business prior to award. If SBA has not provided a determination prior to the time that a Participant is identified as the apparent successful offeror, SBA will make the bona fide place of business determination as part of the eligibility determination set forth in paragraph (g)(4) of this section within 5 days of receiving a procuring activity's request for an eligibility determination, unless the procuring activity grants additional time for review. If, due to deficiencies in a Participant's request, SBA cannot make a determination, and the procuring activity does not grant additional time for review, SBA will be unable to verify the Participant's eligibility for award and the Participant will be ineligible for award.

(3) The effective date of a bona fide place of business is the date that the evidence (paperwork) shows that the business in fact regularly maintained its business at the new geographic location.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (k)(2)(iii) of this section, in order for a Participant to be eligible to submit an offer for an 8(a) procurement limited to a specific geographic area, it must receive from SBA a determination that it has a bona fide place of business within that area prior to submitting its offer for the procurement.

(5) Once a Participant has established a bona fide place of business, the Participant may change the location of the recognized office without prior SBA approval. However, the Participant must notify SBA and provide documentation demonstrating an office at that new location within 30 days after the move. Failure to timely notify SBA will render the Participant ineligible for new 8(a) construction procurements limited to that geographic area.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 8259, Feb. 11, 2011; 78 FR 61132, Oct. 2, 2013; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016; 85 FR 66186, Oct. 16, 2020; 86 FR 2959, Jan. 14, 2021]

§124.502   How does an agency offer a procurement to SBA for award through the 8(a) BD program?

(a) A procuring activity contracting officer indicates his or her formal intent to award a procurement requirement as an 8(a) contract by submitting a written offering letter to SBA. The procuring activity may transmit the offering letter to SBA by electronic mail, if available, or by facsimile transmission, as well as by mail or commercial delivery service.

(b) Contracting officers must submit offering letters to the following locations:

(1) For competitive 8(a) requirements and those sole source requirements for which no specific Participant is nominated (i.e., open requirements) other than construction requirements, to the SBA district office serving the geographical area in which the procuring activity is located;

(2) For competitive and open construction requirements, to the SBA district office serving the geographical area in which the work is to be performed or, in the case of such contracts to be performed overseas, to the Office of 8(a) BD located in SBA Headquarters;

(3) For sole source requirements offered on behalf of a specific Participant, to the SBA district office servicing that concern.

(c) An offering letter must contain the following information:

(1) A description of the work to be performed;

(2) The estimated period of performance;

(3) The NAICS code that applies to the principal nature of the acquisition;

(4) The anticipated dollar value of the requirement, including options, if any;

(5) Any special restrictions or geographical limitations on the requirement;

(6) The location of the work to be performed for construction procurements;

(7) Any special capabilities or disciplines needed for contract performance;

(8) The type of contract to be awarded, such as firm fixed price, cost reimbursement, or time and materials;

(9) The acquisition history, if any, of the requirement, including specifically whether the requirement is a follow-on requirement, and whether any portion of the contract was previously performed by a small business outside of the 8(a) BD program;

(10) The names and addresses of any small business contractors which have performed on this requirement during the previous 24 months;

(11) A statement that prior to the offering no solicitation for the specific acquisition has been issued as a small business set-aside, or as a small disadvantaged business set-aside if applicable, and that no other public communication (such as a notice in the Commerce Business Daily) has been made showing the procuring activity's clear intent to use any of these means of procurement;

(12) Identification of any specific Participant that the procuring activity contracting officer nominates for award of a sole source 8(a) contract, if appropriate, including a brief justification for the nomination, such as one of the following:

(i) The Participant, through its own efforts, marketed the requirement and caused it to be reserved for the 8(a) BD program; or

(ii) The acquisition is a follow-on or renewal contract and the nominated concern is the incumbent;

(13) Bonding requirements, if applicable;

(14) Identification of all Participants which have expressed an interest in being considered for the acquisition;

(15) Identification of all SBA field offices which have requested that the requirement be awarded through the 8(a) BD program;

(16) A request, if appropriate, that a requirement whose estimated contract value is under the applicable competitive threshold be awarded as an 8(a) competitive contract;

(17) A statement that the necessary justification and approval under the Federal Acquisition Regulation has occurred where a requirement whose estimated contract value exceeds $22,000,000 is offered to SBA as a sole source requirement on behalf of a specific Participant; and

(18) Any other information that the procuring activity deems relevant or which SBA requests.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016]

§124.503   How does SBA accept a procurement for award through the 8(a) BD program?

(a) Acceptance of the requirement. Upon receipt of the procuring activity's offer of a procurement requirement, SBA will determine whether it will accept the requirement for the 8(a) BD program. SBA's decision whether to accept the requirement will be sent to the procuring activity in writing within 10 working days of receipt of the written offering letter if the contract is valued at more than the simplified acquisition threshold, and within two days of receipt of the offering letter if the contract is valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, unless SBA requests, and the procuring activity grants, an extension. SBA is not required to accept any particular procurement offered to the 8(a) BD program.

(1) Where SBA decides to accept an offering of a sole source 8(a) procurement, SBA will accept the offer both on behalf of the 8(a) BD program and in support of a specific Participant. As part of its acceptance of a sole source requirement, SBA will determine the eligibility of the Participant identified in the offering letter, using the same analysis set forth in §124.501(g). Where a procuring agency offers a sole source 8(a) procurement on behalf of a joint venture, SBA will conduct an eligibility review of the lead 8(a) party to the joint venture as part of its acceptance, and will approve the joint venture prior to award pursuant to §124.513(e).

(2) Where SBA decides to accept an offering of a competitive 8(a) procurement, SBA will accept the offer on behalf of the 8(a) BD program. For a competitive 8(a) procurement, SBA will determine the eligibility of the apparent successful offeror pursuant to §124.507(b).

(3) Where SBA has delegated its contract execution functions to a procuring activity, the procuring activity may assume that SBA accepts its offer for the 8(a) program if the procuring activity does not receive a reply to its offer within five days.

(4) In the case of procurement requirements valued at or below the Simplified Acquisition Procedures threshold:

(i) Where a procuring activity makes an offer to the 8(a) program on behalf of a specific Program Participant and does not receive a reply to its offer within two days, the procuring activity may assume the offer is accepted and proceed with award of an 8(a) contract;

(ii) Where SBA has delegated its 8(a) contract execution functions to an agency, SBA may authorize the procuring activity to award an 8(a) contract without requiring an offer and acceptance of the requirement for the 8(a) program. In such a case, the procuring activity must notify SBA of all 8(a) awards made under this authority.

(5) Where SBA does not respond to an offering letter within the normal 10-day time period, the procuring activity may seek SBA's acceptance through the AA/BD. The procuring activity may assume that SBA accepts its offer for the 8(a) program if it does not receive a reply from the AA/BD within 5 days of his or her receipt of the procuring activity request.

(b) Verification of NAICS code. As part of the acceptance process, SBA will verify the appropriateness of the NAICS code designation assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer.

(1) SBA will accept the NAICS code assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer as long as it is reasonable, even though other NAICS codes may also be reasonable.

(2) If SBA and the procuring activity are unable to agree as to the proper NAICS code designation for the requirement, SBA may either refuse to accept the requirement for the 8(a) BD program, appeal the contracting officer's determination to the head of the agency pursuant to §124.505, or appeal the NAICS code designation to OHA under part 134 of this title.

(c) Sole source award where procuring activity nominates a specific Participant. SBA will determine whether an appropriate match exists where the procuring activity identifies a particular Participant for a sole source award.

(1) Once SBA determines that a procurement is suitable to be accepted as an 8(a) sole source contract, SBA will normally accept it on behalf of the Participant recommended by the procuring activity, provided that:

(i) The procurement is consistent with the Participant's business plan;

(ii) The Participant complies with its applicable non-8(a) business activity target imposed by §124.509(d);

(iii) The Participant is small for the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the requirement by the procuring activity contracting officer;

(iv) The Participant has submitted required financial statements to SBA; and

(v) The Participant can demonstrate that it, together with any similarly situated entity, will meet the limitations on subcontracting provisions set forth in §124.510.

(2) If an appropriate match exists, SBA will advise the procuring activity whether SBA will participate in contract negotiations or whether SBA will authorize the procuring activity to negotiate directly with the identified Participant. Where SBA has delegated its contract execution functions to a procuring activity, SBA will also identify that delegation in its acceptance letter.

(3) If an appropriate match does not exist, SBA will notify the Participant and the procuring activity, and may then nominate an alternate Participant.

(d) Open requirements. When a procuring activity does not nominate a particular concern for performance of a sole source 8(a) contract (open requirement), the following additional procedures will apply:

(1) If the procurement is a construction requirement, SBA will examine the portfolio of Participants that have a bona fide place of business within the geographical boundaries served by the SBA district office where the work is to be performed to select a qualified Participant. If none is found to be qualified or a match for a concern in that district is determined to be impossible or inappropriate, SBA may nominate a Participant with a bona fide place of business within the geographical boundaries served by another district office within the same state, or may nominate a Participant having a bona fide place of business out of state but within a reasonable proximity to the work site. SBA's decision will ensure that the nominated Participant is close enough to the work site to keep costs of performance reasonable.

(2) If the procurement is not a construction requirement, SBA may select any eligible, responsible Participant nationally to perform the contract.

