DATE: February 21, 2002

SUBJECT: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Reinstatement of Small Business Set-Asides Under the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program

SOURCE: Procurement Information Circular (PIC) 02-05, February 20, 2002


ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: PIC 02-05 announces the reinstatement of small business set-asides for architectural and engineering (A-E) services and some construction.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program, see FAR Subpart 19.10, NASA-specific regulations in NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) Subpart 1819.10, and the March 27, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 97-16, Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program and Progress Payments."

For more on small business set-asides, see FAR Subpart 19.5, Set-Asides for Small Business, and NFS Subpart 1819.5.

EFFECTIVE DATE: PIC 02-05 is effective February 20, 2002, and it will remain in effect until canceled or superseded.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yolanda Harden, Code HK, 202-358-1279, e-mail: yharden@hq.nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program was established in 1988 as a test program by the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program Act (Public Law 100-656), and it is implemented by FAR Subpart 19.10 (in 1997, the program was made permanent).

The primary purpose of the program is to assess the ability of small businesses to compete successfully in four "designated industry groups" (DIGs) without the use of small business set-asides. The DIGs are construction, refuse systems and related services, non-nuclear ship repair, and A-E services). Ten federal agencies participate in the program, including NASA.

If a participating agency fails to award 40% of its contracts in a particular DIG to small businesses, or if small business awards under certain North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes within the construction and A-E services DIGs fall below 35%, the agency must reinstate small business set-asides until its awards to small businesses reach the 40% (or 35%) mark.

For the 12 months ending September 30, 2001, NASA fell below the 40% goal in acquisitions under the A-E DIG, so all NASA Centers must use small business set-asides for A-E services that exceed the $50,000 emerging small business reserve amount. (EDITOR'S NOTE: A-E services below $50,000 must be reserved for firms that are no larger than 50% of the applicable small business size standard for the applicable NAICS code -- see the definitions of "emerging small business" and "emerging small business reserve amount" in FAR 19.1002, Definitions). In addition, NASA fell below the 35% goal for NAICS Code 23412, Bridge and Tunnel Construction, and NAICS Code 23521, Painting and Wall Covering, so all NASA Centers must use small business set-asides for acquisitions in these NAICS that exceed the $25,000 emerging small business reserve amount for construction. If acquisitions cannot be set aside as required, the contract file must contain a written justification.

These set-aside requirements do not apply to acquisitions reserved for emerging small businesses, 8(a) awards, or sole source awards.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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