(a) Where appropriate, SBA will generally grant waivers for an individual contract or order prior to the issuance of a solicitation, or, where a solicitation has been issued, when the contracting officer provides all potential offerors additional time to respond.
(b) SBA may grant a waiver after contract award, where the contracting officer has determined that the modification is within the scope of the contract and the agency followed the regulations prior to issuance of the solicitation and properly and timely requested a waiver for any other items under the contract, where required.
The Government seeks to buy spare parts to fix Item A. After conducting market research, the government determines that Items B, C, and D that are being procured may be eligible for waivers and requests and receives waivers from SBA for those items prior to issuing the solicitation. After the contract is awarded, the Government determines that it will need additional spare parts to fix Item A. The Government determines that adding the additional parts as a modification to the original contract is within scope. The contracting officer believes that one of the additional parts is also eligible for a waiver from SBA, and requests the waiver at the time of the modification. If all other criteria are met, SBA would grant the waiver, even though the contract has already been awarded.
(c) An individual waiver for an item in a solicitation will be approved when the SBA Director, Office of Government Contracting, reviews and accepts a contracting officer's determination that no small business manufacturer or processor can reasonably be expected to offer a product meeting the specifications of a solicitation, including the period of performance.
(d) Waivers for the purchase of software.
(1) SBA may grant an individual waiver for the procurement of software provided that the software being sought is an item that is of a type customarily used by the general public or by non-governmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes, and the item:
(i) Has been sold, leased, or licensed to the general public, or has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public;
(ii) Is sold in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace; and
(iii) Is offered to the Government, without modification, in the same form in which it is sold in the commercial marketplace.
(2) If the value of services provided related to the purchase of a supply item that meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section exceeds the value of the item itself, the procurement should be identified as a service procurement, even if the services are provided as part of the same license, lease, or sale terms. If a contracting officer cannot make a determination of the value of services being provided, SBA will assume that the value of the services is greater than the value of items or supplies, and will not grant a waiver.
(3) Subscription services, remote hosting of software, data, or other applications on servers or networks of a party other than the U.S. Government are considered by SBA to be services and not the procurement of a supply item. Therefore SBA will not grant waivers of the nonmanufacturer rule for these types of services.
[81 FR 34260, May 31, 2016]