Federal Contracting (Procurement)

Adding SBA to FAR Council

Description :

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council was established to assist in the

direction and coordination of government-wide procurement policy and government-wide

procurement regulatory activities in the Federal Government. Current Council Members

include the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, the Secretary of Defense, the

Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space and the Administrator of General

Services. While these individuals have deep knowledge of federal acquisition, a voice of

the industrial base is missing. The Council supports adding the appropriate representative

from the Small Business Administration. By adding the SBA to the FAR Council, we

believe that delays impacting small businesses could be further mitigated. For

example, there has been a discrepancy over multiple years between the FAR and the

SBA's updated limitations on subcontracting rule that use different formulas to determine

compliance. While the SBA rule allows the use of similarly situated entities on small

business set-asides and 8(a) contracts, the FAR does not. This has created significant

issues for both small businesses and the contracting community who have been confused

on which rule to follow. Additionally, this conflict has led to legal protests on

interpretations – which are timely and costly for both the government and small

businesses. Adding SBA to the FAR Council could help accelerate solutions to

discrepancies between the agency and interpretations of the FAR.

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Idea No. 262