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519.705-4 Reviewing the subcontracting plan. Negotiating Goals and Other Aspects of Plans Commercial plans

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519.705-4 Reviewing the subcontracting plan.

519.705-4 Reviewing the subcontracting plan.

      (a)  The contracting officer should provide offerors a model subcontracting plan when determined appropriate, e.g., when it may facilitate evaluation or negotiation. The contracting officer may use the model plan available on OSBU's website at https://insite.gsa.gov/organizations/staff-offices/office-of-small-business-utilization-osbu. Include the following notice on the transmittal, if providing a model in response to a single request, or in the solicitation, if including it as an attachment:

     Notice to Offerors: “GSA provides this model plan as a tool. The contracting officer must adapt this model plan to fit the subcontracting situation. The plan is NOT a fill-in-the-blank form and the contracting officer must remove instructional language. This model does not establish minimum requirements for an acceptable plan. The model reflects objectives GSA encourages contractors to adopt. GSA expects offerors to thoroughly review the requirements set forth in FAR 19.704, Subcontracting Plan Requirements and FAR Clause 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan before submitting their subcontracting plans.”

      (b)  Performance under other contracts is an indicator of an offeror’s understanding of the reasons for the law and benefits of the program.

           (1)  If an offeror prepared a subcontracting plan for another contract, the contracting officer should contact the contracting officer responsible for administering the earlier plan to determine if the offeror met the plan’s objectives and submitted required reports in a timely manner.

           (2)  The contracting officer shall consider overall compliance in the evaluation, not just whether or not the offeror met the goals established in the plan.

           (3)  Submission of timely reports is an indication the offeror takes its responsibilities seriously.

      (c)  The contracting officer shall use the Subcontracting Plan Evaluation Checklist available on OSBU's website at https://insite.gsa.gov/organizations/staff-offices/office-of-small-business-utilization-osbu. and GSAM 519.7 to evaluate an offeror's subcontracting plan.

           (1)  Remember that a positive goal is required to establish a gauge for measuring results and to provide an incentive for continuing efforts to increase the dollar value of subcontracts placed with small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. Carefully scrutinize any subcontracting category (e.g., small business, HUBZone small business, etc.) where the offeror does not specify a goal and accept it only after assuring that no subcontracting opportunities exist. If any category with no goal is accepted, the contracting officer must:

                (i)  Document the file explaining why the goal was accepted; and

                (ii)  Ensure the subcontracting plan includes an assurance that the contractor will make every effort to continue seeking subcontracting opportunities in the category that lacks a goal.

           (2)  One measure of the adequacy of a subcontracting plan is that it provides a challenge to the offeror and then builds upon previous achievements in subsequent contracts.

           (3)  Include in the contract file a basis for determining the subcontracting plan’s acceptability.

      (d)  A contracting officer cannot tell the offeror what its goals must be. The contracting officer may tell the offeror what GSA’s national goals are. Ensure that an offeror’s subcontracting plan reflects realistic goals and provides the maximum opportunity practicable to small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to participate as subcontractors. If necessary, obtain information from the offeror to substantiate the offeror’s proposed goals, past performance with respect to subcontracting, and the proposed good faith effort. This information may include the names of proposed subcontractors and other such data.

      (e)  When a contracting officer receives a subcontracting plan with initial offers, provide an opportunity for the SBTA to review the subcontracting plans of those offers in the competitive range. Allow the SBTA 5 workdays for review. Consider the SBTA’s comments in developing a negotiation strategy.


Negotiating Goals and Other Aspects of Plans

      (f) For complex or large dollar value procurements, when an offeror proposes miniscule or minimally acceptable goals for small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, the contracting officer shall ensure that the offeror has included all subcontracts that contribute to contract performance (see FAR 52.219-9(d)(1)).

      (g)  The contracting officer shall develop a strategy for negotiating the subcontracting plan and goals just as you would for negotiating a contract. Be forceful in negotiating the subcontracting plan and, whenever possible, offer recommendations for subcontracting potential with small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, women-owned small, veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. The contracting officer should suggest organizations the offeror may contact to identify potential sources. For example, offerors may contact any of the following:

           (1)  Local SBA offices. These can provide an offeror assistance in accessing the System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov) database to conduct market research and confirm the eligibility for SBA’s procurement preference programs.

           (2)  Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agencies (MBDAs) at https://www.mbda.gov.

           (3)  GSA SBUCs and SBTAs, as well as OSDBU.

           (4)  State, county, and city government minority business offices.

           (5)  Small, minority, women-owned, and veteran business associations at https://www.gsa.gov/smallbusiness.

           (6)  Local chambers of commerce.

           (7)  Trade associations, professional organizations, and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

           (8)  Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance in identifying Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) at https://www.va.gov/osdbu/.

           (9)  Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) at http://dsbs.sba.gov.

      (h) In developing a negotiation strategy, the contracting officer shall consider whether the offeror’s plan is realistic and does more than merely restate the elements required by FAR clause 52.219-9 and shall question aspects of the plan that do not appear to be realistic or do not demonstrate a serious attempt to address requirements.


Commercial plans

      (i)  Contracting officers shall obtain from the contractor copies of any commercial plan for the company’s current fiscal year and approval document from another GSA contracting activity or another Federal agency. Incorporate these documents into the contract.

      (j)  If GSA is the first agency to enter into a contract with a company during the company’s fiscal year, the contracting officer must approve the commercial plan on behalf of the Federal Government, acknowledge receipt of the Summary Subcontract Report (SSR), accept or reject the SSR in the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS), and evaluate compliance with the approved commercial plan. If contract administration is delegated, the Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) generally is assigned responsibility for accepting or rejecting the SSR and evaluating compliance with the approved commercial plan. Subsequent GSA contracts awarded during the company’s same fiscal year and incorporating the previously approved commercial plan will only require the submission of the Summary Subcontract Report submitted at the end of the Government’s fiscal year.

      (k)  If the commercial plan was approved by another agency, the first GSA contracting officer entering into a contract with the company during the company’s same fiscal year in which the plan was approved, requires the contractor to submit the SSR report and monitors receipt of the report. GSA requires no other monitoring or evaluation of this plan.