New SBA Government Contract Rules to Take Effect

"On December 20, 2004, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a final rule imposing new responsibilities on prime contractors to ensure that small businesses have significant opportunities to participate in the performance of federal government contracts.1 This rule becomes effective on March 14, 2005...

The rule contains a lengthy list of possible “efforts” a prime contractor may undertake—and which SBA will evaluate—to provide small businesses subcontracting opportunities. These efforts include:

*Breaking out contract work items into economically feasible units, as appropriate, to facilitate small business participation.
*Conducting a reasonable amount of market research to identify small business subcontractors and suppliers. This may include utilization of small business associations and local government-run small business assistance offices.
*Soliciting and providing sufficient information regarding the proposal to small business concerns as early in the acquisition as practicable to allow them sufficient time to submit a timely offer.
*Negotiating in good faith with small businesses.
*Directing to the SBA interested small businesses that require assistance.
*Assisting interested small businesses in obtaining financing, bonding, insurance, and other tools.
*Participating in the mentor-protégé program."

From this Public Contracts Advisory.