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    Does SBA have to release a requirement from the 8(a) program when we never requested it be put in the program? SBA is saying that if we award a purchase order to an 8(a) vendor then all future awards for that same type requirement have to be set-aside for 8(a). That is not how I interpret FAR 19.203(b) and (c). The language in paragraph (c) is for acquisitions over SAT where SBA has to release a requirement from the program. Can you please give your interpretation?


    Answer

    The FAR language can be interpreted in both ways. The dictate that a requirement accepted by SBA under the 8(a) program must remain in the program unless released is contained in the paragraph that addresses situations "Above the SAT" (FAR 19.203(c)). However, when the last sentence in that paragraph is read in isolation, it does not distinguish between requirements that were originally accepted under the SAT or above the SAT. Therein lies the confusion. Often a conclusion can be reached by reading in the context of the FAR paragraph, but this is not always the case. The best thing to do is contact SBA's Answer Desk at 800-827-5722 and/or email, answerdesk@sba.gov for a definitive explanation.

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