Multiple Award Contract Rules Changed for Small Businesses!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
The FAR Council, the overseers of federal acquisition regulations, has proposed changing rules related to small business participation on multiple award contracts. The proposed rule, which seeks to replace interim guidance issued in 2011, clarifies the use of set-asides, reserves, and orders placed against multiple-award contracts. As contractors already know, the use of these Multiple Award Contracts is steadily growing. Ensuring all socioeconomic groups, including WOSBs, have access to these opportunities is a top priority for WIPP.
The rule also adds coverage for the new concept of a “reserve”, which would be used in solicitations for multiple-award contracts where a total or partial set-aside is not feasible, but agencies want small businesses to participate as prime contractors.
WIPP members may recognize this concept of a “reserve” to be similar to the tracks as outlined in the Do Not Enter report, which shows how agencies have utilized certain socio-economic set-asides, and discriminated against women-owned firms.
The rule also discusses potential changes to setting-aside orders below the simplified acquisition threshold ($150,000), and what constitutes market research by a contracting officer.