Previous Next

Subpart 19.7—The Small Business Subcontracting Program

19.701  Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

“Alaska Native Corporation (ANC)” means any Regional Corporation, Village Corporation, Urban Corporation, or Group Corporation organized under the laws of the State of Alaska in accordance with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.) and which is considered a minority and economically disadvantaged concern under the criteria at 43 U.S.C. 1626(e)(1). This definition also includes ANC direct and indirect subsidiary corporations, joint ventures, and partnerships that meet the requirements of 43 U.S.C. 1626(e)(2).

“Commercial plan” means a subcontracting plan (including goals) that covers the offeror’s fiscal year and that applies to the entire production of commercial items sold by either the entire company or a portion thereof (e.g., division, plant, or product line).

“Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS)” means the Governmentwide, electronic, web-based system for small business subcontracting program reporting.

“Failure to make a good faith effort to comply with the subcontracting plan” means willful or intentional failure to perform in accordance with the requirements of the subcontracting plan, or willful or intentional action to frustrate the plan.

“Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, group, pueblo, or community, including native villages and native groups (including corporations organized by Kenai, Juneau, Sitka, and Kodiak) as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C.A. 1601 et seq.), that is recognized by the Federal Government as eligible for services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in accordance with 25 U.S.C. 1452(c). This definition also includes Indian-owned economic enterprises that meet the requirements of 25 U.S.C. 1452(e).

“Individual contract plan” means a subcontracting plan that covers the entire contract period (including option periods), applies to a specific contract, and has goals that are based on the offeror’s planned subcontracting in support of the specific contract, except that indirect costs incurred for common or joint purposes may be allocated on a prorated basis to the contract.

“Master plan” means a subcontracting plan that contains all the required elements of an individual contract plan, except goals, and may be incorporated into individual contract plans, provided the master plan has been approved.

“Subcontract” means any agreement (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship) entered into by a Government prime contractor or subcontractor calling for supplies and/or services required for performance of the contract, contract modification, or subcontract.

19.702  Statutory requirements.

Any contractor receiving a contract for more than the simplified acquisition threshold must agree in the contract that small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns will have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in contract performance consistent with its efficient performance. It is further the policy of the United States that its prime contractors establish procedures to ensure the timely payment of amounts due pursuant to the terms of their subcontracts with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns.

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (b) of this section, Section 8(d) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)) imposes the following requirements regarding subcontracting with small businesses and small business subcontracting plans:

(1) In negotiated acquisitions, each solicitation of offers to perform a contract or contract modification, that individually is expected to exceed $550,000 ($1,000,000 for construction) and that has subcontracting possibilities, shall require the apparently successful offeror to submit an acceptable subcontracting plan. If the apparently successful offeror fails to negotiate a subcontracting plan acceptable to the contracting officer within the time limit prescribed by the contracting officer, the offeror will be ineligible for award.

(2) In sealed bidding acquisitions, each invitation for bids to perform a contract or contract modification, that individually is expected to exceed $550,000 ($1,000,000 for construction) and that has subcontracting possibilities, shall require the bidder selected for award to submit a subcontracting plan. If the selected bidder fails to submit a plan within the time limit prescribed by the contracting officer, the bidder will be ineligible for award.

(b) Subcontracting plans (see paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section) are not required—

(1) From small business concerns;

(2) For personal services contracts;

(3) For contracts or contract modifications that will be performed entirely outside of the United States and its outlying areas; or

(4) For modifications to contracts within the general scope of the contract that do not contain the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns (or equivalent prior clauses; e.g., contracts awarded before the enactment of Public Law 95-507).

(c) As stated in 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(8), any contractor or subcontractor failing to comply in good faith with the requirements of the subcontracting plan is in material breach of its contract. Further, 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(4)(F) directs that a contractor’s failure to make a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of the subcontracting plan shall result in the imposition of liquidated damages.

(d) As authorized by 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(11), certain costs incurred by a mentor firm in providing developmental assistance to a protégé firm under the Department of Defense Pilot Mentor-Protégé Program, may be credited as if they were subcontract awards to a protégé firm for the purpose of determining whether the mentor firm attains the applicable goals under any subcontracting plan entered into with any executive agency. However, the mentor-protégé agreement must have been approved by the Director, Small Business Programs of the cognizant DoD military department or defense agency, before developmental assistance costs may be credited against subcontract goals. A list of approved agreements may be obtained at http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/mentor_protege/.

