§ 124.515Can a Participant change its ownership or control and continue to perform an 8(a) contract, and can it transfer performance to another firm?
(a) An 8(a) contract must be performed by the Participant that initially received it unless a waiver is granted under paragraph (b) of this section.
(1) An 8(a) contract, whether in the base or an option year, must be terminated for the convenience of the Government if:
(i) One or more of the individuals upon whom eligibility for the 8(a) BD program was based relinquishes or enters into any agreement to relinquish ownership or control of the Participant such that the Participant would no longer be controlled or at least 51% owned by disadvantaged individuals; or
(ii) The contract is transferred or novated for any reason to another firm.
(2) The procuring activity may not assess repurchase costs or other damages against the Participant due solely to the provisions of this section.
(b) The SBA Administrator may waive the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section if requested to do so by the 8(a) contractor when:
(1) It is necessary for the owners of the concern to surrender partial control of such concern on a temporary basis in order to obtain equity financing;
(2) Ownership and control of the concern that is performing the 8(a) contract will pass to another Participant, but only if the acquiring firm would otherwise be eligible to receive the award directly as an 8(a) contract;
(3) Any individual upon whom eligibility was based is no longer able to exercise control of the concern due to physical or mental incapacity or death;
(4) The head of the procuring agency, or an official with delegated authority from the agency head, certifies that termination of the contract would severely impair attainment of the agency's program objectives or missions; or
(5) It is necessary for the disadvantaged owners of the initial 8(a) awardee to relinquish ownership of a majority of the voting stock of the concern in order to raise equity capital, but only if—
(i) The concern has graduated from the 8(a) BD program;
(ii) The disadvantaged owners will maintain ownership of the largest single outstanding block of voting stock (including stock held by affiliated parties); and
(iii) The disadvantaged owners will maintain control of the daily business operations of the concern.
(c) The 8(a) contractor must request a waiver in writing prior to the change of ownership and control except in the case of death or incapacity. A request for waiver due to incapacity or death must be submitted within 60 days after such occurrence. The Participant seeking to change ownership or control must specify the grounds upon which it requests a waiver, and must demonstrate that the proposed transaction would meet such grounds.
(d) SBA determines the eligibility of an acquiring Participant under paragraph (b)(2) of this section by referring to the items identified in § 124.507(b)(2) and deciding whether at the time of the request for waiver (and prior to the transaction) the acquiring Participant is a responsible and eligible concern with respect to each contract for which a waiver is sought. As part of the waiver request, the acquiring firm must certify that it is a small business for the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to each contract for which a waiver is sought.
(e) Anyone other than a procuring agency head who submits a certification regarding the impairment of the agency's objectives under paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must also certify delegated authority to make the certification.
(f) In processing a request for a waiver under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, SBA will treat a transfer of all a Participant's operating assets to another Participant the same as the transfer of an ownership interest, provided the Participant that transfers its assets to another eligible Participant:
(1) Voluntarily graduates from the 8(a) BD program; and
(2) Ceases its business operations, or presents a plan to SBA for its orderly dissolution.
(g) A concern performing an 8(a) contract must notify SBA in writing immediately upon entering into an agreement or agreement in principle (either oral or written) to transfer all or part of its stock or other ownership interest or assets to any other party. Such an agreement could include an oral agreement to enter into a transaction to transfer interests in the future.
(h) The Administrator has discretion to decline a request for waiver even though legal authority exists to grant the waiver.
(i) The 8(a) contractor may appeal SBA's denial of a waiver request by filing a petition with OHA pursuant to part 134 of this chapter within 45 days after the contractor receives the Administrator's decision.