Congress to Extend 8(a) Terms by One Year

There is a substantial change for 8(a) Program Participants in the NDAA that was recently approved by Congress. The House and Senate have agreed to extend the term of 8(a) Participants from 9 years to 10 years for any company that was admitted to 8(a) Program by September 9 of this year. This will be a major benefit to 8(a) companies, assuming the President signs the NDAA.

The Conference Report on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (in section 869) would require the SBA to allow a one-year extension for 8(a) Participants who were participants as of September 9, 2020. In particular, the SBA would have to “ensure” that 8(a) Participants who had been admitted “on or before September 9, 2020” would be able to “elect to extend such participation by a period of 1 year”.

Interestingly, this one-year extension would apply “regardless of whether such concern previously elected to suspend participation in such program” under SBA’s rules. We discussed 8(a) suspension in a prior post.

This rule has a short deadline for SBA to act. The NDAA states that SBA must “issue regulations to carry out this section” within 15 days after the NDAA is enacted and should not follow standard notice procedures for proposed regulations.

Current 8(a) Participants should pay close attention to the NDAA this year as they could see a substantial benefit in the form of a one-year extension to their 8(a) term.

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