An 8(a) contract was properly awarded on a sole source basis to a tribally-owned entity, even though the contract was a follow-on to a competitive 8(a) set-aside award.
In a recent decision, the GAO deferred to the SBA’s interpretation of the 8(a) program regulations–which, according to the SBA, allow such sole source awards.
The GAO’s decision in Agency Management Concepts, Inc., B-411206, B-411206.2 (April 21, 2015) involved a Department of State procurement for lock and lock services. Beginning in 2003, DOS generally procured the requirement through the 8(a) program. The most recent contract for the services (before the award at issue in this protest) was procured as a competitive 8(a) set-aside.
Advanced Management Concepts, Inc. was an active 8(a) program participant. After learning that the incumbent contractor had graduated from the 8(a) program, AMC contacted DOS to express its interest in the requirement. AMC was informed that DOS intended to make a sole source award to a tribally-owned concern, and that the SBA had accepted and approved the sole source offering letter.
AMC then file a GAO bid protest. AMC alleged that DOS was required to compete the requirement among 8(a) program participants, rather than award it on a sole source basis. AMC cited several sections of 13 C.F.R. § 124.506, an 8(a) program regulation, in support of its protest. AMC contended that these regulatory sections prohibit the SBA from accepting a requirement on a sole source basis when that requirement has previously been competed among 8(a) program participants.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/8a-program-follow-on-to-competitive-award-can-be-sole-sourced/