19.703  Eligibility requirements for participating in the program.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section to be eligible as a subcontractor under the program, a concern must represent itself as a small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or woman-owned small business concern.

(1) To represent itself as a small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, or woman-owned small business concern, a concern must meet the appropriate definition (see 2.101 and 19.001).

(2) In connection with a subcontract, or a requirement for which the apparently successful offeror received an evaluation credit for proposing one or more SDB subcontractors, the contracting officer or the SBA may protest the disadvantaged status of a proposed subcontractor. Such protests will be processed in accordance with 13 CFR 124.1015 through 124.1022. Other interested parties may submit information to the contracting officer or the SBA in an effort to persuade the contracting officer or the SBA to initiate a protest. Such protests, in order to be considered timely, must be submitted to the SBA prior to completion of performance by the intended subcontractor.

(b) A contractor acting in good faith may rely on the written representation of its subcontractor regarding the subcontractor’s status as a small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business concern. The clause at 52.219-25, Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Program—Disadvantaged Status and Reporting, requires the contractor to obtain representations of small disadvantaged status from subcontractors through use of a provision substantially the same as paragraph (b)(1)(i) of the provision at 52.219-22, Small Disadvantaged Business Status. The clause requires the contractor to confirm that a subcontractor representing itself as a small disadvantaged business concern is identified by SBA as a small disadvantaged business concern by accessing SBA’s database (PRO-Net) or by contacting the SBA’s Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Certification and Eligibility. The contractor, the contracting officer, or any other interested party can challenge a subcontractor’s size status representation by filing a protest, in accordance with 13 CFR 121.1601 through 121.1608. Protests challenging a subcontractor’s small disadvantaged business representation must be filed in accordance with 13 CFR 124.1015 through 124.1022.

(c)(1) In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 1626, the following procedures apply:

(i) Subcontracts awarded to an ANC or Indian tribe shall be counted towards the subcontracting goals for small business and small disadvantaged business (SDB) concerns, regardless of the size or Small Business Administration certification status of the ANC or Indian tribe.

(ii) Where one or more subcontractors are in the subcontract tier between the prime contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate the appropriate contractor(s) to count the subcontract towards its small business and small disadvantaged business subcontracting goals.

(A) In most cases, the appropriate contractor is the contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe.

(B) If the ANC or Indian tribe designates more than one contractor to count the subcontract toward its goals, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate only a portion of the total subcontract award to each contractor. The sum of the amounts designated to various contractors cannot exceed the total value of the subcontract.

(C) The ANC or Indian tribe shall give a copy of the written designation to the contracting officer, the prime contractor, and the subcontractors in between the prime contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe within 30 days of the date of the subcontract award.

(D) If the contracting officer does not receive a copy of the ANC's or the Indian tribe’s written designation within 30 days of the subcontract award, the contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe will be considered the designated contractor.

(2) A contractor acting in good faith may rely on the written representation of an ANC or an Indian tribe as to the status of the ANC or Indian tribe unless an interested party challenges its status or the contracting officer has independent reason to question its status. In the event of a challenge of a representation of an ANC or Indian tribe, the interested parties shall follow the procedures at 26.103(b) through (e).

(d)(1) The contractor shall confirm that a subcontractor representing itself as a HUBZone small business concern is certified by SBA as a HUBZone small business concern by accessing the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database or by contacting the SBA. Options for contacting the SBA include—

(i) HUBZone web page at http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/dsp_searchhubzone.cfm;

(ii) In writing to the—

AA/HUB,
U.S. Small Business Administration,
409 3rd Street, S.W.,
Washington DC 20416; or

(iii) E-mail at hubzone@sba.gov.

(2) Protests challenging HUBZone small business concern size status must be filed in accordance with 13 CFR 121.411.

