Raising the Roofs . . . and Floors: Acquisition Thresholds in the Time of Emergency

As many contractors have heard, the President declared a state of emergency under the Stafford Act. What will this mean for acquisitions conducted while the COVID-19 emergency continues? In this post, I’ll dig into some contractor-specific effects of that declaration: modifying the micro-purchase, simplified acquisition, and commercial purchase acquisition thresholds.

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We Can Work It Out? Proposed Class Waiver of Nonmanufacturer Rule for Exercise Equipment

Following up on its proposed waiver of the nonmanufacturer rule for laptops in December (which we covered here), the SBA (keeping its New Year’s Resolution?) is now proposing waivers for exercise equipment, sophisticated walkie-talkies, and more.

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Laptops to Get Nonmanufacturer Rule Waiver?

The SBA said recently that it intends to issue a class waiver of the Nonmanufacturer Rule for laptop and tablet computers, freeing up small businesses to resell these products in bulk to the federal government.

The SBA recently announced its intent in the Federal Register, giving the public the opportunity to comment early in the New Year.

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GAO: Trade Agreements Act Inapplicable to Small Business Set-Asides

It’s no secret that federal government contracting has the reputation of being a seemingly endless morass of regulations. In fact, the confusion frequently associated with federal contracting was on full display in a recent GAO protest that implicated the SBA’s nonmanufacturer rule, the Buy American Act, and the Trade Agreements Act. In a procurement that invited bids from both large and small businesses, a large business contractor argued that the application of certain small business contracting regulations would unfairly advantage the small business participants. GAO disagreed, and dismissed the protest because any advantage was the result of the regulations operating as intended. Sometimes it pays to be a small business.

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SBA Proposes Changes to Nonmanufacturer Rule and Limitations on Subcontracting

The SBA recently proposed regulatory changes for a number of small business rules. While my colleagues have addressed some of the other big changes, I’ll focus on changes to the nonmanufacturer rule and limitations on subcontracting. The SBA noted that these changes are meant to eliminate confusion and streamline both processes. Keep reading to see if you agree.

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DoD Proposes Aligning DFARS 8(a) Nonmanufacturer Rule with Existing SBA Regulations

The DoD recently issued proposed revisions to the DFARS 8(a) nonmanufacturer rule, found in 48 C.F.R. § 252.219-7010. The proposed revisions would update the admittedly “outdated text regarding the nonmanufacturer rule with updated text” that reflects SBA’s May 2016 final rule implementing the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

While the changes are only for 8(a) concerns, the differences between the existing DFARS and proposed change are significant nonetheless.

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5 Things You Should Know: The Nonmanufacturer Rule

To qualify as a small business under most set-aside or sole source contracts seeking manufactured products or supplies, SBA’s regulations require an offeror to be the item’s manufacturer or, alternatively, comply with the nonmanufacturer rule.

In a prior post, we discussed 5 Things You Should Know about being the item’s manufacturer; in this post, we’ll discuss qualifying under the nonmanufacturer rule.

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