Before deciding whether to set-aside a solicitation for small businesses under FAR 19.502-2, should the contracting officer first determine whether those small business will be able to provide the needed services while, at the same time, complying with the limitation on subcontracting?
No, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest decision. Instead, an agency’s determination whether a small business will comply with the limitation on subcontracting should be made as part of its award decision (following the evaluation of proposals), not during its initial set-aside determination.
Under FAR 19.502-2(b), a procurement with an anticipated dollar amount greater than $150,000 must be set-aside for small businesses where there is a reasonable expectation that offers will be received from at least two responsible small businesses and that award will be made at fair market prices. Though orders under Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts (issued under FAR part 8.4) are exempt from these small business programs, a contracting officer nonetheless has discretion to set-aside FSS orders for small businesses.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/set-aside-decision-need-not-consider-compliance-with-limitation-on-subcontracting/