Government Contracts SBA Rule Would Consolidate Mentor-Protégé Programs
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

SBA Rule Would Consolidate Mentor-Protégé Programs

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Small Business Administration is proposing to merge the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. SBA believes maintaining two separate mentor-protégé programs is unnecessary and causes needless confusion in the small business community because the benefits and purposes of the two programs are identical. A proposed rule would eliminate a separate 8(a) program but continue to allow any 8(a) participant to enter a mentor-protégé relationship through the All Small Program. Accordingly, the rule would amend SBA 124.520 to recognize that an 8(a) participant may participate in the All Small Program. The rule also proposes to eliminate a requirement for 8(a) participants seeking an 8(a) contract award as a joint venture to submit the joint venture to SBA for review and approval prior to contract award; revise several 8(a) Program regulations to reduce unnecessary or excessive burdens on 8(a) participants; and clarify other related regulatory provisions to eliminate confusion among small businesses and procuring activities. A complete listing of the affected regulations appears in the regulation table at the end of this letter.

Recertification Requirements. Further, the rule proposes additional changes to the size and socioeconomic status recertification requirements for orders issued against multiple-award contracts. The rule would require a business concern to recertify its size and/or socioeconomic status for all set-aside orders under unrestricted MACs, except for orders and blanket purchase agreements issued under the General Services Administration’s Federal Supply Schedule Program. The rule also proposes to require a business concern to recertify its socioeconomic status for all set-aside orders where the required socioeconomic status for the order differs from that of the underlying set-aside MAC contract, such as when a HUBZone set-aside order is issued against a small business set-aside MAC. The rule would further allow size and/or socioeconomic protests at the order-level for set-aside orders issued against unrestricted MACs, or for set-aside orders based on a different socioeconomic status from the underlying set-aside MAC, but nor for orders or BPAs issued under an FSS contract. SBA issued the rule pursuant to Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Comments on the proposed rule are due January 17, 2020. For the text of the rule, see ¶70,425.636.

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