(3) In cases in which SBA selects a Participant for possible award from among two or more eligible and qualified Participants, the selection will be based upon relevant factors, including business development needs, compliance with competitive business mix requirements (if applicable), financial condition, management ability, technical capability, and whether award will promote the equitable distribution of 8(a) contracts.

(e) Withdrawal/substitution of offered requirement or Participant. After SBA has accepted a requirement for award as a sole source 8(a) contract on behalf of a specific Participant (whether nominated by the procuring agency or identified by SBA for an open requirement), if the procuring agency believes that the identified Participant is not a good match for the procurement—including for such reasons as the procuring agency finding the Participant non-responsible or the negotiations between the procuring agency and the Participant otherwise failing—the procuring agency may seek to substitute another Participant for the originally identified Participant. The procuring agency must inform SBA of its concerns regarding the originally identified Participant and identify whether it believes another Participant could fulfill its needs.

(1) If the procuring agency and SBA agree that another Participant can fulfill its needs, the procuring agency will withdraw the original offering and reoffer the requirement on behalf of another 8(a) Participant. SBA will then accept the requirement on behalf of the newly identified Participant and authorize the procuring agency to negotiate directly with that Participant.

(2) If the procuring agency and SBA agree that another Participant cannot fulfill its needs, the procuring agency will withdraw the original offering letter and fulfill its needs outside the 8(a) BD program.

(3) If the procuring agency believes that another Participant cannot fulfill its needs, but SBA does not agree, SBA may appeal that decision to the head of the procuring agency pursuant to §124.505(a)(2).

(f) Formal technical evaluations. Except for requirements for architectural and engineering services, SBA will not authorize formal technical evaluations for sole source 8(a) requirements. A procuring activity:

(1) Must request that a procurement be a competitive 8(a) award if it requires formal technical evaluations of more than one Participant for a requirement below the applicable competitive threshold amount; and

(2) May conduct informal assessments of several Participants' capabilities to perform a specific requirement, so long as the statement of work for the requirement is not released to any of the Participants being assessed.

(g) Repetitive acquisitions. A procuring activity contracting officer must submit a new offering letter to SBA where he or she intends to award a follow-on or repetitive contract as an 8(a) award.

(1) This enables SBA to determine:

(i) Whether the requirement should be a competitive 8(a) award;

(ii) A nominated firm's eligibility, whether or not it is the same firm that performed the previous contract;

(iii) The affect that contract award would have on the equitable distribution of 8(a) contracts; and

(iv) Whether the requirement should continue under the 8(a) BD program.

(2) Where a procuring agency seeks to reprocure a follow-on requirement through an 8(a) contracting vehicle which is not available to all 8(a) BD Program Participants (e.g., a multiple award or Governmentwide acquisition contract that is itself an 8(a) contract), and the previous/current 8(a) award was not so limited, SBA will consider the business development purposes of the program in determining how to accept the requirement.

(h) Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs) and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs). Neither a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) nor a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a contract under the FAR. See 48 CFR 13.303 and 48 CFR 16.703(a). Each order to be issued under a BOA or BPA is an individual contract. As such, the procuring activity must offer, and SBA must accept, each order under a BOA or BPA in addition to offering and accepting the BOA or BPA itself.

(1) SBA will not accept for award on a sole source basis any task order under a BOA or BPA that would cause the total dollar amount of task orders issued to exceed the applicable competitive threshold amount set forth in §124.506(a).

(2) Where a procuring activity believes that task orders to be issued under a proposed BOA or BPA will exceed the applicable competitive threshold amount set forth in §124.506(a), the procuring activity must offer the requirement to the program to be competed among eligible Participants.

(3) Once a concern's program term expires, the concern otherwise exits the 8(a) BD program, or becomes other than small for the NAICS code assigned under the BOA or BPA, new orders will not be accepted for the concern.

(4) A procuring agency may offer, and SBA may accept, an order issued under a BOA or BPA to be awarded through the 8(a) BD program where the BOA or BPA itself was not accepted for the 8(a) BD program, but rather was awarded on an unrestricted basis.

(i) Task or Delivery Order Contracts, including Multiple Award Contracts—(1) Contracts set-aside for exclusive competition among 8(a) Participants. (i) A task or delivery order contract, Multiple Award Contract, or order issued against a Multiple Award Contract that is set-aside exclusively for 8(a) Program Participants, partially set-aside for 8(a) Program Participants or reserved solely for 8(a) Program Participants must follow the established 8(a) competitive procedures. This includes an offering to and acceptance into the 8(a) program, SBA eligibility verification of the apparent successful offerors prior to contract award, compliance with the performance of work requirements set forth in §124.510, and compliance with the nonmanufacturer rule (see §121.406(b)), if applicable.

(ii) An agency is not required to offer or receive acceptance of individual orders into the 8(a) BD program if the task or delivery order contract or Multiple Award Contract was set-aside exclusively for 8(a) Program Participants, partially set-aside for 8(a) Program Participants or reserved solely for 8(a) Program Participants, and the individual order is to be competed among all 8(a) contract holders.

(iii) A concern awarded a task or delivery order contract or Multiple Award Contract that was set-aside exclusively for 8(a) Program Participants, partially set-aside for 8(a) Program Participants or reserved solely for 8(a) Program Participants may generally continue to receive new orders even if it has grown to be other than small or has exited the 8(a) BD program, and agencies may continue to take SDB credit toward their prime contracting goals for orders awarded to 8(a) Participants. A procuring agency may seek to award an order only to a concern that is a current Participant in the 8(a) program at the time of the order. In such a case, the procuring agency will announce its intent to limit the award of the order to current 8(a) Participants and verify a contract holder's 8(a) BD status prior to issuing the order. Where a procuring agency seeks to award an order to a concern that is a current 8(a) Participant, a concern must be an eligible Participant in accordance with §124.501(g) as of the initial date specified for the receipt of offers contained in the order solicitation, or at the date of award of the order if there is no solicitation.

(iv) An agency may issue a sole source award against a Multiple Award Contract that has been set-aside exclusively for 8(a) Program Participants, partially set-aside for 8(a) Program Participants or reserved solely for 8(a) Program Participants if the required dollar thresholds for sole source awards are met. Where an agency seeks to award an order on a sole source basis (i.e., to one particular 8(a) contract holder without competition among all 8(a) contract holders), the agency must offer and SBA must accept the order into the 8(a) program on behalf of the identified 8(a) contract holder. To be eligible for the award of a sole source order, a concern must be a current Participant in the 8(a) BD program at the time of award.

(2) Allowing orders issued to 8(a) Participants under Multiple Award Contracts that were not set-aside for exclusive competition among eligible 8(a) Participants to be considered 8(a) awards. In order for an order issued to an 8(a) Participant and placed against a Multiple Award Contract to be considered an 8(a) award, where the Multiple Award contract was not initially set-aside, partially set-aside or reserved for exclusive competition among 8(a) Participants, the following conditions must be met:

(i) The order must be offered to and accepted into the 8(a) BD program;

(ii) The order must be competed exclusively among only the 8(a) awardees of the underlying multiple award contract;

(iii) The order must require the concern comply with applicable limitations on subcontracting provisions (see §125.6) and the nonmanufacturer rule, if applicable, (see §121.406(b)) in the performance of the individual order; and

(iv) SBA must verify that a concern is an eligible 8(a) Participant in accordance with §124.501(g) as of the initial date specified for the receipt of offers contained in the order solicitation, or at the date of award of the order if there is no solicitation. If a concern has exited the 8(a) BD program prior to that date, it will be ineligible for the award of the order.

(3) Reserves. A procuring activity must offer and SBA must accept a requirement that is reserved for 8(a) Participants (i.e., an acquisition where the contracting officer states an intention to make one or more awards to only 8(a) Participants under full and open competition). However, a contracting officer does not have to offer the requirement to SBA where the acquisition has been reserved for small businesses, even if the contracting officer states an intention to make one or more awards to several types of small business including 8(a) Participants since any such award to 8(a) Participants would not be considered an 8(a) contract award.

(j) Requirements where SBA has delegated contract execution authority. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, where SBA has delegated its 8(a) contract execution authority to the procuring activity, the procuring activity must still offer and SBA must still accept all requirements intended to be awarded as 8(a) contracts.

(k) Contracting Among Small Business Programs—(1) Acquisitions Valued At or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. The contracting officer shall set aside any acquisition with an anticipated dollar value exceeding the Micro-purchase Threshold but not exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (defined in the FAR at 48 CFR 2.101) for small business concerns when there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two small business concerns that are competitive in terms of quality and delivery and award will be made at fair market prices. This requirement does not preclude a contracting officer from making an award to a small business under the 8(a) BD, HUBZone, SDVO SBC or WOSB Programs.

(2) Acquisitions Valued Above the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. (i) The contracting officer shall set aside any acquisition with an anticipated dollar value exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (defined in the FAR at 48 CFR 2.101) for small business concerns when there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be obtained from at least two small business concerns that are competitive in terms of quality and delivery and award will be made at fair market prices. However, after conducting market research, the contracting officer shall first consider a set-aside or sole source award (if the sole source award is permitted by statute or regulation) under the 8(a) BD, HUBZone, SDVO SBC or WOSB programs before setting aside the requirement as a small business set-aside. There is no order of precedence among the 8(a) BD, HUBZone, SDVO SBC or WOSB programs. The contracting officer must document the contract file with the rationale used to support the specific set-aside, including the type and extent of market research conducted. In addition, the contracting officer must document the contract file showing that the apparent successful offeror's System for Award Management (SAM) (or any successor system) certifications and associated representations were reviewed.