19.704  Subcontracting plan requirements.

(a) Each subcontracting plan required under 19.702(a)(1) and (2) must include—

(1) Separate percentage goals for using small business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes) and women-owned small business concerns as subcontractors;

(2) A statement of the total dollars planned to be subcontracted and a statement of the total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes) and women-owned small business concerns;

(3) A description of the principal types of supplies and services to be subcontracted and an identification of types planned for subcontracting to small business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), and women-owned small business concerns;

(4) A description of the method used to develop the subcontracting goals;

(5) A description of the method used to identify potential sources for solicitation purposes;

(6) A statement as to whether or not the offeror included indirect costs in establishing subcontracting goals, and a description of the method used to determine the proportionate share of indirect costs to be incurred with small business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), and women-owned small business concerns;

(7) The name of an individual employed by the offeror who will administer the offeror’s subcontracting program, and a description of the duties of the individual;

(8) A description of the efforts the offeror will make to ensure that small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns have an equitable opportunity to compete for subcontracts;

(9) Assurances that the offeror will include the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns (see 19.708(a)), in all subcontracts that offer further subcon- tracting opportunities, and that the offeror will require all subcontractors (except small business concerns) that receive subcontracts in excess of $550,000 ($1,000,000 for construction) to adopt a plan that complies with the requirements of the clause at 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan (see 19.708(b));

(10) Assurances that the offeror will—

(i) Cooperate in any studies or surveys as may be required;

(ii) Submit periodic reports so that the Government can determine the extent of compliance by the offeror with the subcontracting plan;

(iii) Submit the Individual Subcontract Report (ISR), and the Summary Subcontract Report (SSR) using the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) (http://www.esrs.gov), following the instructions in the eSRS;

(iv) Ensure that its subcontractors with subcontracting plans agree to submit the ISR and/or the SSR using the eSRS;

(v) Provide its prime contract number and its DUNS number and the e-mail address of the Government or Contractor official responsible for acknowledging or rejecting the reports, to all first-tier subcontractors with subcontracting plans so they can enter this information into the eSRS when submitting their reports; and

(vi) Require that each subcontractor with a subcontracting plan provide the prime contract number and its own DUNS number, and the e-mail address of the Government or Contractor official responsible for acknowledging or rejecting the reports, to its subcontractors with subcontracting plans.

(11) A description of the types of records that will be maintained concerning procedures adopted to comply with the requirements and goals in the plan, including establishing source lists; and a description of the offeror’s efforts to locate small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns and to award subcontracts to them.

(b) Contractors may establish, on a plant or division-wide basis, a master plan (see 19.701) that contains all the elements required by the clause at 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, except goals. Master plans shall be effective for a 3-year period after approval by the contracting officer; however, it is incumbent upon contractors to maintain and update master plans. Changes required to update master plans are not effective until approved by the contracting officer. A master plan, when incorporated in an individual plan, shall apply to that contract throughout the life of the contract.

(c) For multiyear contracts or contracts containing options, the cumulative value of the basic contract and all options is considered in determining whether a subcontracting plan is necessary (see 19.705-2(a)). If a plan is necessary and the offeror is submitting an individual contract plan, the plan shall contain all the elements required by paragraph (a) of this section and shall contain separate statements and goals for the basic contract and for each option.

(d) A commercial plan (as defined in 19.701) is the preferred type of subcontracting plan for contractors furnishing commercial items. Once a contractor’s commercial plan has been approved, the Government shall not require another subcontracting plan from the same contractor while the plan remains in effect, as long as the product or service being provided by the contractor continues to meet the definition of a commercial item. The contractor shall—

(1) Submit the commercial plan to either the first contracting officer awarding a contract subject to the plan during the contractor’s fiscal year, or, if the contractor has ongoing contracts with commercial plans, to the contracting officer responsible for the contract with the latest completion date. The contracting officer shall negotiate the commercial plan for the Government. The approved commercial plan shall remain in effect during the contractor’s fiscal year for all Government contracts in effect during that period;

(2) Submit a new commercial plan, 30 working days before the end of the Contractor’s fiscal year, to the contracting officer responsible for the uncompleted Government contract with the latest completion date. The contractor must provide to each contracting officer responsible for an ongoing contract subject to the plan, the identity of the contracting officer that will be negotiating the new plan;

(3) When the new commercial plan is approved, provide a copy of the approved plan to each contracting officer responsible for an ongoing contract that is subject to the plan; and

(4) Comply with the reporting requirements stated in paragraph (a)(10) of this section by submitting one SSR in eSRS, for all contracts covered by its commercial plan. This report will be acknowledged or rejected in eSRS by the contracting officer who approved the plan. The report shall be submitted within 30 days after the end of the Government’s fiscal year.

19.705  Responsibilities of the contracting officer under the subcontracting assistance program.

19.705-1  General support of the program.

