(a) Upon determining and documenting that an apparent successful small business offeror lacks certain elements of responsibility (including, but not limited to, capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, tenacity, and limitations on subcontracting, but for sureties see 28.101-3(f) and 28.203-1(e)), the contracting officer shall-
(1) Withhold contract award (see 19.602-3); and
(2) Refer the matter to the cognizant SBA Government Contracting Area Office (Area Office) serving the area in which the headquarters of the offeror is located, in accordance with agency procedures, except that referral is not necessary if the small business concern-
(i) Is determined to be unqualified and ineligible because it does not meet the standard in 9.104-1(g), provided, that the determination is approved by the chief of the contracting office; or
(ii) Is suspended or debarred under Executive Order 11246 or subpart 9.4.
(b) If a partial set-aside is involved, the contracting officer shall refer to the SBA the entire quantity to which the concern may be entitled, if responsible.
(c) The referral shall include-
(1) A notice that a small business concern has been determined to be nonresponsible, specifying the elements of responsibility the contracting officer found lacking; and
(2) If applicable, a copy of the following:
(ii) Final offer submitted by the concern whose responsibility is at issue for the procurement.
(iii) Abstract of bids or the contracting officer’s price negotiation memorandum.
(iv) Preaward survey.
(v) Technical data package (including drawings, specifications and statement of work).
(vi) Any other justification and documentation used to arrive at the nonresponsibility determination.
(d) For any single acquisition, the contracting officer shall make only one referral at a time regarding a determination of nonresponsibility.
(e) Contract award shall be withheld by the contracting officer for a period of 15 business days (or longer if agreed to by the SBA and the contracting officer) following receipt by the appropriate SBA Area Office of a referral that includes all required documentation.