Working With An SBA 8(a) Certified Firm
Federal Agencies with a Small Business Program will understand how to guide their contracting officers, planners and engineers through the sole source contract program. Because the 8(a) program is a federal mandate, Federal Agencies get credit for the amount of work they issue to an 8(a), Disadvantaged Business, and Small Business. Sole source contracts are usually approved in a matter of days.
How the Program Works
Intended to benefit both the client as well as the contractor, the 8(a) program ensures quality performance. Prior to acceptance into the program, the contractor is subjected to a rigorous review of its ownership, daily management, operations, experience and financial status. Only those contractors that can document disadvantaged business status and demonstrate the viability of the organization are accepted into the program. The contractor, once accepted, is required to provide the SBA with a detailed business plan that must be updated annually.
Upon acceptance, each contractor is assigned NAICS codes based on the qualifications and experience of the company and key personnel. Performance of 8(a) contracts is then limited to those NAICS codes. As a company gains experience and expertise, it may request additional codes from the SBA based on documentation of this experience.
Any federal agency can set-aside work especially suited for 8(a) firms without the need to advertise on FBO.gov. This allows the federal agency to award a service contract to an 8(a) firm without the lengthy contracting delay.
- Sole-Source contracting is less complex and more time efficient. A formal RFP is not required.
- Without the need to post an RFQ or RFP, working directly with the 8(a) firm is more cost-effective.
How Sole Source Works
- The project manager or interested party identifies a statement of work (SoW), prepares an estimate, and earmarks funds for the project.
- The agency chooses DBISP, LLC to preform the work
- An authorization to negotiate is obtained from the SBA by filling out a Small Business Coordination Record form. The interested party may consult with their Small Business Program Office and/or the contracting office in order to complete the Business Coordination Record or a Procurement Request Form, depending on the agency. Federal departments have different forms; for example, the DOD and its agencies use DD Form 2579.
- The prepared contract documents must include the following statement: "Request procurement be made pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act 15 U.S.C. 637(a) and in accordance with FAR 19.8."
2. Once the procurement request has been made, the Small Business Deputy or the Contract Officer prepares an offer letter or a proposed project form (FAR 19.804-2).
3. After the offering information is received and processed by the SBA, the process returns to the Contracting Officer who submits the Scope of Work and Request for Quotation to DBISP, LLC.
4. DBISP, LLC submits its proposal and the package is evaluated and negotiated (if necessary) by the agency.
5. The contract is awarded.