The contracting officer may encourage the development of increased subcontracting opportunities in negotiated acquisition by providing monetary incentives such as payments based on actual subcontracting achievement or award-fee contracting (see the clause at 52.219-10, Incentive Subcontracting Program, and 19.708(c)). This subsection does not apply to SDB subcontracting (see 19.1203). When using any contractual incentive provision based upon rewarding the contractor monetarily for exceeding goals in the subcontracting plan, the contracting officer must ensure that (a) the goals are realistic and (b) any rewards for exceeding the goals are commensurate with the efforts the contractor would not have otherwise expended. Incentive provisions should normally be negotiated after reaching final agreement with the contractor on the subcontracting plan.

19.705-2  Determining the need for a subcontracting plan.

The contracting officer must take the following actions to determine whether a proposed contractual action requires a subcontracting plan:

(a) Determine whether the proposed contractual action will meet the dollar threshold in 19.702(a)(1) or (2). If the action includes options or similar provisions, include their value in determining whether the threshold is met.

(b) Determine whether subcontracting possibilities exist by considering relevant factors such as—

(1) Whether firms engaged in the business of furnishing the types of items to be acquired customarily contract for performance of part of the work or maintain sufficient in-house capability to perform the work; and

(2) Whether there are likely to be product prequalification requirements.

(c) If it is determined that there are no subcontracting possibilities, the determination must be approved at a level above the contracting officer and placed in the contract file.

(d) In solicitations for negotiated acquisitions, the contracting officer may require the submission of subcontracting plans with initial offers, or at any other time prior to award. In determining when subcontracting plans should be required, as well as when and with whom plans should be negotiated, the contracting officer must consider the integrity of the competitive process, the goal of affording maximum practicable opportunity for small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns to participate, and the burden placed on offerors.

(e) A contract may have no more than one plan. When a modification meets the criteria in 19.702 for a plan, or an option is exercised, the goals associated with the modification or option shall be added to those in the existing subcontract plan.

19.705-3  Preparing the solicitation.

The contracting officer shall provide the Small Business Administration's (SBA’s) procurement center representative (or, if a procurement center representative is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) a reasonable period of time to review any solicitation requiring submission of a subcontracting plan and to submit advisory findings before the solicitation is issued.

19.705-4  Reviewing the subcontracting plan.

The contracting officer must review the subcontracting plan for adequacy, ensuring that the required information, goals, and assurances are included (see 19.704).

(a) No detailed standards apply to every subcontracting plan. Instead, the contracting officer must consider each plan in terms of the circumstances of the particular acquisition, including—

(1) Previous involvement of small business concerns as prime contractors or subcontractors in similar acquisitions;

(2) Proven methods of involving small business concerns as subcontractors in similar acquisitions; and

(3) The relative success of methods the contractor intends to use to meet the goals and requirements of the plan, as evidenced by records maintained by contractors.

(b) If, under a sealed bid solicitation, a bidder submits a plan that does not cover each of the 11 required elements (see 19.704), the contracting officer shall advise the bidder of the deficiency and request submission of a revised plan by a specific date. If the bidder does not submit a plan that incorporates the required elements within the time allotted, the bidder shall be ineligible for award. If the plan, although responsive, evidences the bidder’s intention not to comply with its obligations under the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns, the contracting officer may find the bidder nonresponsible.

(c) In negotiated acquisitions, the contracting officer shall determine whether the plan is acceptable based on the negotiation of each of the 11 elements of the plan (see 19.704). Subcontracting goals should be set at a level that the parties reasonably expect can result from the offeror expending good faith efforts to use small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business subcontractors to the maximum practicable extent. The contracting officer shall take particular care to ensure that the offeror has not submitted unreasonably low goals to minimize exposure to liquidated damages and to avoid the administrative burden of substantiating good faith efforts. Additionally, particular attention should be paid to the identification of steps that, if taken, would be considered a good faith effort. No goal should be negotiated upward if it is apparent that a higher goal will significantly increase the Government’s cost or seriously impede the attainment of acquisition objectives. An incentive subcontracting clause (see 52.219-10, Incentive Subcontracting Program), may be used when additional and unique contract effort, such as providing technical assistance, could significantly increase subcontract awards to small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, or women-owned small business concerns.

(d) In determining the acceptability of a proposed subcontracting plan, the contracting officer should take the following actions:

(1) Obtain information available from the cognizant contract administration office, as provided for in 19.706(a), and evaluate the offeror’s past performance in awarding subcontracts for the same or similar products or services to small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. If information is not available on a specific type of product or service, evaluate the offeror’s overall past performance and consider the performance of other contractors on similar efforts.

