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  • Question

    Is there an exemption to this FAR 19 requirement in order to allow full & open competition if we believe that a small business set-aside is not in the best interest of the Government?


    Answer

    1.  First thing you should do is talk with your small business specialist and SBA Procurement Center Representative (PCR). 
    Also See FAR 19.202-1, "Small business concerns shall be afforded an equitable opportunity to compete for all contracts that they can perform to the extent consistent with the Government’s interest. When applicable, the contracting officer shall take the following actions: (a) Divide proposed acquisitions of supplies and services (except construction) into reasonably small lots (not less than economic production runs) to permit offers on quantities less than the total requirement."
    You must follow the the above and the following FAR cites in determining whether or not to do a set-aside and your market research must back up your decision.

    2.  See also
    FAR 19.202-1, "Small business concerns shall be afforded an equitable opportunity to compete for all contracts that they can perform to the extent consistent with the Government’s interest. When applicable, the contracting officer shall take the following actions:

    3.  See also
    FAR 19.502-2 for when the contracting officer shall set-aside, "The contracting officer shall set aside any acquisition over $150,000 for small business participation when there is a reasonable expectation that:  (1) Offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns offering the products of different small business concerns (but see paragraph (c) of this section); and (2) Award will be made at fair market prices. Total small business set-asides shall not be made unless such a reasonable expectation exists (see 19.502-3 as to partial set-asides). Although past acquisition history of an item or similar items is always important, it is not the only factor to be considered in determining whether a reasonable expectation exists.

    4. 
    FAR 19.502-6 -- Insufficient Causes for Not Setting Aside an Acquisition, lists these here.

    5.  See also
    FAR 7.104 (d) (1) and FAR 7.107 as you may have a contract bundling situation to determine if it is necessary and justified. 

    6.  Other FAR parts to review include
    FAR 19.202-2, 19.203, 19.501

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