(ii) SBA believes that Progress in fulfilling the various small business goals, as well as other factors such as the results of market research, programmatic needs specific to the procuring agency, anticipated award price, and the acquisition history, will be considered in making a decision as to which program to use for the acquisition.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 70 FR 51248, Aug. 30, 2005; 71 FR 66444, Nov. 15, 2006; 74 FR 45753, Sept. 4, 2009; 75 FR 62280, Oct. 7, 2010; 76 FR 8259, Feb. 11, 2011; 77 FR 1860, Jan. 12, 2012; 78 FR 61133, Oct. 2, 2013; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016; 84 FR 65661, Nov. 29, 2019; 85 FR 66187, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.504   What circumstances limit SBA's ability to accept a procurement for award as an 8(a) contract, and when can a requirement be released from the 8(a) BD program?

SBA will not accept a procurement for award as an 8(a) contract if the circumstances identified in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section exist.

(a) Prior intent to award as a small business set-aside, or use the HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, or Women-Owned Small Business programs. The procuring activity issued a solicitation for or otherwise expressed publicly a clear intent to award the contract as a small business set-aside, or to use the HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, or Women-Owned Small Business programs prior to offering the requirement to SBA for award as an 8(a) contract. However, the AA/BD may permit the acceptance of the requirement under extraordinary circumstances.

(b) Competition prior to offer and acceptance. The procuring activity competed a requirement among 8(a) Participants prior to offering the requirement to SBA and did not clearly evidence its intent to conduct an 8(a) competitive acquisition.

(c) Adverse impact. SBA has made a written determination that acceptance of the procurement for 8(a) award would have an adverse impact on an individual small business, a group of small businesses located in a specific geographical location, or other small business programs. The adverse impact concept is designed to protect small business concerns which are performing Government contracts awarded outside the 8(a) BD program, and does not apply to follow-on or renewal 8(a) acquisitions. SBA will not consider adverse impact with respect to any requirement offered to the 8(a) program under the simplified acquisition threshold (as defined in the FAR at 48 CFR 2.101).

(1) In determining whether the acceptance of a requirement would have an adverse impact on an individual small business, SBA will consider all relevant factors.

(i) In connection with a specific small business, SBA presumes adverse impact to exist where:

(A) The small business concern has performed the specific requirement for at least 24 months;

(B) The small business is performing the requirement at the time it is offered to the 8(a) BD program, or its performance of the requirement ended within 30 days of the procuring activity's offer of the requirement to the 8(a) BD program; and

(C) The dollar value of the requirement that the small business is or was performing is 25 percent or more of its most recent annual gross sales (including those of its affiliates). For a multi-year requirement, the dollar value of the last 12 months of the requirement will be used to determine whether a small business would be adversely affected by SBA's acceptance.

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, adverse impact does not apply to “new” requirements. A new requirement is one which has not been previously procured by the relevant procuring activity.

(A) Where a requirement is new, no small business could have previously performed the requirement and, thus, SBA's acceptance of the requirement for the 8(a) BD program will not adversely impact any small business.

(B) Procurements for construction services (e.g., the building of a specific structure) are generally deemed to be new requirements. However, recurring indefinite delivery or indefinite quantity task or delivery order construction services are not considered new (e.g., a recurring procurement requiring all construction work at base X).

(C) The expansion or modification of an existing requirement may be considered a new requirement where the magnitude of change is significant enough to cause a price adjustment of at least 25 percent (adjusted for inflation) or to require significant additional or different types of capabilities or work.

(D) SBA need not perform an impact determination where a new requirement is offered to the 8(a) BD program.

(2) In determining whether the acceptance of a requirement would have an adverse impact on a group of small businesses, SBA will consider the effects of combining or consolidating various requirements being performed by two or more small business concerns into a single contract which would be considered a “new” requirement as compared to any of the previous smaller requirements. SBA may find adverse impact to exist if one of the existing small business contractors meets the presumption set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) In determining whether the acceptance of a requirement would have an adverse impact on other small business programs, SBA will consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to, the number and value of contracts in the subject industry in the 8(a) BD program as compared with other small business programs.

(4) SBA does not typically consider the value of a bridge contract when determining whether an offered procurement is a new requirement. A bridge contract is meant to be a temporary stop-gap measure intended to ensure the continuation of service while an agency finalizes a long-term procurement approach.

(d) Release for non-8(a) or limited 8(a) competition. (1) Except as set forth in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, where a procurement is awarded as an 8(a) contract, its follow-on requirement must remain in the 8(a) BD program unless SBA agrees to release it for non-8(a) competition. Where a procurement will contain work currently performed under one or more 8(a) contracts, and the procuring agency determines that the procurement should not be considered a follow-on requirement to the 8(a) contract(s), the procuring agency must notify SBA that it intends to procure such specified work outside the 8(a) BD program through a requirement that it considers to be new. Additionally, a procuring agency must notify SBA where it seeks to reprocure a follow-on requirement through a pre-existing limited contracting vehicle which is not available to all 8(a) BD Program Participants and the previous/current 8(a) award was not so limited. If a procuring agency would like to fulfill a follow-on requirement outside of the 8(a) BD program, it must make a written request to and receive the concurrence of the AA/BD to do so. In determining whether to release a requirement from the 8(a) BD program, SBA will consider:

(i) Whether the agency has achieved its SDB goal;

(ii) Where the agency is in achieving its HUBZone, SDVO, WOSB, or small business goal, as appropriate; and

(iii) Whether the requirement is critical to the business development of the 8(a) Participant that is currently performing it.

(2) SBA may decline to accept the offer of a follow-on or renewable 8(a) acquisition in order to give a concern previously awarded the contract that is leaving or has left the 8(a) BD program the opportunity to compete for the requirement outside of the 8(a) BD program.

(i) SBA will consider release under paragraph (2) only where:

(A) The procurement awarded through the 8(a) BD program is being or was performed by either a Participant whose program term will expire prior to contract completion, or by a former Participant whose program term expired within one year of the date of the offering letter;

(B) The concern requests in writing that SBA decline to accept the offer prior to SBA's acceptance of the requirement for award as an 8(a) contract; and

(C) The concern qualifies as a small business for the requirement now offered to the 8(a) BD program.

(ii) In considering release under paragraph (2), SBA will balance the importance of the requirement to the concern's business development needs against the business development needs of other Participants that are qualified to perform the requirement. This determination will include consideration of whether rejection of the requirement would seriously reduce the pool of similar types of contracts available for award as 8(a) contracts. SBA will also seek the views of the procuring agency.

(3) SBA will release a requirement under this paragraph only where the procuring activity agrees to procure the requirement as a small business, HUBZone, SDVO small business, or WOSB set-aside.

(4) The requirement that a follow-on procurement must be released from the 8(a) BD program in order for it to be fulfilled outside the 8(a) BD program does not apply:

(i) Where previous orders were offered to and accepted for the 8(a) BD program pursuant to §124.503(i)(2); or

(ii) Where a procuring agency will use a mandatory source (see FAR Subparts 8.6 and 8.7(48 CFR subparts 8.6 and 8.7)). In such a case, the procuring agency should notify SBA at least 30 days prior to the end of the contract or order.

[63 FR 35739, 35772, June 30, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 45753, Sept. 4, 2009; 76 FR 8259, Feb. 11, 2011; 78 FR 61133, Oct. 2, 2013; 81 FR 34260, May 31, 2016; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016; 85 FR 66188, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.505   When will SBA appeal the terms or conditions of a particular 8(a) contract or a procuring activity decision not to use the 8(a) BD program?

(a) What SBA may appeal. The Administrator of SBA may appeal the following matters to the head of the procuring agency:

(1) A contracting officer's decision not to make a particular procurement available for award as an 8(a) contract;

(2) A contracting officer's decision to reject a specific Participant for award of an 8(a) contract after SBA's acceptance of the requirement for the 8(a) BD program;

(3) A decision by a contracting officer that a particular procurement is a new requirement that is not subject to the release requirements set forth in §124.504(d); and

(4) The terms and conditions of a proposed 8(a) contract, including the procuring activity's NAICS code designation and estimate of the fair market price.

(b) Procedures for appeal. (1) SBA must notify the contracting officer of the SBA Administrator's intent to appeal an adverse decision within 5 working days of SBA's receipt of the decision.

(2) Upon receipt of the notice of intent to appeal, the procuring activity must suspend further action regarding the procurement until the head of the procuring agency issues a written decision on the appeal, unless the head of the procuring agency makes a written determination that urgent and compelling circumstances which significantly affect interests of the United States will not permit waiting for a consideration of the appeal.

(3) The SBA Administrator must send a written appeal of the adverse decision to the head of the procuring agency within 15 working days of SBA's notification of intent to appeal or the appeal may be considered withdrawn.

(4) By statute (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(1)(A)), the procuring agency head must specify in writing the reasons for a denial of an appeal brought by the Administrator under this section.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 85 FR 66189, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.506   At what dollar threshold must an 8(a) procurement be competed among eligible Participants?

(a) Competitive thresholds. (1) The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) has the responsibility of adjusting each acquisition-related dollar threshold on October 1, of each year that is evenly divisible by five. Acquisition-related dollar thresholds are defined as dollar thresholds that are specified in law as a factor in defining the scope of the applicability of a policy, procedure, requirement, or restriction provided in that law to the procurement of property or services by an executive agency as determined by the FAR Council. 41 U.S.C. 431a(c). Part 124, Subpart A, 8(a) Business Development, contains acquisition-related dollar thresholds subject to inflationary adjustments. The FAR Council shall publish a notice of the adjusted dollar thresholds in the Federal Register. The adjusted dollar thresholds shall take effect on the date of publication.

(2) A procurement offered and accepted for the 8(a) BD program must be competed among eligible Participants if:

(i) There is a reasonable expectation that at least two eligible Participants will submit offers at a fair market price;

(ii) The anticipated award price of the contract, including options, will exceed $7,000,000 for contracts assigned manufacturing NAICS codes and $4,000,000 for all other contracts; and

(iii) The requirement has not been accepted by SBA for award as a sole source 8(a) procurement on behalf of a tribally-owned or ANC-owned concern.

(3) For all types of contracts, the applicable competitive threshold amounts will be applied to the procuring activity estimate of the total value of the contract, including all options.

Example to paragraph (a)(3). If the anticipated award price for a professional services requirement is determined to be $3.8 million and it is accepted as a sole source 8(a) requirement on that basis, a sole source award will be valid even if the contract price arrived at after negotiation is $4.2 million.

(4) Where the estimate of the total value of a proposed 8(a) contract is less than the applicable competitive threshold amount and the requirement is accepted as a sole source requirement on that basis, award may be made even though the contract price arrived at through negotiations exceeds the competitive threshold, provided that the contract price is not more than ten percent greater than the competitive threshold amount.

(5) A proposed 8(a) requirement with an estimated value exceeding the applicable competitive threshold amount may not be divided into several separate procurement actions for lesser amounts in order to use 8(a) sole source procedures to award to a single contractor.

(b) Exemption from competitive thresholds for Participants owned by Indian Tribes, ANCs and NHOs. (1) A Participant concern owned and controlled by an Indian Tribe or an ANC may be awarded a sole source 8(a) contract where the anticipated value of the procurement exceeds the applicable competitive threshold if SBA has not accepted the requirement into the 8(a) BD program as a competitive procurement.

(2) A Participant concern owned and controlled by an NHO may be awarded a sole source Department of Defense (DoD) 8(a) contract where the anticipated value of the procurement exceeds the applicable competitive threshold if SBA has not accepted the requirement into the 8(a) BD program as a competitive procurement.

(3) There is no requirement that a procurement must be competed whenever possible before it can be accepted on a sole source basis for a Tribally-owned or ANC-owned concern, or a concern owned by an NHO for DoD contracts, but a procurement may not be removed from competition to award it to a Tribally-owned, ANC-owned or NHO-owned concern on a sole source basis.

(4) A joint venture between one or more eligible Tribally-owned, ANC-owned or NHO-owned Participants and one or more non-8(a) business concerns may be awarded sole source 8(a) contracts above the competitive threshold amount, provided that it meets the requirements of §124.513.

(5) An agency may not award an 8(a) sole source contract for an amount exceeding $22,000,000 unless the contracting officer justifies the use of a sole source contract in writing and has obtained the necessary approval under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

(c) Competition below thresholds. The AA/BD, on a nondelegable basis, may approve a request from a procuring activity to compete a requirement that is below the applicable competitive threshold amount among eligible Participants.

(1) This authority will be used primarily when technical competitions are appropriate or when a large number of potential awardees exist.

(2) The AA/BD may consider whether the procuring activity has made and will continue to make available a significant number of its contracts to the 8(a) BD program on a noncompetitive basis.

(3) The AA/BD may deny a request if the procuring activity previously offered the requirement to the 8(a) BD program on a noncompetitive basis and the request is made following the inability of the procuring activity and the potential sole source awardee to reach an agreement on price or some other material term or condition.

(d) Sole source above thresholds. Where a contract opportunity exceeds the applicable threshold amount and there is not a reasonable expectation that at least two eligible 8(a) Participants will submit offers at a fair price, the AA/BD may accept the requirement for a sole source 8(a) award if he or she determines that an eligible Participant in the 8(a) portfolio is capable of performing the requirement at a fair price.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 45753, Sept. 4, 2009; 74 FR 46887, Sept. 14, 2009; 76 FR 8260, Feb. 11, 2011; 78 FR 61133, Oct. 2, 2013; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016]

§124.507   What procedures apply to competitive 8(a) procurements?

(a) FAR procedures. Procuring activities will conduct competitions among and evaluate offers received from Participants in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (48 CFR, chapter 1).

(b) Eligibility determination by SBA. In either a negotiated or sealed bid competitive 8(a) acquisition, the procuring activity will request that the SBA district office servicing the apparent successful offeror determine that firm's eligibility for award.

(1) Within 5 working days after receipt of a procuring activity's request for an eligibility determination, SBA will determine whether the firm identified by the procuring activity is eligible for award.

(2) SBA determines a Participant's eligibility pursuant to §124.501(g).

(3) If SBA determines that the apparent successful offeror is ineligible, SBA will notify the procuring activity. The procuring activity will then send to SBA the identity of the next highest evaluated firm for an eligibility determination. The process is repeated until SBA determines that an identified offeror is eligible for award.

(4) Except to the extent set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, SBA determines whether a Participant is eligible for a specific 8(a) competitive requirement as of the date that the Participant submitted its initial offer which includes price.

(5) If the procuring activity contracting officer believes that the apparent successful offeror is not responsible to perform the contract, he or she must refer the concern to SBA for a possible Certificate of Competency in accord with §125.5 of this title.

(c) Restricted competition— (1) Construction competitions. Based on its knowledge of the 8(a) BD portfolio, SBA will determine whether a competitive 8(a) construction requirement should be competed among only those Participants having a bona fide place of business within the geographical boundaries of one or more SBA district offices, within a state, or within the state and nearby areas. Only those Participants with bona fide places of business within the appropriate geographical boundaries are eligible to submit offers.

(2) Competition for all non-construction requirements. Except for construction requirements, all eligible Participants regardless of location may submit offers in response to competitive 8(a) solicitations. The only geographic restrictions pertaining to 8(a) competitive requirements, other than those for construction requirements, are any imposed by the solicitations themselves.

(d) Award to firms whose program terms have expired. A concern that has completed its term of participation in the 8(a) BD program may be awarded a competitive 8(a) contract if it was a Participant eligible for award of the contract on the initial date specified for receipt of offers contained in the contract solicitation, and if it continues to meet all other applicable eligibility criteria.

(1) Amendments to the solicitation extending the date for submissions of offers will be disregarded.

Example to paragraph (d)(1). The program term for 8(a) Participant X is scheduled to expire on December 19. A solicitation for a competitive 8(a) procurement specifies that initial offers are due on December 15. The procuring activity amends the solicitation to extend the date for the receipt of offers to January 5. X submits its offer on January 5 and is selected as the apparent successful offeror. X is eligible for award because it was an eligible 8(a) Participant on the initial date set forth in the solicitation for the receipt of offers.

(2) For a negotiated procurement, a Participant may submit revised offers, including a best and final offer, and be awarded a competitive 8(a) contract if it was eligible as of the initial date specified for the receipt of offers in the solicitation, even though its program term may expire after that date.

(3) For a two-step design-build procurement to be awarded through the 8(a) BD program, a firm must be a current Participant eligible for award of the contract on the initial date specified for receipt of phase one offers contained in the contract solicitation.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 8260, Feb. 11, 2011; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016; 84 FR 65661, Nov. 29, 2019; 85 FR 66189, Oct. 16, 2020]

§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.

(b) Where SBA receives a contract for signature valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, it will sign the contract and return it to the procuring activity within three (3) days of receipt.

(c) In order to be eligible to receive a sole source 8(a) contract, a firm must be a current Participant on the date of award. (See §124.507(d) for competitive 8(a) awards.)

§124.509   What are non-8(a) business activity targets?

(a) General. (1) To ensure that Participants do not develop an unreasonable reliance on 8(a) awards, and to ease their transition into the competitive marketplace after graduating from the 8(a) BD program, Participants must make good faith efforts to obtain business outside the 8(a) BD program. Work performed by an 8(a) Participant for any Federal department or agency other than through an 8(a) contract, including work performed on orders under the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule program, and work performed as a subcontractor, including work performed as a subcontractor to another 8(a) Participant on an 8(a) contract, qualifies as work performed outside the 8(a) BD program.

(2) During both the developmental and transitional stages of the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must make good faith efforts, including following a reasonable marketing strategy, to attain the targeted dollar levels of non-8(a) revenue established in its business plan. It must attempt to use the 8(a) BD program as a resource to strengthen the firm for economic viability when program benefits are no longer available.

(b) Required non-8(a) business activity targets during transitional stage—(1) General. During the transitional stage of the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must achieve certain targets of non-8(a) contract revenue (i.e., revenue from other than sole source or competitive 8(a) contracts). These targets are called non-8(a) business activity targets and are expressed as a percentage of total revenue. The targets call for an increase in non-8(a) revenue over time.

(2) Non-8(a) business activity targets.—(i) During their transitional stage of program participation, Participants must meet the following non-8(a) business activity targets each year:

Table 1 to Paragraph (b)(2)(i)

Participant's year in the transitional stageNon-8(a) business activity targets
(required minimum
non-8(a) revenue
as a percentage of
total revenue)
115
225
330
440
550

(ii) Any Participant that extended its program term pursuant to §124.2(b) of this chapter must meet the business activity target for year 5 or meet the applicable requirements of paragraph (d) or (e) of this section in order to preserve its eligibility for sole source 8(a) contracts during the extended program period. The applicable business activity target for the extended program period will be the same as that for year 5 of the transitional stage (i.e., 50% non-8(a) revenue).

(3) Compliance with non-8(a) business activity targets. SBA will measure the Participant's compliance with the applicable non-8(a) business activity target at the end of each program year in the transitional stage based on the Participant's latest fiscal year-end total revenue. Thus, at the end of the first year in the transitional stage of program participation, SBA will compare the Participant's non-8(a) revenue to its total revenue during that first year. If appropriate, SBA will require remedial measures during the subsequent program year. Thus, for example, non-compliance with the required non-8(a) business activity target in year one of the transitional stage would cause SBA to initiate remedial measures under paragraph (d) of this section for year two in the transitional stage.

(4) Certification of compliance. A Participant must certify as part of its offer that it complies with the applicable non-8(a) business activity target or with the measures imposed by SBA under paragraph (d) of this section before it can receive any 8(a) contract during the transitional stage of the 8(a) BD program.

(c) Reporting and verification of business activity. (1) Once admitted to the 8(a) BD program, a Participant must provide to SBA as part of its annual review:

(i) Annual financial statements with a breakdown of 8(a) and non-8(a) revenue in accord with §124.602; and

(ii) An annual report within 30 days from the end of the program year of all non-8(a) contracts, options, and modifications affecting price executed during the program year.

(2) At the end of each year of participation in the transitional stage, the BOS assigned to work with the Participant will review the Participant's total revenues to determine whether the non-8(a) revenues have met the applicable target. In determining compliance, SBA will compare all 8(a) revenues received during the year, including those from options and modifications, to all non-8(a) revenues received during the year.

(d) Consequences of not meeting competitive business mix targets. (1) Beginning at the end of the first year in the transitional stage (the fifth year of participation in the 8(a) BD program), any firm that does not meet its applicable competitive business mix target for the just completed program year must demonstrate to SBA the specific efforts it made during that year to obtain non-8(a) revenue.

(2) If SBA determines that an 8(a) Participant has failed to meet its applicable competitive business mix target during any program year in the transitional stage of program participation, SBA will increase its monitoring of the Participant's contracting activity during the ensuing program year.

(3) As a condition of eligibility for new 8(a) sole source contracts, SBA may require a Participant that fails to achieve the non-8(a) business activity targets to take one or more specific actions. These include requiring the Participant to obtain management assistance, technical assistance, and/or counseling from an SBA resource partner or otherwise, and/or attend seminars relating to management assistance, business development, financing, marketing, accounting, or proposal preparation. Where any such condition is imposed, SBA will not accept a sole source requirement offered to the 8(a) BD program on behalf of the Participant until the Participant demonstrates to SBA that the condition has been met.

(4) If SBA determines that a Participant has not made good faith efforts to meet its applicable non-8(a) business activity target, the Participant will be ineligible for sole source 8(a) contracts in the current program year. SBA will notify the Participant in writing that the Participant will not be eligible for further 8(a) sole source contract awards until it has demonstrated to SBA that it has complied with its non-8(a) business activity requirements as described in paragraphs (d)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section. In order for a Participant to come into compliance with the non-8(a) business activity target and be eligible for further 8(a) sole source contracts, it may:

(i) Wait until the end of the current program year and demonstrate to SBA as part of the normal annual review process that it has met the revised non-8(a) business activity target; or

(ii) At its option, submit information regarding its non-8(a) revenue to SBA quarterly throughout the current program year in an attempt to come into compliance before the end of the current program year. If the Participant satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section, SBA will reinstate the Participant's ability to get sole source 8(a) contracts prior to its annual review.

(A) To qualify for reinstatement during the first six months of the current program year (i.e., at either the first or second quarterly review), the Participant must demonstrate that it has received non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) contract awards that are equal to or greater than the dollar amount by which it failed to meet its non-8(a) business activity target for the just completed program year. For this purpose, SBA will not count options on existing non-8(a) contracts in determining whether a Participant has received new non-8(a) contract awards.

(B) To qualify for reinstatement during the last six months of the current program year (i.e., at either the nine-month or one year review), the Participant must demonstrate that it has achieved its non-8(a) business activity target as of that point in the current program year.

Example 1 to paragraph (d)(4). Firm A had $10 million in total revenue during year 2 in the transitional stage (year 6 in the program), but failed to meet the minimum non-8(a) business activity target of 25 percent. It had 8(a) revenues of $8.5 million and non-8(a) revenues of $1.5 million (15 percent). Based on total revenues of $10 million, Firm A should have had at least $2.5 million in non-8(a) revenues. Thus, Firm A missed its target by $1 million (its target ($2.5 million) minus its actual non-8(a) revenues ($1.5 million)). Because Firm A did not achieve its non-8(a) business activity target and SBA determined that it did not make good faith efforts to obtain non-8(a) revenue, it cannot receive 8(a) sole source awards until correcting that situation. The firm may wait until the next annual review to establish that it has met the revised target, or it can choose to report contract awards and other non-8(a) revenue to SBA quarterly. Firm A elects to submit information to SBA quarterly in year 3 of the transitional stage (year 7 in the program). In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts after either its 3 month or 6 month review, Firm A must show that it has received non-8(a) revenue and/or been awarded new non-8(a) contracts totaling $1 million (the amount by which it missed its target in year 2 of the transitional stage).

Example 2 to paragraph (d)(4). Firm B had $10 million in total revenue during year 2 in the transitional stage (year 6 in the program), of which $8.5 million were 8(a) revenues and $1.5 million were non-8(a) revenues, and SBA determined that Firm B did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target. At its first two quarterly reviews during year 3 of the transitional stage (year 7 in the program), Firm B could not demonstrate that it had received at least $1 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards. In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts after its 9 month or 1 year review, Firm B must show that at least 35% (the non-8(a) business activity target for year 3 in the transitional stage) of all revenues received during year 3 in the transitional stage as of that point are from non-8(a) sources.

Example 3 to paragraph (d)(4). Firm C elected to extend its participation in the 8(a) BD program as set forth in §124.2 of this chapter. Firm C had $10 million in total revenue during year 5 in the transitional stage (year 9 in the program), of which $8.5 million were 8(a) revenues and $1.5 million were non-8(a) revenues, and SBA determined that Firm C did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target. In order to be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts during year 6 of the transitional stage (year 10 in the program), Firm C must demonstrate at its first or second quarterly review that it had received at least $3.5 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards (the amount by which it failed to meet the 50% non-8(a) business activity target for year 5 in the transitional stage). If, at its first two quarterly reviews during year 6 of the transitional stage (year 10 in the program), Firm C could not demonstrate that it had received at least $3.5 million in non-8(a) revenue and new non-8(a) awards, Firm C would not be eligible for sole source 8(a) contracts for the remainder of its program term.

(5) In determining whether a Participant has achieved its required non-8(a) business activity target at the end of any program year in the transitional stage, or whether a Participant that failed to meet the target for the previous program year has achieved the required level of non-8(a) business at its nine-month review, SBA will measure 8(a) support by adding the base year value of all 8(a) contracts awarded during the applicable program year to the value of all options and modifications executed during that year.

(6) SBA may initiate proceedings to terminate a Participant from the 8(a) BD program where the firm makes no good faith efforts to obtain non-8(a) revenues.

(e) Waiver of sole source prohibition. (1) Despite a finding by SBA that a Participant did not make good faith efforts to meet its non-8(a) business activity target, SBA may waive the requirement prohibiting a Participant from receiving further sole source 8(a) contracts where a denial of a sole source contract would cause severe economic hardship on the Participant so that the Participant's survival may be jeopardized, or where extenuating circumstances beyond the Participant's control caused the Participant not to meet its non-8(a) business activity target.

(2) SBA may waive the requirement prohibiting a Participant from receiving further sole source 8(a) contracts when the Participant does not meet its non-8(a) business activity target where the head of a procuring activity represents to SBA that award of a sole source 8(a) contract to the Participant is needed to achieve significant interests of the Government.

(3) The decision to grant or deny a request for a waiver is at SBA's discretion, and no appeal may be taken with respect to that decision.

(4) A waiver generally applies to a specific sole source opportunity. If SBA grants a waiver with respect to a specific procurement, the firm will be able to self-market its capabilities to the applicable procuring activity with respect to that procurement. If the Participant seeks an additional sole source opportunity, it must request a waiver with respect to that specific opportunity. Where, however, a Participant can demonstrate that the same extenuating circumstances beyond its control affect its ability to receive specific multiple 8(a) contracts, one waiver can apply to those multiple contract opportunities.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 45754, Sept. 4, 2009; 76 FR 8261, Feb. 11, 2011; 85 FR 66189, Oct. 16, 2020; 86 FR 2533, Jan. 13, 2021]

§124.510   What limitations on subcontracting apply to an 8(a) contract?

(a) To assist the business development of Participants in the 8(a) BD program, there are limitations on the percentage of an 8(a) contract award amount that may be spent on subcontractors. The prime contractor recipient of an 8(a) contract must comply with the limitations on subcontracting at §125.6 of this chapter.

