Compliance with the limitations on subcontracting are not adequately being monitored by the contracting officers responsible for 8(a) contracts, according to a recent GAO report.
After reviewing a representative sample of ten 8(a) contracts, the GAO determined that contracting officers effectively monitored subcontracting limit compliance on two of those contracts. In other cases, agency contracting officers failed to effectively monitor compliance, even in situations presenting a heightened risk of potential violations–such as where ineligible incumbents were serving as subcontractors.
Government contractors who have attempted to recently register or re-register in the SAM database have been confronted with new questions asking about an “immediate owner” and a “higher-level owner.” These new SAM questions have caused some confusion about what information, if any, a contractor must provide in SAM with respect to an “immediate owner” or “higher-level owner.”
The new questions originate in a recent amendment to the FAR, which requires all SAM registrants, if owned by another entity, to identify that entity by legal name, CAGE code, and type of ownership. This blog post breaks down the new rule and explains when this rule will come into play.
Reverse auctions would be prohibited for many small business procurements under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which has been passed by the House of Representatives.
Under the bill, reverse auctions would be disallowed when the government seeks to award a “covered contract,” so long as the contract is suitable for small businesses or is set-aside under one of many small business preference programs.
Small businesses were awarded 23.39% of prime contracting dollars in Fiscal Year 2013, a jump of more than a percentage point from FY 2012 levels–and above the 23% government-wide goal for the first time in several years.
According to the recently-released SBA Procurement Scorecard, the government exceeded its goals for SDVOSBs and SDBs, but failed to hit its targets for HUBZones and WOSBs. Despite these shortfalls, the SBA gave the government an overall “A” rating for its FY 2013 performance.
The Office of Management and Budget has extended a policy aimed at providing accelerated payments to small business subcontractors. Without an extension, the policy would have expired last week.
According to an OMB memorandum announcing the extension, the policy will remain in effect until December 31, 2016. In the meantime, the memo states, the FAR Council is “considering strategies that might be used over the longer term to help maintain effective cash flow and prompt payment to small business subcontractors.”
Small Business Development Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers would be permitted to issue advisory small business size status opinions under a proposed rule published last week by the SBA.
The proposed rule, which implements a section of the 2013 National Defense Advisory Act, establishes a “safe harbor” from fraudulent misrepresentation penalties for a small business that obtains an advisory size opinion from a SBDC or PTAC. But the proposed rule acknowledges that SBDCs and PTACs are not required to provide such advisory opinions–and that new funding will not be awarded for this purpose.
Women-owned small businesses could receive sole source contracts under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which was passed by the House of Representatives last week.
The House-passed 2015 NDAA includes an amendment authorizing economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to receive sole source contracts of up to $6.5 million for manufacturing, and up to $4 million for other industries. For WOSBs that are not economically disadvantaged, sole source contracts would be available, with the same thresholds, in industries where WOSBs are considered substantially underrepresented.