§ 124.1013How does SBA make disadvantaged status determinations in considering an SDB protest?
(a)General. The DC/SDBCE, or designee, will determine a protested concern's disadvantaged status within 15 working days after receipt of a protest.
(b)Award of contract.
(1) The contracting officer may award a contract after receipt of a protest if the contracting officer determines in writing that an award must be made to protect the public interest. Notwithstanding such a determination, the provisions of paragraph (h) of this section apply to the procurement in question.
(2) If SBA does not issue its determination within 15 business days (or request an extension that is granted), the contracting officer may award the contract if he or she determines in writing that there is an immediate need to award the contract and that waiting until SBA makes its determination will be disadvantageous to the Government, Notwithstanding such a determination, the provisions of paragraph (h) of this section apply to the procurement in question.
(c)Withdrawal of protest. If a protest is withdrawn, SBA will not complete a new disadvantaged status determination, and a previous SDB certification will stand.
(d)Basis for determination.
(1) Except with respect to a concern which is a current Participant in SBA's 8(a) BD program and is authorized under § 124.1013(b)(3) to submit an affidavit concerning its disadvantaged status, the disadvantaged status determination will be based on the protest record, including reasonable inferences therefrom, as supplied by the protested concern, SBA or others.
(2) SBA may in its discretion make a part of the protest record information already in its files, and information submitted by the protestor, the protested concern, the contracting officer, or other persons contacted for additional specific information.
(e)Disadvantaged status. In evaluating the social and economic disadvantage of individuals claiming disadvantaged status, SBA will consider the same information and factors set forth in §§ 124.103 and 124.104. As provided in § 124.1002(c), individuals claiming disadvantaged status must have a net worth that is less than $750,000, after taking into account the exclusions set forth in § 124.104(c)(2).
(f)Disadvantaged status determination. SBA will render a written determination including the basis for its findings and conclusions.
(g)Notification of determination. After making its disadvantaged status determination, the SBA will immediately notify the contracting officer, the protestor, and the protested concern of its determination. SBA will promptly provide by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of its written determination to the same entities, consistent with law.
(h)Results of an SBA disadvantaged status determination. A disadvantaged status determination becomes effective immediately.
(1) A contracting officer may award a contract to a protested concern after the DC/SDBCE has determined either that the protested concern is an eligible SDB or has dismissed all protests against it. If the AA/GCBD subsequently overturns the initial determination or dismissal, the contracting officer may apply the appeal decision to the procurement in question.
(2) A contracting officer shall not award a contract to a protested concern that the DC/SDBCE has determined is not an eligible SDB for the procurement in question.
(i) If a contracting officer receives such a determination after contract award, and no appeal has been filed, the contracting officer shall terminate the award.
(ii) If a timely appeal is filed after contract award, the contracting officer must consider whether performance can be suspended until an appellate decision is rendered.
(iii) If the AA/GCBD affirms the initial determination finding that the protested concern ineligible, the contracting officer shall either terminate the contract or not exercise the next option.
(3) The contracting officer must update the Federal Procurement Data System and other procurement reporting databases to reflect the final agency SDB decision (the decision of the AA/SDBCE if no appeal is filed or the decision of the AA/GCBD).
(4) A concern found to be ineligible is precluded from applying for SDB certification for 12 months from the date of the final agency decision (whether by the DC/SDBCE, without an appeal, or by the AA/GCBD on appeal). A concern found to be ineligible is also precluded from representing itself as an SDB for a subcontract unless it overcomes the reasons for the protest (e.g., it changes its ownership to satisfy the definition of an SDB set forth in § 124.1002).