Small and Disadvantaged Business Acquisition Policy
Effective September 1, 2020
The Board is committed to providing small businesses and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses with an equitable opportunity to compete, as a prime contractor or a subcontractor, in Board acquisitions conducted pursuant to the formal bidding procedures, negotiated procurement procedures, or other acquisition procedures of the Board's Acquisition policy, to the extent that this opportunity is consistent with efficient contract performance. This policy establishes the Board's guidelines for acquisitions from small or disadvantaged businesses.
Contracting officer means a person with authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the Board.
Covered company means a firm qualified as a small business concern under the Small Business Act (15 USC 632) and regulations thereunder, including (1) business concerns that meet the size eligibility standards set forth in 13 CFR 121; (2) small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans or service-disabled veterans as defined by 15 USC 632(q); (3) qualified HUBZone small business concerns pursuant to 15 USC 632(p) and 13 CFR 126; (4) socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns as defined by 15 USC 637 and certified as such under 13 CFR 124; and (5) small business concerns owned and controlled by women as defined by 15 USC 632(n).
Responsible covered company means a covered company that, in the Board's opinion, possesses the skill, ability, integrity, and financial and other resources necessary for the faithful performance of the work and that has complied with all requirements set forth in the solicitation.
Responsive means conforming in all material respects to the requirements of the solicitation.
The supplier diversity program manager shall act as a small-company specialist, whose responsibilities will include the following:
- Compiling and maintaining comprehensive lists of covered companies.
- Performing a comprehensive review of capabilities of covered companies in consultation with the contracting officer and others as appropriate, including, but not limited to the covered company's
- financial health, which may include a review of balance sheets and related statements of income and retained earnings and cash flow, review of business summary, and review of Dun & Bradstreet reports;
- past performance, which may include a review of information obtained from the covered company, Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) reports, other databases, questionnaires and interviews; and
- registration and eligibility information from the federal government's System for Award Management (SAM).
- Consulting with the contracting officer to implement these guidelines.
- Recommending to the contracting officer acquisition procedures that are designed to increase the opportunities for covered companies to do business with the Board.
- Helping the contracting officer develop set-aside and preference procedures for covered companies.
- Collaborating with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion regarding the involvement of minority- and women-owned companies in Board's acquisitions.
- Making available to covered companies material that sets forth (1) the general nature of the Board's business, (2) the Board's acquisition procedures, (3) the procedure for obtaining information about the Board's proposed purchases, (4) the types of purchases that may be set aside for covered companies, and (5) the individual to contact for further information.
To be eligible for a contract award as a covered company, an offeror must represent in its offer that it is a covered company. The contracting officer shall accept an offeror's representation that it is a covered company unless (1) another offeror or interested party challenges the company's representation or (2) the contracting officer has reason to question the representation. The contracting officer's decision regarding whether an offeror is a covered company may be appealed to the chief acquisition officer, whose decision will be final. If the chief acquisition officer is the contracting officer, the decision on appeal will be made by the director of the Division of Financial Management.
To encourage maximum participation by covered companies, the contracting officer will make reasonable efforts to include covered companies as prospective suppliers for goods, services, and construction.
General Acquisition Procedures
To help covered companies compete for Board contracts, the contracting officer will
- consider formulating acquisition procedures or designing the solicitation in such a way as to facilitate or encourage participation by covered companies (for example, the contracting officer may consider lengthening delivery schedules and the time for the submission of offers, or the officer may consider dividing proposed acquisitions to permit offers in quantities less than the total requirement); and
- send solicitations to qualified covered companies to the maximum extent possible.
Set-Aside, Preference, and Subcontracting Procedures
Each acquisition of supplies or services procured using the standard acquisition method of General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule or other federal/governmentwide contract, formal bidding, or negotiated procurement that has an anticipated annual cost exceeding $10,000 in any contract year, but not over $100,000, shall be set aside for covered companies unless the contracting officer determines there is no reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible covered companies that are competitive in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery.
To further the Board's policy of assisting covered companies, the contracting officer may, at their discretion, elect to set aside an acquisition for covered companies in circumstances where a set-aside is not required by this policy, provided that there is a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible covered companies that are competitive in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery. If a reasonable, responsive offer is not received from a covered company (e.g., a covered company's quotation exceeds fair market price or the product offered is determined not to meet Board standards or requirements), the contracting officer may cancel the set-aside and acquire the goods and services from a noncovered company in accordance with one of the methods set forth in the Board's Acquisition policy.
Except for the set-aside acquisitions described below, if a responsible covered company submits a responsive offer, the contracting officer shall, for the purpose of price evaluation, add to each noncovered company's offer the following factor(s): 3 percent of the amount up to $500,000, plus 1 percent for any amount of the offer that exceeds $500,000. After applying this price adjustment, the contracting officer will select the offer as provided under the evaluation criteria set forth in the acquisition.
No price adjustment will be calculated in any of the following acquisitions, even if a covered company is a bidder: (1) the total value of the contract is equal to or less than $100,000, (2) the acquisition is a set-aside under this policy, (3) the covered company has executed a waiver of the price preference, (4) price is not a factor in the evaluation, or (5) the contract is being awarded pursuant to the Trade Agreements Act or another international agreement.
Except for solicitations for services that are personal in nature, each noncovered company whose total price proposal exceeds $100,000 ($300,000 for construction) shall include a subcontracting plan that describes the vendor's commitment to provide covered companies the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in contract performance meeting the requirements in the acquisition and consistent with the vendor's efficient contract performance. The subcontracting plan must be acceptable to the contracting officer in order for the vendor to be awarded the contract.
To determine if subcontracting possibilities exist, the contracting officer may consider whether firms engaged in the business of furnishing the goods, services, or construction to be acquired customarily contract for performance of part of the work or if they maintain in-house capability; the nature of the supplies or services to be subcontracted; the known availability of covered companies in the geographical area where the work will be performed; and the potential contractor's longstanding relationship with its suppliers.
The contracting officer will document any determination that no subcontracting possibilities exist. Subcontracting plans are not required from covered companies.
At least annually, the supplier diversity program manager will
- consult with the chief acquisition officer about the Board's acquisition record with covered companies, possible categories of acquisitions to be wholly or partially set aside for covered companies, and ways of increasing the participation of covered companies consistent with efficient contract performance; and
- document the proportional and dollar amount of Board acquisitions awarded to covered companies.
The Division of Financial Management is responsible for administering and updating this policy. This policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary.