48 CFR 873.107 - Socioeconomic programs.
(a) Implementation. This section provides additional authority, over and above that found at FAR 19.502, to waive small business set-asides. For acquisitions above the micro-purchase threshold, if, through market research, the contracting officer determines that there is reasonable expectation that reasonably priced bids, proposals, or quotations will be received from two or more responsible small businesses, a requirement for health-care resources must be reserved for small business participation. Without regard to FAR 13.003(b)(1), 19.502-2, and 19.502-3, the head of the contracting activity (HCA) may approve a waiver from the requirement for any set-aside for small business participation when a waiver is determined to be in the best interest of the Government. (38 U.S.C. 8153)
(b) Rejecting Small Business Administration (SBA) recommendations.
(1) The contracting officer (or, if a waiver has been approved in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the HCA) must consider and respond to a recommendation from an SBA representative to set a procurement aside for small business within 5 working days. If the recommendation is rejected by the contracting officer (or, if a waiver has been approved, by the HCA) and if SBA intends to appeal that determination, SBA must, within 2 working days after receipt of the determination, notify the contracting officer involved of SBA's intention to appeal.
(2) Upon receipt of the notification of SBA's intention to appeal and pending issuance of a final Department appeal decision to SBA, the contracting officer involved must suspend action on the acquisition unless the contracting officer makes a determination in writing that proceeding to contract award and performance is in the public interest. The contracting officer must promptly notify SBA of the determination to proceed with the solicitation and/or contract award and must provide a copy of the written determination to SBA.
(3) SBA shall be allowed 10 working days after receiving the rejection notice from the contracting officer (or the HCA, if a waiver has been approved) for acquisitions not exceeding $5 million, or 15 working days after receiving the rejection notice for acquisitions exceeding $5 million, to file an appeal. SBA must notify the contracting officer within this 10 or 15 day period whether an appeal has, in fact, been taken. If notification is not received by the contracting officer within the applicable period, it shall be deemed that an appeal was not taken.
(4) SBA shall submit appeals to the Secretary. Decisions shall be made by the DSPE, whose decisions shall be final. (38 U.S.C. 8153)
(c) Contracting with the Small Business Administration (the 8(a) Program). The procedures of FAR 19.8 shall be followed where a responsible 8(a) contractor has been identified.
(d) Certificates of competency and determinations of responsibility. The Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Assistant Administrator, Office of Industrial Assistance, Small Business Administration (SBA), shall serve as ombudsmen to assist VA contracting officers on any issues relating to Certificates of Competency (COC). Copies of all COC referrals to SBA shall be submitted to the Director, OSDBU (00SB).