(2) In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(4)(F)(iii), ensure that the goals offered are attainable in relation to—

(i) The subcontracting opportunities available to the contractor, commensurate with the efficient and economical performance of the contract;

(ii) The pool of eligible subcontractors available to fulfill the subcontracting opportunities; and

(iii) The actual performance of such contractor in fulfilling the subcontracting goals specified in prior plans.

(3) Ensure that the subcontracting goals are consistent with the offeror’s cost or pricing data or information other than cost or pricing data.

(4) Evaluate the offeror’s make-or-buy policy or program to ensure that it does not conflict with the offeror’s proposed subcontracting plan and is in the Government’s interest. If the contract involves products or services that are particularly specialized or not generally available in the commercial market, consider the offeror’s current capacity to perform the work and the possibility of reduced subcontracting opportunities.

(5) Evaluate subcontracting potential, considering the offeror’s make-or-buy policies or programs, the nature of the supplies or services to be subcontracted, the known availability of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns in the geographical area where the work will be performed, and the potential contractor’s long-standing contractual relationship with its suppliers.

(6) Advise the offeror of available sources of information on potential small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business subcontractors, as well as any specific concerns known to be potential subcontractors. If the offeror’s proposed goals are questionable, the contracting officer must emphasize that the information should be used to develop realistic and acceptable goals.

(7) Obtain advice and recommendations from the SBA procurement center representative (or, if a procurement center representative is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) and the agency small business specialist.

19.705-5  Awards involving subcontracting plans.

(a) In making an award that requires a subcontracting plan, the contracting officer shall be responsible for the following:

(1) Consider the contractor’s compliance with the subcontracting plans submitted on previous contracts as a factor in determining contractor responsibility.

(2) Assure that a subcontracting plan was submitted when required.

(3) Notify the SBA procurement center representative (or, if a procurement center representative is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) of the opportunity to review the proposed contract (including the plan and supporting documentation). The notice shall be issued in sufficient time to provide the representative a reasonable time to review the material and submit advisory recommendations to the contracting officer. Failure of the representative to respond in a reasonable period of time shall not delay contract award.

(4) Determine any fee that may be payable if an incentive is used in conjunction with the subcontracting plan.

(5) Ensure that an acceptable plan is incorporated into and made a material part of the contract.

(b) Letter contracts and similar undefinitized instruments, which would otherwise meet the requirements of 19.702(a)(1) and (2), shall contain at least a preliminary basic plan addressing the requirements of 19.704 and in such cases require the negotiation of the final plan within 90 days after award or before definitization, whichever occurs first.

19.705-6  Postaward responsibilities of the contracting officer.

After a contract or contract modification containing a subcontracting plan is awarded, the contracting officer who approved the plan is responsible for the following:

(a) Notifying the SBA of the award by sending a copy of the award document to the Area Director, Office of Government Contracting, in the SBA area office where the contract will be performed.

(b) Forwarding a copy of each commercial plan and any associated approvals to the Area Director, Office of Government Contracting, in the SBA area office where the contractor’s headquarters is located.

(c) Giving to the SBA procurement center representative (or, if a procurement center representative is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) a copy of—

(1) Any subcontracting plan submitted in response to a sealed bid solicitation; and

(2) The final negotiated subcontracting plan that was incorporated into a negotiated contract or contract modification.

(d) Notifying the SBA procurement center representative (or, if a procurement center representative is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) of the opportunity to review subcontracting plans in connection with contract modifications.

(e) Forwarding a copy of each plan, or a determination that there is no requirement for a subcontracting plan, to the cognizant contract administration office.

(f) Initiating action to assess liquidated damages in accordance with 19.705-7 upon a recommendation by the administrative contracting officer or receipt of other reliable evidence to indicate that such action is warranted.

(g) Taking action to enforce the terms of the contract upon receipt of a notice under 19.706(f).

(h) Acknowledging receipt of or rejecting the ISR and the SSR in the eSRS. Acknowledging receipt does not mean acceptance or approval of the report. The report shall be rejected if it is not adequately completed. Failure to meet the goals of the subcontracting plan is not a valid reason for rejecting the report.

19.705-7  Liquidated damages.

(a) Maximum practicable utilization of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns as subcontractors in Government contracts is a matter of national interest with both social and economic benefits. When a contractor fails to make a good faith effort to comply with a subcontracting plan, these objectives are not achieved, and 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(4)(F) directs that liquidated damages shall be paid by the contractor.

