FAR Updated – Small Businesses Get Good News

11/02/2011 – The Federal Acquisition Regulation was revised with 10 rules under FAC 2005-54.  There are three new or substantially revised contract clauses issued with the change as well as many contract clauses that are impacted (see below):

  • FAR 52.203-16 (new clause on preventing personal conflicts of interest)
  • FAR 52.204-8
  • FAR 52.212-3
  • FAR 52.212-5
  • FAR 52.219-3 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.219-6 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.219-13 (New clause on notice of set-aside orders)
  • FAR 52.219-14 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.219-27 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.219-29 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.219-30 (updated applicability)
  • FAR 52.225-5
  • FAR 52.225-11
  • FAR 52.225-23
  • FAR 52.225-25 (substantially revised)

As part of the FAC, an interim rule called “Federal Acquisition Regulation; Set-Asides for Small Business” implements Section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.  The rule allows for set-asides for small business or any other socioeconomic program on multiple-award contracts including:

  • Individual task or delivery orders on a multiple-award contract
  • The award of a multiple-award contracts as a whole
  • Orders and blanket purchase agreements under the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) programs (Clarifying an existing capability)

The notice states that, “The objective of this rule is to provide an additional tool for agencies to increase opportunities for small business to compete in the federal marketplace.”  As an interim rule, the comment period is still open through January 3, 2012 (HERE).

I agree with the government on this rule.  It can help small businesses by giving them the consideration they deserve and helps agencies to close shortfalls in small business goals that already exist.  Hopefully, small businesses will get more exposure with this added emphasis. 

It seems the VA, amidst all of its woes to contract with small business, finally may get its wish and be able to comply with a GAO protest decision.  The VA, near the end of October, refused to comply with recommendations made by the GAO in an Oct. 11 protest decision, which stated that the agency violated a 2006 law when it failed to set aside two contract solicitations for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.

That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the problems related to the types of set-aside fraud that has been in the news lately, but at least it will start to give them a fair shake.  In June, the federal government charged two men with creating a fake small business to win a $100 million Defense Department contract. Two months later, a businessman pleaded guilty to obtaining to false citizenship papers, which he used to get a security clearance from the Department of Defense so that he could receive preferential small-business contracts.

Stay anonymous if you’d like, but I would like to hear your stories.  I know of one instance of fraud (not necessarily related to set-asides) that involved the daughter of a CEO going to Princeton and her apartment being a “home office.”

About Marty Herbert

With 13 years of government contract administration, analysis, finance, and audit experience, I have established a firm baseline in ethics and a specialization in government contracts that has prepared me to become a subject matter expert in my field. I am currently working on enhancing government contracts management and compliance through workflow tools and product offerings - attempting to make the process proactive as opposed to reactive.
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