SBA Issues Proposed Rule Aimed at Increasing Small Business Contracting Opportunities

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On May 16, 2012, the Small Business Administration issued a proposed rule implementing portions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. See 77 FR 29130-29165 (May 16, 2012). The lengthy rule covers many areas of the regulations governing small business contracting, with a particular focus on multiple award contracts. The proposed changes will impact virtually every small business government contractor. Comments are due on or before July 16, 2012.

While the rule covers many topics, several notable highlights include the following:

Set-Asides, Partial Set-Asides and Reserves for Multiple Award Contracts

The proposed rule would give agencies the discretion to award multiple award contracts with a reserve, partial set-aside, or other commitment to set aside individual orders for small businesses. Significantly, the SBA proposes to include GSA schedule contracts within the broad definition of “multiple award contract,” which would expressly allow small business set-asides and the application of the “rule of two” within the GSA schedule program. (§125.1(k)).

Where the “rule of two” is met, agencies are already required to set aside a contract for small businesses. However, if the “rule of two” is not met, then the agencies will have the discretion under the proposed rule to use one of the following tools: partially set aside portions of the multiple award contract for small businesses, reserve one or more contract awards for small businesses under the multiple award contract, or set aside orders for small businesses where the "rule of two" is met for a specific order (despite the general requirement to give all IDIQ contract holders a “fair opportunity” to compete for each order).

Please see full article below for more information.

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Topics:  Certifications, Contractors, NAICS, SBA, Small Business

Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Government Contracting Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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