(b) The amount of damages attributable to the contractor’s failure to comply shall be an amount equal to the actual dollar amount by which the contractor failed to achieve each subcontracting goal.

(c) If, at completion of the basic contract or any option, or in the case of a commercial plan, at the close of the fiscal year for which the plan is applicable, a contractor has failed to meet its subcontracting goals, the contracting officer shall review all available information for an indication that the contractor has not made a good faith effort to comply with the plan. If no such indication is found, the contracting officer shall document the file accordingly. If the contracting officer decides in accordance with paragraph (d) of this subsection that the contractor failed to make a good faith effort to comply with its subcontracting plan, the contracting officer shall give the contractor written notice specifying the failure, advising the contractor of the possibility that the contractor may have to pay to the Government liquidated damages, and providing a period of 15 working days (or longer period as necessary) within which to respond. The notice shall give the contractor an opportunity to demonstrate what good faith efforts have been made before the contracting officer issues the final decision, and shall further state that failure of the contractor to respond may be taken as an admission that no valid explanation exists.

(d) In determining whether a contractor failed to make a good faith effort to comply with its subcontracting plan, a contracting officer must look to the totality of the contractor’s actions, consistent with the information and assurances provided in its plan. The fact that the contractor failed to meet its subcontracting goals does not, in and of itself, constitute a failure to make a good faith effort. For example, notwithstanding a contractor’s diligent effort to identify and solicit offers from small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns, factors such as unavailability of anticipated sources or unreasonable prices may frustrate achievement of the contractor’s goals. However, when considered in the context of the contractor’s total effort in accordance with its plan, the following, though not all inclusive, may be considered as indicators of a failure to make a good faith effort: a failure to attempt to identify, contact, solicit, or consider for contract award small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or women-owned small business concerns; a failure to designate and maintain a company official to administer the subcontracting program and monitor and enforce compliance with the plan; a failure to submit the ISR, or the SSR, using the eSRS, or as provided in agency regulations; a failure to maintain records or otherwise demonstrate procedures adopted to comply with the plan; or the adoption of company policies or procedures that have as their objectives the frustration of the objectives of the plan.

(e) If, after consideration of all the pertinent data, the contracting officer finds that the contractor failed to make a good faith effort to comply with its subcontracting plan, the contracting officer shall issue a final decision to the contractor to that effect and require the payment of liquidated damages in an amount stated. The contracting officer’s final decision shall state that the contractor has the right to appeal under the clause in the contract entitled Disputes.

(f) With respect to commercial plans approved under the clause at 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, the contracting officer that approved the plan shall—

(1) Perform the functions of the contracting officer under this subsection on behalf of all agencies with contracts covered by the commercial plan;

(2) Determine whether or not the goals in the commercial plan were achieved and, if they were not achieved, review all available information for an indication that the contractor has not made a good faith effort to comply with the plan, and document the results of the review;

(3) If a determination is made to assess liquidated damages, in order to calculate and assess the amount of damages, the contracting officer shall ask the contractor to provide—

(i) Contract numbers for the Government contracts subject to the plan;

(ii) The total Government sales during the contractor’s fiscal year; and

(iii) The amount of payments made under the Government contracts subject to that plan that contributed to the contractor’s total sales during the contractor’s fiscal year; and

(4) When appropriate, assess liquidated damages on the Government’s behalf, based on the pro rata share of subcontracting attributable to the Government contracts. For example: The contractor’s total actual sales were $50 million and its actual subcontracting was $20 million. The Government’s total payments under contracts subject to the plan contributing to the contractor’s total sales were $5 million, which accounted for 10 percent of the contractor’s total sales. Therefore, the pro rata share of subcontracting attributable to the Government contracts would be 10 percent of $20 million, or $2 million. To continue the example, if the contractor failed to achieve its small business goal by 1 percent, the liquidated damages would be calculated as 1 percent of $2 million, or $20,000. The contracting officer shall make similar calculations for each category of small business where the contractor failed to achieve its goal and the sum of the dollars for all of the categories equals the amount of the liquidated damages to be assessed. A copy of the contracting officer’s final decision assessing liquidated damages shall be provided to other contracting officers with contracts subject to the commercial plan.

(g) Liquidated damages shall be in addition to any other remedies that Government may have.

