New FAR Rules Confirms No Priority Among Socio-Economic Programs

03/09/2012

FAR Part 19.203 has been modified to confirm that there is no priority among socio-economic programs. This applies to the 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, and WOSB programs. This was adopted, in part, to contravene prior GAO decision that the HUBZone program “trumped” the other SE programs. The new regulation is effective as of April 2, 2012. Also addressed in this new rule as intended clarifications of the existing programs are the following:

• for acquisitions above the SAT, contracting officers shall consider a SDVOSB sole-source award before considering a general small business set aside, but a competitive SDVOSB set aside should be considered before a SDVOSB sole-source award;

• contracting officers may award a general small business set aside or use the SDVOSB program when the acquisition is below the SAT;

• for acquisitions above the SAT, the contracting officer shall consider an award under the 8(a) program before considering a general small business set aside;
• contracting officers may award a general small business set aside or use the 8(a) program when the award is below the SAT;

• the CO shall consider 8(a) set asides or sole-source awards before considering a general small business set aside;

• for acquisitions above the SAT, the contracting officer shall consider a HUBZone sole-source award before considering a general small business set aside, but a competitive HUBZone set aside should be considered before a HUBZone sole-source award; and

• contracting officers may award a general small business set aside or a competitive HUBZone set aside when the acquisition is below the SAT, but HUBZone sole-source awards are not permitted at or below the SAT.

Click Here to view full text of the new rule.

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