(b) Indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contracts. In order to ensure that the required limitations on subcontracting requirements on an indefinite delivery or indefinite quantity 8(a) award are met by the Participant, the Participant cannot subcontract more than the required percentage to subcontractors that are not similarly situated entities for each performance period of the contract (i.e., during the base term and then during each option period thereafter). However, the contracting officer, in his or her discretion, may require the Participant to meet the applicable limitation on subcontracting or comply with the nonmanufacturer rule for each order.

(1) This includes Multiple Award Contracts that were set-aside or partially set-aside for 8(a) BD Participants.

(2) For orders that are set aside for eligible 8(a) Participants under full and open contracts or reserves, the Participant must meet the applicable limitation on subcontracting requirement and comply with the nonmanufacturer rule, if applicable, for each order.

[81 FR 34260, May 31, 2016]

§124.511   How is fair market price determined for an 8(a) contract?

(a) The procuring activity determines what constitutes a “fair market price” for an 8(a) contract.

(1) The procuring activity must derive the estimate of a current fair market price for a new requirement, or a requirement that does not have a satisfactory procurement history, from a price or cost analysis. This analysis may take into account prevailing market conditions, commercial prices for similar products or services, or data obtained from any other agency. The analysis must also consider any cost or pricing data that is timely submitted by SBA.

(2) The procuring activity must base the estimate of a current fair market price for a requirement that has a satisfactory procurement history on recent award prices adjusted to ensure comparability. Adjustments will take into account differences in quantities, performance, times, plans, specifications, transportation costs, packaging and packing costs, labor and material costs, overhead costs, and any other additional costs which may be appropriate.

(b) Upon the request of SBA, a procuring activity will provide to SBA a written statement detailing the method it has used to estimate the current fair market price for the 8(a) requirement. This statement must be submitted within 10 working days of SBA's request. The procuring activity must identify the information, studies, analyses, and other data it used in making its estimate.

(c) The procuring activity's estimate of fair market price and any supporting data may not be disclosed by SBA to any Participant or potential contractor.

(d) The concern selected to perform an 8(a) contract may request SBA to protest the procuring activity's estimate of current fair market price to the Secretary of the Department or head of the agency in accordance with §124.505.

§124.512   Delegation of contract administration to procuring agencies.

(a) SBA may delegate, by the use of special clauses in the 8(a) contract documents or by a separate agreement with the procuring activity, all responsibilities for administering an 8(a) contract to the procuring activity except the approval of novation agreements under 48 CFR 42.302(a)(25). Tracking compliance with the performance of work requirements set forth in §124.510 is included within the functions performed by the procuring activity as part of contract administration.

(b) This delegation of contract administration authorizes a contracting officer to execute any priced option or in scope modification without SBA's concurrence. The contracting officer must, however, submit copies to the SBA servicing district office of all modifications and options exercised within 15 business days of their occurrence, or by another date agreed upon by SBA.

(c) SBA may conduct periodic compliance on-site agency reviews of the files of all contracts awarded pursuant to Section 8(a) authority.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 8261, Feb. 11, 2011]

§124.513   Under what circumstances can a joint venture be awarded an 8(a) contract?

(a) General. (1) A Participant may enter into a joint venture agreement with one or more other small business concerns, whether or not 8(a) Participants, for the purpose of performing one or more specific 8(a) contracts.

(2) A joint venture agreement is permissible only where an 8(a) concern lacks the necessary capacity to perform the contract on its own, and the agreement is fair and equitable and will be of substantial benefit to the 8(a) concern. However, where SBA concludes that an 8(a) Participant brings very little to the joint venture relationship in terms of resources and expertise other than its 8(a) status, SBA will not approve the joint venture to receive an 8(a) sole source contract award and will find the joint venture to be ineligible for a competitive 8(a) award if it is determined to be the apparent successful offeror.

(b) Size of concerns to an 8(a) joint venture. (1) A joint venture of at least one 8(a) Participant and one or more other business concerns may submit an offer as a small business for a competitive 8(a) procurement, or be awarded a sole source 8(a) procurement, so long as each concern is small under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the procurement.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a joint venture between a protégé firm and its approved mentor (see §124.520) will be deemed small provided the protégé qualifies as small for the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the contract and has not reached the dollar limits set forth in §124.519.

(3) SBA approval of a joint venture agreement pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section does not equate to a formal size determination. As such, despite SBA's approval of a joint venture, the size status of a joint venture that is the apparent successful offeror for a competitive 8(a) contract may be protested pursuant to §121.1001(a)(2) of this chapter. See §124.517(b).

(c) Contents of joint venture agreement. Every joint venture agreement to perform an 8(a) contract, including those between mentors and protégés authorized by §124.520, must contain a provision:

(1) Setting forth the purpose of the joint venture;

(2) Designating an 8(a) Participant as the managing venturer of the joint venture, and designating a named employee of the 8(a) managing venturer as the manager with ultimate responsibility for performance of the contract (the “Responsible Manager”).

(i) The managing venturer is responsible for controlling the day-to-day management and administration of the contractual performance of the joint venture, but other partners to the joint venture may participate in all corporate governance activities and decisions of the joint venture as is commercially customary.

(ii) The individual identified as the Responsible Manager of the joint venture need not be an employee of the 8(a) Participant at the time the joint venture submits an offer, but, if he or she is not, there must be a signed letter of intent that the individual commits to be employed by the 8(a) Participant if the joint venture is the successful offeror. The individual identified as the Responsible Manager cannot be employed by the mentor and become an employee of the 8(a) Participant for purposes of performance under the joint venture.

(iii) Although the joint venture managers responsible for orders issued under an IDIQ contract need not be employees of the protégé, those managers must report to and be supervised by the joint venture's Responsible Manager;

(3) Stating that with respect to a separate legal entity joint venture the 8(a) Participant(s) must own at least 51% of the joint venture entity;

(4) Stating that the 8(a) Participant(s) must receive profits from the joint venture commensurate with the work performed by the 8(a) Participant(s), or a percentage agreed to by the parties to the joint venture whereby the 8(a) Participant(s) receive profits from the joint venture that exceed the percentage commensurate with the work performed by the 8(a) Participant(s);

(5) Providing for the establishment and administration of a special bank account in the name of the joint venture. This account must require the signature or consent of all parties to the joint venture for any payments made by the joint venture to its members for services performed. All payments due the joint venture for performance on an 8(a) contract will be deposited in the special account; all expenses incurred under the contract will be paid from the account as well;

(6) Itemizing all major equipment, facilities, and other resources to be furnished by each party to the joint venture, with a detailed schedule of cost or value of each, where practical. If a contract is indefinite in nature, such as an indefinite quantity contract or a multiple award contract where the level of effort or scope of work is not known, the joint venture must provide a general description of the anticipated major equipment, facilities, and other resources to be furnished by each party to the joint venture, without a detailed schedule of cost or value of each, or in the alternative, specify how the parties to the joint venture will furnish such resources to the joint venture once a definite scope of work is made publicly available;

(7) Specifying the responsibilities of the parties with regard to negotiation of the contract, source of labor, and contract performance, including ways that the parties to the joint venture will ensure that the joint venture and the 8(a) partner(s) to the joint venture will meet the performance of work requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, where practical. If a contract is indefinite in nature, such as an indefinite quantity contract or a multiple award contract where the level of effort or scope of work is not known, the joint venture must provide a general description of the anticipated responsibilities of the parties with regard to negotiation of the contract, source of labor, and contract performance, not including the ways that the parties to the joint venture will ensure that the joint venture and the 8(a) partner(s) to the joint venture will meet the performance of work requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, or in the alternative, specify how the parties to the joint venture will define such responsibilities once a definite scope of work is made publicly available;

(8) Obligating all parties to the joint venture to ensure performance of the 8(a) contract and to complete performance despite the withdrawal of any member;

(9) Designating that accounting and other administrative records relating to the joint venture be kept in the office of the 8(a) Participant managing venturer, unless approval to keep them elsewhere is granted by the District Director or his/her designee upon written request;

(10) Requiring the final original records be retained by the 8(a) Participant managing venturer upon completion of the 8(a) contract performed by the joint venture;

(11) Stating that quarterly financial statements showing cumulative contract receipts and expenditures (including salaries of the joint venture's principals) must be submitted to SBA not later than 45 days after each operating quarter of the joint venture; and

(12) Stating that a project-end profit and loss statement, including a statement of final profit distribution, must be submitted to SBA no later than 90 days after completion of the contract.

(d) Performance of work. (1) For any 8(a) contract, including those between a protégé and a mentor authorized by §124.520, the joint venture must perform the applicable percentage of work required by §124.510 of this chapter.

(2) The 8(a) partner(s) to the joint venture must perform at least 40% of the work performed by the joint venture.

(i) The work performed by the 8(a) partner(s) to a joint venture must be more than administrative or ministerial functions so that the 8(a) partners gain substantive experience.

(ii) The amount of work done by the partners will be aggregated and the work done by the 8(a) partner(s) must be at least 40% of the total done by all partners. In determining the amount of work done by a non-8(a) partner, all work done by the non-8(a) partner and any of its affiliates at any subcontracting tier will be counted.

(e) Prior approval by SBA. (1) When a joint venture between one or more 8(a) Participants seeks a sole source 8(a) award, SBA must approve the joint venture prior to the award of the sole source 8(a) contract. SBA will not approve joint ventures in connection with competitive 8(a) awards (but see §124.501(g) for SBA's determination of Participant eligibility).

