SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS
It is the policy of USDA to provide maximum practicable contracting and subcontracting opportunities to small business (SB), small disadvantaged business (SDB), HUBZone small business, women-owned business (WOB), veteran-owned small business (VOSB), and service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) concerns.
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) develops rules, policy, procedures and guidelines for the effective administration of USDA’s small business program that includes all categories named under Part 419.201.
The head of the contracting activity (HCA) or a representative of the HCA shall designate in writing a small business coordinator in each contracting office. Supervisors of small business coordinators are encouraged to provide sufficient time for the coordinators to carry out their small business program duties. Coordinators’ duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Reviewing each proposed acquisition expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold prior to its solicitation. The coordinator shall:
(1) Recommend section 8(a), HUBZone, or SDVOSB action and identify potential contractors, or
(2) Identify available SDB, WOB, and VOSB to be solicited by competitive procedures. Coordinators shall document the contract file with recommendations made and actions taken.
(b) Participating in goal-setting procedures and planning activities and establishing aggressive SDB, WOB, and SDVOSB goals based on the annual review of advance acquisition plans.
(c) Participating in the review of those contracts which require the successful offeror to submit written plans for the utilization of small businesses as subcontractors to include all preference program areas in 419.201.
(d) Ensuring that purchases exceeding $2,500 and not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold are reserved exclusively for small businesses, including all preference program areas named in 419.201. This policy shall be implemented unless the contracting officer is unable to obtain offers from two or more small business concerns that are competitive with market prices and in terms of quality and delivery of the goods or services being purchased.
(e) Maintaining comprehensive source listings of small businesses.
(f) Upon written request, providing small businesses (in the preference program areas named in 419.201) the bidders’ mailing lists of individuals receiving solicitations which will contain the subcontracting clause entitled "Utilization of Small Business Concerns” (FAR 52.219-8). These lists may be limited to those supplies or services of major interest to the requesting firms.
(g) Developing a program of contacts with local, small (to include all preference program areas named in 419.201) trade, business, and professional associations and organizations and Indian tribal councils to apprise them of USDA's program needs and recurring contract requirements.
(h) Periodically meeting with program managers to discuss requirements of the small business preference program, to explore the feasibility of breaking large complex requirements into smaller lots suitable for participation by small firms, and to encourage program managers to meet with these firms so that their capabilities can be demonstrated.
(i) Establishing internal operating procedures which implement the requirements of the regulations as set forth in this Part 419.
(j) Compiling data and preparing all reports pertaining to the small
business program activities, and ensuring that these reports are accurate, complete and up-to-date.
(k) Assisting and counseling small business firms.
(l) Reviewing proposed large contract requirements that may be bundled to determine the potential for breaking out components suitable for purchase from small business firms.
(m) Ensuring that the SBA Resident Procurement Center Representative (PCR) is provided an opportunity and reasonable time to review any solicitation that meets the dollar threshold for small business (including all preference program areas named in 419.201) subcontracting plans.
The Director, OSDBU, shall be responsible for submitting reports concerning USDA's progress and achievements in the procurement preference program.
The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 452.219-70, Size Standard and NAICS Code Information, in solicitations that are set aside for small businesses.
Contracting officers shall refer determinations of non-responsibility regarding small businesses directly to the SBA Regional Office servicing the location where the contractor's office (home) is located.
The HCA is authorized to appeal the issuance of a COC to SBA Headquarters as provided by FAR 19.602-3(a).