Banker Maria Contreras-Sweet is President Obama's nominee to take the reins at SBA, where her duties will include overseeing the government's small-business contracting goals. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA are proposing to amend federal acquisition guidelines to help streamline small business purchasing, according to a notice in the Feb. 3 Federal Register.
The proposed rule would clarify that agencies can continue to claim credit toward their small business spending goals even if the small business has left the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program – as long as the contract award was made while the business was in the program.
However, if the small business no longer represents itself as a small business in future contracts, agencies can no longer count any spending with that company under its small business goals.
Agencies are expected to spend 23 percent of contracting dollars through small business.
The proposed rule also clarifies that the small business status of a company cannot be protested until after a contract award is made, and not during the consideration phase.
Companies, organizations and agencies must submit comments and questions about the proposed rule by April 4.