(2) Where a joint venture has been established for one 8(a) contract, the joint venture may receive additional 8(a) contracts provided the parties create an addendum to the joint venture agreement setting forth the performance requirements for each additional award (and provided any contract is awarded within two years of the first award as set forth in §121.103(h)). If an additional 8(a) contract is a sole source award, SBA must also approve the addendum prior to contract award.

(f) Capabilities, past performance, and experience. When evaluating the capabilities, past performance, experience, business systems, and certifications of an entity submitting an offer for an 8(a) contract as a joint venture established pursuant to this section, a procuring activity must consider work done and qualifications held individually by each partner to the joint venture as well as any work done by the joint venture itself previously. A procuring activity may not require the 8(a) Participant to individually meet the same evaluation or responsibility criteria as that required of other offerors generally. The partners to the joint venture in the aggregate must demonstrate the past performance, experience, business systems, and certifications necessary to perform the contract.

(g) Contract execution. Where an 8(a) award will be made to a joint venture, the procuring activity will execute an 8(a) contract in the name of the joint venture entity or the 8(a) Participant, but in either case will identify the award as one to an 8(a) joint venture or an 8(a) mentor-protege joint venture, as appropriate.

(h) Amendments to joint venture agreement. Where SBA has approved a joint venture for a sole source 8(a) contract, all amendments to the joint venture agreement must be approved by SBA.

(i) Inspection of records. The joint venture partners must allow SBA's authorized representatives, including representatives authorized by the SBA Inspector General, during normal business hours, access to its files to inspect and copy all records and documents relating to the joint venture.

(j) Certification of compliance. Prior to the performance of any 8(a) contract by a joint venture, the 8(a) BD Participant to the joint venture must submit a written certification to the contracting officer and SBA, signed by an authorized official of each partner to the joint venture, stating as follows:

(1) The parties have entered into a joint venture agreement that fully complies with paragraph (c) of this section; and

(2) The parties will perform the contract in compliance with the joint venture agreement and with the performance of work requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) For a sole source 8(a) contract, the parties have obtained SBA's approval of the joint venture agreement and any addendum to that agreement and that there have been no modifications to the agreement that SBA has not approved.

(k) Performance of work reports. An 8(a) Participant to a joint venture must describe how it is meeting or has met the applicable performance of work requirements for each 8(a) contract it performs as a joint venture.

(1) As part of its annual review, the 8(a) Participant(s) to the joint venture must explain for each 8(a) contract performed during the year how the performance of work requirements are being met for the contract.

(2) At the completion of every 8(a) contract awarded to a joint venture, the 8(a) Participant(s) to the joint venture must submit a report to the local SBA district office explaining how the performance of work requirements were met for the contract.

(l) Basis for suspension or debarment. The Government may consider the following as a ground for suspension or debarment as a willful violation of a regulatory provision or requirement applicable to a public agreement or transaction:

(1) Failure to enter a joint venture agreement that complies with paragraph (c) of this section;

(2) Failure to perform a contract in accordance with the joint venture agreement or performance of work requirements in paragraph (d) of this section; or

(3) Failure to submit the certification required by paragraph (e) of this section or comply with paragraph (i) of this section.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 69 FR 29208, May 21, 2004; 76 FR 8261, Feb. 11, 2011; 77 FR 28238, May 14, 2012; 81 FR 34261, May 31, 2016; 81 FR 48582, July 25, 2016; 81 FR 71983, Oct. 19, 2016; 85 FR 66190, Oct. 16, 2020; 86 FR 2959, Jan. 14, 2021]

§124.514   Exercise of 8(a) options and modifications.

(a) Unpriced options. The exercise of an unpriced option is considered to be a new contracting action.

(1) If a concern has graduated or been terminated from the 8(a) BD program or is no longer small under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code for the requirement, negotiations to price the option cannot be entered into and the option cannot be exercised.

(2) If the concern is still a Participant and otherwise eligible for the requirement on a sole source basis, the procuring activity contracting officer may negotiate price and exercise the option provided the option, considered a new contracting action, meets all regulatory requirements, including the procuring activity's offering and SBA's acceptance of the requirement for the 8(a) BD program.

(3) If the estimated fair market price of the option exceeds the applicable threshold amount set forth in §124.506, the requirement must be competed as a new contract among eligible Participants.

(b) Priced options. Except as set forth in §124.521(e)(2), the procuring activity contracting officer may exercise a priced option to an 8(a) contract whether the concern that received the award has graduated or been terminated from the 8(a) BD program or is no longer eligible if to do so is in the best interests of the Government.

(c) Modifications beyond the scope. A modification beyond the scope of the initial 8(a) contract award is considered to be a new contracting action. It will be treated the same as an unpriced option as described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Modifications within the scope. The procuring activity contracting officer may exercise a modification within the scope of the initial 8(a) contract whether the concern that received the award has graduated or been terminated from the 8(a) BD program or is no longer eligible if to do so is in the best interests of the Government.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.515   Can a Participant change its ownership or control and continue to perform an 8(a) contract, and can it transfer performance to another firm?

(a) An 8(a) contract (or 8(a) order where the underlying contract is not an 8(a) contract) must be performed by the Participant that initially received it unless a waiver is granted under paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) An 8(a) contract or order, whether in the base or an option year, must be terminated for the convenience of the Government if:

(i) One or more of the individuals upon whom eligibility for the 8(a) BD program was based relinquishes or enters into any agreement to relinquish ownership or control of the Participant such that the Participant would no longer be controlled or at least 51% owned by disadvantaged individuals; or

(ii) The contract is transferred or novated for any reason to another firm.

(2) The procuring activity may not assess repurchase costs or other damages against the Participant due solely to the provisions of this section.

(b) The SBA Administrator may waive the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section if requested to do so by the 8(a) contractor when:

(1) It is necessary for the owners of the concern to surrender partial control of such concern on a temporary basis in order to obtain equity financing;

(2) Ownership and control of the concern that is performing the 8(a) contract will pass to another Participant, but only if the acquiring firm would otherwise be eligible to receive the award directly as an 8(a) contract;

(3) Any individual upon whom eligibility was based is no longer able to exercise control of the concern due to physical or mental incapacity or death;

(4) The head of the procuring agency, or an official with delegated authority from the agency head, certifies that termination of the contract would severely impair attainment of the agency's program objectives or missions; or

(5) It is necessary for the disadvantaged owners of the initial 8(a) awardee to relinquish ownership of a majority of the voting stock of the concern in order to raise equity capital, but only if—

(i) The concern has graduated from the 8(a) BD program;

(ii) The disadvantaged owners will maintain ownership of the largest single outstanding block of voting stock (including stock held by affiliated parties); and

(iii) The disadvantaged owners will maintain control of the daily business operations of the concern.

(c) The 8(a) contractor must request a waiver in writing prior to the change of ownership and control except in the case of death or incapacity. A request for waiver due to incapacity or death must be submitted within 60 days after such occurrence. The Participant seeking to change ownership or control must specify the grounds upon which it requests a waiver, and must demonstrate that the proposed transaction would meet such grounds.

(d) SBA determines the eligibility of an acquiring Participant under paragraph (b)(2) of this section by referring to the items identified in §124.501(g) and deciding whether at the time of the request for waiver (and prior to the transaction) the acquiring Participant is an eligible concern with respect to each contract for which a waiver is sought. As part of the waiver request, the acquiring concern must certify that it is a small business for the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to each contract for which a waiver is sought. SBA will not grant a waiver for any contract if the work to be performed under the contract is not similar to the type of work previously performed by the acquiring concern.

(e) Anyone other than a procuring agency head who submits a certification regarding the impairment of the agency's objectives under paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must also certify delegated authority to make the certification.

(f) In processing a request for a waiver under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, SBA will treat a transfer of all a Participant's operating assets to another Participant the same as the transfer of an ownership interest, provided the Participant that transfers its assets to another eligible Participant:

(1) Voluntarily graduates from the 8(a) BD program; and

(2) Ceases its business operations, or presents a plan to SBA for its orderly dissolution.

(g) A concern performing an 8(a) contract must notify SBA in writing immediately upon entering into an agreement or agreement in principle (either oral or written) to transfer all or part of its stock or other ownership interest or assets to any other party. Such an agreement could include an oral agreement to enter into a transaction to transfer interests in the future.

(h) The Administrator has discretion to decline a request for waiver even though legal authority exists to grant the waiver.

(i) The 8(a) contractor may appeal SBA's denial of a waiver request by filing a petition with OHA pursuant to part 134 of this chapter within 45 days after the contractor receives the Administrator's decision.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 47246, July 18, 2002; 81 FR 48584, July 25, 2016; 85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.516   [Reserved]

§124.517   Can the eligibility or size of a Participant for award of an 8(a) contract be questioned?

(a) The eligibility of a Participant for a sole source or competitive 8(a) requirement may not be challenged by another Participant or any other party, either to SBA or any administrative forum as part of a bid or other contract protest.

(b) The size status of the apparent successful offeror for a competitive 8(a) procurement may be protested pursuant to §121.1001(a)(2) of this chapter. The size status of a nominated Participant for a sole source 8(a) procurement may not be protested by another Participant or any other party.

