GAO: Work Must Remain Set Aside for 8(a) Participants Because Not a “New Requirement”

In a recent decision, Eminent IT, LLC, B-418570 (June 23, 2020), GAO held that the Department of State improperly removed a requirement from the SBA’s 8(a) program where the solicitation did not create a “new requirement.”  

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Section 809 Panel Recommends Changing “Once 8(a), Always 8(a)” Rule

Under the so-called “once 8(a), always 8(a)” rule set forth in the FAR and SBA regulations, when a procurement has been accepted by the SBA for inclusion in the 8(a) Program, any follow-on contract generally must remain in the 8(a) Program, unless the SBA agrees to release it for non-8(a) competition.

Now, the Section 809 Panel has proposed a modest, but potentially important change to the “once 8(a), always 8(a)” rule–a change that would allow for acquisitions to be removed from the 8(a) Program without the SBA’s explicit consent.

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