Subpart 19.4- Cooperation with the Small Business Administration
- (a) The Small Business Act is the authority under which the Small Business Administration (SBA) and agencies consult and cooperate with each other in formulating policies to ensure that small business interests will be recognized and protected.
- (b) The Director of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization serves as the agency focal point for interfacing with SBA.
19.402 Small Business Administration procurement center representatives.
- (a) The SBA may assign one or more procurement center representatives to any contracting activity or contract administration office to carry out SBA policies and programs. Assigned SBA procurement center representatives are required to comply with the contracting agency's directives governing the conduct of contracting personnel and the release of contract information. The SBA must obtain for its procurement center representatives security clearances required by the contracting agency.
- (b) Upon their request and subject to applicable acquisition and security regulations, contracting officers shall give SBA procurement center representatives access to all reasonably obtainable contract information that is directly pertinent to their official duties.
- (c) The duties assigned by SBA to its procurement center representatives include the following:
- (1) Reviewing proposed acquisitions to recommend-
- (i) The setting aside of selected acquisitions not unilaterally set aside by the contracting officer,
- (ii) New qualified small, veteran-owned small, service-disabled veteran-owned small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business sources, and
- (iii) Breakout of components for competitive acquisitions.
- (2) Reviewing proposed acquisition packages provided in accordance with 19.202-1(e). If the SBA procurement center representative believes that the acquisition, as proposed, makes it unlikely that small businesses can compete for the prime contract, the representative shall recommend any alternate contracting method that the representative reasonably believes will increase small business prime contracting opportunities. The recommendation shall be made to the contracting officer within 15 days after receipt of the package.
- (3) Recommending concerns for inclusion on solicitation mailing lists or on a list of concerns to be solicited in a specific acquisition.
- (4) Appealing to the chief of the contracting office any contracting officer's determination not to solicit a concern recommended by the SBA for a particular acquisition, when not doing so results in no small business being solicited.
- (5) Conducting periodic reviews of the contracting activity to which assigned to ascertain whether it is complying with the small business policies in this regulation.
- (6) Sponsoring and participating in conferences and training designed to increase small business participation in the contracting activities of the office.
19.403 Small Business Administration breakout procurement center representative.
- (a) The SBA is required by section 403 of Pub. L. 98-577 to assign a breakout procurement center representative to each major procurement center. A major procurement center means a procurement center that, in the opinion of the administrator, purchases substantial dollar amounts of other than commercial items, and which has the potential to incur significant savings as a result of the placement of a breakout procurement representative. The SBA breakout procurement center representative is an advocate for (1) the appropriate use of full and open competition, and (2) the breakout of items, when appropriate and while maintaining the integrity of the system in which such items are used. The SBA breakout procurement center representative is in addition to the SBA procurement center representative (see 19.402). When an SBA breakout procurement center representative is assigned, the SBA is required to assign at least two collocated small business technical advisors. Assigned SBA breakout procurement center representatives and technical advisors are required to comply with the contracting agency's directives governing the conduct of contracting personnel and the release of contract information. The SBA must obtain for its breakout procurement center representatives and technical advisors security clearances required by the contracting agency.
- (b) Contracting officers shall comply with 19.402(b) in their relationships with SBA breakout procurement center representatives and SBA small business technical advisors.
- (c) The SBA breakout procurement center representative is authorized to-
- (1) Attend any provisioning conference or similar evaluation session during which determinations are made as to whether requirements are to be acquired using other than full and open competition and make recommendations with respect to such requirements to the members of such conference or session;
- (2) Review, at any time, restrictions on competition previously imposed on items through acquisition method coding or similar procedures and recommend to personnel of the appropriate activity the prompt reevaluation of such limitations;
- (3) Review restrictions on competition arising out of restrictions on the rights of the United States in technical data and, when appropriate, recommend that personnel of the appropriate activity initiate a review of the validity of such an asserted restriction;
- (4) Obtain from any governmental source, and make available to personnel of the appropriate center, technical data necessary for the preparation of a competitive solicitation package for any item of supply or service previously acquired noncompetitively due to the unavailability of such technical data;
- (5) Have access to procurement records and other data of the procurement center commensurate with the level of such representative's approved security clearance classification;
- (6) Receive unsolicited engineering proposals and, when appropriate-
- (i) Conduct a value analysis of such proposal to determine whether it, if adopted, will result in lower costs to the United States without substantially impeding legitimate acquisition objectives and forward to personnel of the appropriate center recommendations with respect to such proposal; or
- (ii) Forward such proposals without analysis to personnel of the center responsible for reviewing them who shall furnish the breakout procurement center representative with information regarding the proposal's disposition;
- (7) Review the systems that account for the acquisition and management of technical data within the procurement center to ensure that such systems provide the maximum availability and access to data needed for the preparation of offers to sell to the United States those supplies to which such data pertain which potential offerors are entitled to receive;
- (8) Appeal the failure by the procurement center to act favorably on any recommendation made pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) through (7) of this section. Such appeal must be in writing and shall be filed and processed in accordance with the appeal procedures set out at 19.505;
- (9) Conduct familiarization sessions for contracting officers and other appropriate personnel of the procurement center to which assigned. Such sessions shall acquaint the participants with the duties and objectives of the representative and shall instruct them in the methods designed to further the breakout of items for procurement through full and open competition; and
- (10) Prepare and personally deliver an annual briefing and report to the head of the procurement center to which assigned. Such briefing and report shall detail the past and planned activities of the representative and shall contain recommendations for improvement in the operation of the center as may be appropriate. The head of such center shall personally receive the briefing and report and shall, within 60 calendar days after receipt, respond, in writing, to each recommendation made by the representative.
- (d) The duties of the SBA small business technical advisors are to assist the SBA breakout procurement center representative in carrying out the activities described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (7) of this section to assist the SBA procurement center representatives (see FAR 19.402).