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  • Question

    Are there any exceptions to the 15 day SBA review rule?


    Answer

    The FAR contemplates that acquisitions will be set aside for small businesses when in the Government's interest.  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." Also, see FAR 19.501: "The contracting officer shall perform market research and DOCUMENT WHEN AN ACQUISITION IS NOT SET ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS . . . "  Note that FAR 19.202-1 further states, "WHEN APPLICABLE, the contracting officer shall take the following actions . . ." 

    One of these actions is to provide a copy of the proposed acquisition package to the SBA for review. In any event, "the 15 day rule" is at FAR 19.402(c)(2) which suggests the activity would submit an APPROPRIATE acquisition package to SBA for review.  This may not be an APPROPRIATE acquisition.  However, the review may be required for all or certain acquisitions pursuant to agency procedures.  Once the acquisition is submitted to SBA for review, a recommendation is to be made within 15 days after receipt of the package. 

    I recommend checking local policy and procedures and legal counsel to determine how to best proceed in this matter.  

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