(c) A Participant cannot appeal SBA's determination not to award it a specific 8(a) contract because the concern lacks an element of responsibility or is ineligible for the contract, other than the right set forth in §124.501(h) to request a formal size determination where SBA cannot verify it to be small.

(d)(1) The NAICS code assigned to a sole source 8(a) requirement may not be challenged by another Participant or any other party either to SBA or any administrative forum as part of a bid or contract protest. Only the AA/BD may appeal a NAICS code designation with respect to a sole source 8(a) requirement.

(2) In connection with a competitive 8(a) procurement, any interested party who has been adversely affected by a NAICS code designation may appeal the designation to SBA's OHA pursuant to §121.1103 of this title.

(e) Anyone with information questioning the eligibility of a Participant to continue participation in the 8(a) BD program or for purposes of a specific 8(a) contract may submit such information to SBA under §124.112(c).

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 45754, Sept. 4, 2009]

§124.518   How can an 8(a) contract be terminated before performance is completed?

(a) Termination for default. A decision to terminate a specific 8(a) contract for default can be made by the procuring activity contracting officer after consulting with SBA. The contracting officer must advise SBA of any intent to terminate an 8(a) contract for default in writing before doing so. SBA may provide to the Participant any program benefits reasonably available in order to assist it in avoiding termination for default. SBA will advise the contracting officer of this effort. Any procuring activity contracting officer who believes grounds for termination continue to exist may terminate the 8(a) contract for default, in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (48 CFR chapter 1). SBA will have no liability for termination costs or reprocurement costs.

(b) Termination for convenience. After consulting with SBA, the procuring activity contracting officer may terminate an 8(a) contract for convenience when it is in the best interests of the Government to do so. A termination for convenience is appropriate if any disadvantaged owner of the Participant performing the contract relinquishes ownership or control of such concern, or enters into any agreement to relinquish such ownership or control, unless a waiver is granted pursuant to §124.515.

(c) Substitution of one 8(a) contractor for another. SBA may authorize another Participant to complete performance and, in conjunction with the procuring activity, permit novation of an 8(a) contract without invoking the termination for convenience or waiver provisions of §124.515 where a procuring activity contracting officer demonstrates to SBA that the Participant that was awarded the 8(a) contract is unable to complete performance, where an 8(a) contract will otherwise be terminated for default, or where SBA determines that substitution would serve the business development needs of both 8(a) Participants.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.519   Are there any dollar limits on the amount of 8(a) contracts that a Participant may receive?

(a) A Participant (other than one owned by an Indian Tribe, ANC, NHO, or CDC) may not receive sole source 8(a) contract awards where it has received a combined total of competitive and sole source 8(a) contracts in excess of $100,000,000 during its participation in the 8(a) BD program.

(b) In determining whether a Participant has reached the limit identified in paragraph (a) of this section, SBA:

(1) Looks at the 8(a) revenues a Participant has actually received, not projected 8(a) revenues that a Participant might receive through an indefinite delivery or indefinite quantity contract, a multiple award contract, or options or modifications; and

(2) Will not consider 8(a) contracts awarded under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.

(c) Once the limit is reached, a firm may not receive any more 8(a) sole source contracts, but may remain eligible for competitive 8(a) awards.

(d) A Participant's eligibility for a sole source award in terms of whether it has exceeded the dollar limit for 8(a) contracts is measured as of the date that the requirement is accepted for the 8(a) program without taking into account whether the value of that award will cause the limit to be exceeded.

(e) The AA/BD may waive the requirement prohibiting a Participant from receiving sole source 8(a) contracts in excess of the dollar amount set forth in this section where the head of a procuring activity represents that award of a sole source 8(a) contract to the Participant is needed to achieve significant interests of the Government.

[63 FR 35739, June 30, 1998, as amended at 76 FR 8262, Feb. 11, 2011; 77 FR 28238, May 14, 2012; 85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.520   Can 8(a) BD Program Participants participate in SBA's Mentor-Protégé program?

(a) An 8(a) BD Program Participant, as any other small business, may participate in SBA's All Small Mentor-Protégé Program authorized under §125.9 of this chapter.

(b) In order for a joint venture between a protégé and its SBA-approved mentor to receive the exclusion from affiliation with respect to a sole source or competitive 8(a) contract, the joint venture must meet the requirements set forth in §124.513(c) and (d).

[85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

§124.521   What are the requirements for representing 8(a) status, and what are the penalties for misrepresentation?

(a) Presumption of Loss Based on the Total Amount Expended. In every contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, cooperative research and development agreement, or grant which is set aside, reserved, or otherwise classified as intended for award to 8(a) Participants, there shall be a presumption of loss to the United States based on the total amount expended on the contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, cooperative research and development agreement, or grant whenever it is established that a business concern other than an 8(a) Participant willfully sought and received the award by misrepresentation.

(b) Deemed Certifications. The following actions shall be deemed affirmative, willful and intentional certifications of 8(a) status:

(1) Submission of a bid or proposal for an 8(a) sole source or competitive contract.

(2) Registration on any Federal electronic database for the purpose of being considered for award of a Federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, or cooperative research and development agreement, as a small disadvantaged business (SDB).

(c) Signature Requirement. Each offer for an 8(a) contract shall contain a certification concerning the 8(a) status of a business concern seeking the contract. An authorized official must sign the certification on the same page containing the 8(a) status claimed by the concern.

(d) Limitation of Liability. Paragraphs (a)-(c) of this section may be determined not to apply in the case of unintentional errors, technical malfunctions, and other similar situations that demonstrate that a misrepresentation of 8(a) status was not affirmative, intentional, willful or actionable under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq. A prime contractor acting in good faith should not be held liable for misrepresentations made by its subcontractors regarding the subcontractors' 8(a) status. Relevant factors to consider in making this determination may include the firm's internal management procedures governing representation or certification as an eligible 8(a) Participant, the clarity or ambiguity of the representation or certification requirement, and the efforts made to correct an incorrect or invalid representation or certification in a timely manner. An individual or firm may not be held liable where government personnel have erroneously identified a concern as an eligible 8(a) Participant without any representation or certification having been made by the concern and where such identification is made without the knowledge of the individual or firm.

(e) Recertification. (1) Generally, a concern that is an eligible 8(a) Participant at the time of initial offer or response, which includes price, for an 8(a) contract, including a Multiple Award Contract, is considered an 8(a) Participant throughout the life of that contract. For an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), Multiple Award 8(a) Contract, where concerns are not required to submit price as part of the offer for the contract, a concern that is an eligible 8(a) Participant at the time of initial offer, which may not include price, is considered an 8(a) Participant throughout the life of that contract. This means that if an 8(a) Participant is qualified at the time of initial offer for a Multiple Award 8(a) Contract, then it will be considered an 8(a) Participant for each order issued against the contract, unless a contracting officer requests a new 8(a) eligibility determination in connection with a specific order. Except as set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, where a concern later fails to qualify as an 8(a) Participant, the procuring agency may exercise options and still count the award as an award to a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).

(i) Where an 8(a) contract is novated to another business concern, or where the concern performing the 8(a) contract is acquired by, acquires, or merges with another concern and contract novation is not required, the concern must comply with the process outlined at §§124.105(i) and 124.515.

(ii) Where an 8(a) Participant that was initially awarded a non-8(a) contract that is subsequently novated to another business concern, the concern that will continue performance on the contract must certify its SDB status to the procuring agency, or inform the procuring agency that it does not qualify as an SDB, within 30 days of the novation approval. If the concern is not an SDB, the agency can no longer count the options or orders issued pursuant to the contract, from that point forward, towards its SDB goals.

(iii) Where an 8(a) Participant receives a non-8(a) contract, and that Participant acquires, is acquired by, or merges with another concern and contract novation is not required, the concern must, within 30 days of the transaction becoming final, recertify its SDB status to the procuring agency, or inform the procuring agency that it no longer qualifies as an SDB. If the contractor is no longer a current 8(a) Participant, the contractor is not eligible for orders limited to 8(a) awardees. If the contractor is not an SDB, the agency can no longer count the options or orders issued pursuant to the contract, from that point forward, towards its SDB goals. The agency and the contractor must immediately revise all applicable Federal contract databases for which they directly certify information to reflect the new status.

(2) For the purposes of 8(a) contracts (including Multiple Award Contracts) with durations of more than five years (including options), a contracting officer must verify in DSBS whether a business concern continues to be an eligible 8(a) Participant no more than 120 days prior to the end of the fifth year of the contract, and no more than 120 days prior to exercising any option. Where a concern fails to qualify as an eligible 8(a) Participant during the 120 days prior to the end of the fifth year of the contract, the option shall not be exercised.

(3) Recertification does not change the terms and conditions of the contract. The limitations on subcontracting, nonmanufacturer and subcontracting plan requirements in effect at the time of contract award remain in effect throughout the life of the contract.

(4) Where the contracting officer explicitly requires concerns to qualify as eligible 8(a) Participants in response to a solicitation for an order, SBA will determine eligibility as of the date the concern submits its self-representation as part of its response to the solicitation for the order.

(5) A concern's status will be determined at the time of a response to a solicitation for a basic ordering agreement (BOA), basic agreement (BA), or blanket purchase agreement (BPA) and each order issued pursuant to the BOA, BA, or BPA.

[78 FR 38818, June 28, 2013, as amended at 84 FR 65661, Nov. 29, 2019; 85 FR 66191, Oct. 16, 2020]

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