Are there any specific benefits for a contracting officer or the customer to request and require a re-certification as an 8a for this opportunity? The GSA site states that an agency can claim socioeconomic credit for doing so. Not sure what that entails.
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The 8(a) program is run by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the rules of engagement are established primarily by SBA. With regard to DoD contracting FAR subpart 19.8 gives guidance.
19.804-6 – Indefinite delivery Contracts.
(c) An 8(a) concern may continue to accept new orders under a multiple award, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), multi-agency contract or Governmentwide acquisition contract even after a concern's program term expires, the concern otherwise exits the 8(a) Program, or the concern becomes other than small for the NAICS code assigned under the contract.
There are different reasons to ask for recertification. Recertification would verify a contractor belongs in the program. If a contractor is determined not be an 8(a) any longer, it does not automatically remove the contract action from the 8(a) program. As you can see in the FAR reference, recertification is not mandatory. Companies that earned an award under a given set of circumstances continues to benefit throughout the life of the contract award it earned.