19.601 General.

(a) A Certificate of Competency (COC) is the certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating that the holder is responsible (with respect to all elements of responsibility, including, but not limited to, capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, tenacity, and limitations on subcontracting) for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific Government contract.

(b) The COC program empowers the SBA to certify to Government contracting officers as to all elements of responsibility of any small business concern to receive and perform a specific Government contract. The COC program does not extend to questions concerning regulatory requirements imposed and enforced by other Federal agencies.

(c) The COC program is applicable to all Government acquisitions except for 8(a) sole-source awards. A contracting officer shall, upon determining an apparent successful small business offeror to be nonresponsible, refer that small business to the SBA for a possible COC, even if the next acceptable offer is from a small business.

(d) When a solicitation requires a small business to adhere to the limitations on subcontracting, a contracting officer’s finding that a small business cannot comply with the limitation shall be treated as an element of responsibility and shall be subject to the COC process. When a solicitation requires a small business to adhere to the definition of a nonmanufacturer, a contracting officer’s determination that the small business does not comply shall be processed in accordance with subpart  19.3.

(e) Contracting officers, including those located overseas, are required to comply with this subpart for U.S. small business concerns.

(f) For the purpose of receiving a COC on an unrestricted acquisition, a small business nonmanufacturer may furnish any end item produced or manufactured in the United States or its outlying areas.