May the Contracting Officer reduce to zero, or not include 52.228-13, Alternative Payment Protections in the FFP construction award to the 8(a) contractor?
As per FAR 28.102-3 (b),
if the contract is not above the $150K threshold, then no you do not have to include the payment bonds. But between $30K and $150K a payment gaurentee is required be it through bonds, sureity, colateral. Unless you can establish a lower percentage in accordance with 28.102-2
(c). You need to protect the interest of the governement. If you can Justify it, you can reduce it. I don't think I would be able to justify having 0%.