Vanguard Business Solutions and its clients benefit from distinctive advantages that come with minority contracting. This allows for an easier procurement process when working with Vanguard Business Solutions. Responses to questions commonly asked by government contracting officers are as follows:
§ 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.
(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]
§ 124.506 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]
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