Rules for SBA 8a Certification in Government Proposals

When it comes to SBA 8a certifications, although contracting agencies can consider subcontractor experience in government proposals, there is no mandatory requirement to do so.

A government contracting agency need not consider your subcontractor experience where the solicitation contemplates award of a service contract to a section 8a certified firm, and includes the provision at Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) sect. 52.219-14, which imposes a limitation on subcontracting to an amount less than 50 percent of the cost of contract performance.

In government proposal writing  and evaluating cases, the agency may determine that only your own capabilities are relevant for purposes of discriminating among the proposals. If the RFP provided for award of a service contract and contained the cited FAR provision, the agency could limit its evaluation to the prime contractor’s capabilities even if receives proposals with SBA 8a certifications.

Whether or not you are an 8a certified business, submitting a government proposal must be done with caution. Understanding the rules of engagement can save a substantial amount of legal costs in filing bid protests or similar actions. Learn more about getting 8(a) Sole Source Contracts With the Government.

When submitting government proposals, a better strategy would be to convince the contracting agency why they should seriously consider your proposed subcontractor’s past performance. Never wait until the decision is made to challenge it. It might be too late. See also information about FAR 52-219-9.

In North State Resources, Inc., B-282140, June 7, 1999, the court made a similar ruling. If you are a government contractor, you must get help when submitting government proposals. The rules do not change even if you are an SBA 8a contractor.

Contact our 8a certification consultants at 1-866-601-5518