(h) Every contracting officer with a contract that is subject to a commercial plan shall include in the contract file a copy of the approved plan and a copy of the final decision assessing liquidating damages, if applicable.

19.706  Responsibilities of the cognizant administrative contracting officer.

The administrative contracting officer is responsible for assisting in evaluating subcontracting plans, and for monitoring, evaluating, and documenting contractor performance under the clause prescribed in 19.708(b) and any subcontracting plan included in the contract. The contract administration office shall provide the necessary information and advice to support the contracting officer, as appropriate, by furnishing—

(a) Documentation on the contractor’s performance and compliance with subcontracting plans under previous contracts;

(b) Information on the extent to which the contractor is meeting the plan’s goals for subcontracting with eligible small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns;

(c) Information on whether the contractor’s efforts to ensure the participation of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns are in accordance with its subcontracting plan;

(d) Information on whether the contractor is requiring its subcontractors to adopt similar subcontracting plans;

(e) Immediate notice if, during performance, the contractor is failing to meet its commitments under the clause prescribed in 19.708(b) or the subcontracting plan;

(f) Immediate notice and rationale if, during performance, the contractor is failing to comply in good faith with the subcontracting plan; and

(g) Immediate notice that performance under a contract is complete, that the goals were or were not met, and, if not met, whether there is any indication of a lack of a good faith effort to comply with the subcontracting plan.

19.707  The Small Business Administration’s role in carrying out the program.

(a) Under the program, the SBA may—

(1) Assist both Government agencies and contractors in carrying out their responsibilities with regard to subcontracting plans;

(2) Review (within 5 working days) any solicitation that meets the dollar threshold in 19.702(a)(1) or (2) before the solicitation is issued;

(3) Review (within 5 working days) before execution any negotiated contractual document requiring a subcontracting plan, including the plan itself, and submit recommendations to the contracting officer, which shall be advisory in nature; and

(4) Evaluate compliance with subcontracting plans, either on a contract-by-contract basis, or, in the case of contractors having multiple contracts, on an aggregate basis.

(b) The SBA is not authorized to—

(1) Prescribe the extent to which any contractor or subcontractor shall subcontract,

(2) Specify concerns to which subcontracts will be awarded, or

(3) Exercise any authority regarding the administration of individual prime contracts or subcontracts.

19.708  Contract clauses.

(a) Insert the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns, in solicitations and contracts when the contract amount is expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold unless—

(1) A personal services contract is contemplated (see 37.104); or

(2) The contract, together with all of its subcontracts, will be performed entirely outside of the United States and its outlying areas.

(b)(1) Insert the clause at 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, in solicitations and contracts that offer subcontracting possibilities, are expected to exceed $550,000 ($1,000,000 for construction of any public facility), and are required to include the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns, unless the acquisition is set aside or is to be accomplished under the 8(a) program. When contracting by sealed bidding rather than by negotiation, the contracting officer shall use the clause with its Alternate I. When contracting by negotiation, and subcontracting plans are required with initial proposals as provided for in 19.705-2(d), the contracting officer shall use the clause with its Alternate II.

(2) Insert the clause at 52.219-16, Liquidated Damages—Subcontracting Plan, in all solicitations and contracts containing the clause at 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, or the clause with its Alternate I or II.

(c)(1) The contracting officer may, when contracting by negotiation, insert in solicitations and contracts a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.219-10, Incentive Subcontracting Program, when a subcontracting plan is required (see 19.702), and inclusion of a monetary incentive is, in the judgment of the contracting officer, necessary to increase subcontracting opportunities for small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, and women-owned small business concerns, and is commensurate with the efficient and economical performance of the contract; unless the conditions in paragraph (c)(3) of this section are applicable. The contracting officer may vary the terms of the clause as specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) Various approaches may be used in the development of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, and women-owned small business concerns’ subcontracting incentives. They can take many forms, from a fully quantified schedule of payments based on actual subcontract achievement to an award-fee approach employing subjective evaluation criteria (see paragraph (c)(3) of this section). The incentive should not reward the contractor for results other than those that are attributable to the contractor’s efforts under the incentive subcontracting program.

(3) As specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the contracting officer may include small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, and women-owned small business subcontracting as one of the factors to be considered in determining the award fee in a cost-plus-award-fee contract; in such cases, however, the contracting officer shall not use the clause at 52.219-10, Incentive Subcontracting Program.


Previous Next