Contract Management: DOD's Implementation of Justifications for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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In fiscal year 2013, the Department of Defense DOD obligated about 8.7 billion to contracts awarded through the Small Business Administration s SBA 8a Business Development program. This program is one of the federal government s primary means for developing small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Contract awards under this program may be competed among eligible 8a firms or awarded on a sole-source basis to 8a firms in certain instances, such as when the firm is owned by an Alaska Native Corporation or an Indian tribe. The National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010, enacted on October 28, 2009, required the Federal Acquisition Regulation FAR to be amended to include a new requirement for a written justification of 8a sole-source awards over 20 million.1 The requirement was implemented in the FAR on March 16, 2011. Previously, no justification was required for 8a sole-source awards of any amount. This justification requirement brings more attention to large-dollar-value, sole-source contracts awarded through the 8a program, and our prior work has found that the number and value of these contracts at DOD and other federal agencies have declined since enactment of the requirement.
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