15 U.S.C. § 637 - Additional powers

Cite as:15 U.S.C. § 637
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) Procurement contracts; subcontracts to disadvantaged small business concerns; performance bonds; contract negotiations; definitions; eligibility; determinations; publication; recruitment; construction subcontracts; annual estimates; Indian tribes

(1) It shall be the duty of the Administration and it is hereby empowered, whenever it determines such action is necessary or appropriate-

(A) to enter into contracts with the United States Government and any department, agency, or officer thereof having procurement powers obligating the Administration to furnish articles, equipment, supplies, services, or materials to the Government or to perform construction work for the Government. In any case in which the Administration certifies to any officer of the Government having procurement powers that the Administration is competent and responsible to perform any specific Government procurement contract to be let by any such officer, such officer shall be authorized in his discretion to let such procurement contract to the Administration upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the Administration and the procurement officer. Whenever the Administration and such procurement officer fail to agree, the matter shall be submitted for determination to the Secretary or the head of the appropriate department or agency by the Administrator. Not later than 5 days from the date the Administration is notified of a procurement officer's adverse decision, the Administration may notify the contracting officer of the intent to appeal such adverse decision, and within 15 days of such date the Administrator shall file a written request for a reconsideration of the adverse decision with the Secretary of the department or agency head. For the purposes of this subparagraph, a procurement officer's adverse decision includes a decision not to make available for award pursuant to this subsection a particular procurement requirement or the failure to agree on the terms and conditions of a contract to be awarded noncompetitively under the authority of this subsection. Upon receipt of the notice of intent to appeal, the Secretary of the department or the agency head shall suspend further action regarding the procurement until a written decision on the Administrator's request for reconsideration has been issued by such Secretary or agency head, unless such officer makes a written determination that urgent and compelling circumstances which significantly affect interests of the United States will not permit waiting for a reconsideration of the adverse decision. If the Administrator's request for reconsideration is denied, the Secretary of the department or agency head shall specify the reasons why the selected firm was determined to be incapable to perform the procurement requirement, and the findings supporting such determination, which shall be made a part of the contract file for the requirement. A contract may not be awarded under this subsection if the award of the contract would result in a cost to the awarding agency which exceeds a fair market price;

(B) to arrange for the performance of such procurement contracts by negotiating or otherwise letting subcontracts to socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns for construction work, services, or the manufacture, supply, assembly of such articles, equipment, supplies, materials, or parts thereof, or servicing or processing in connection therewith, or such management services as may be necessary to enable the Administration to perform such contracts;

(C) to make an award to a small business concern owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals which has completed its period of Program Participation as prescribed by section 636(j)(15) of this title, if-

(i) the contract will be awarded as a result of an offer (including price) submitted in response to a published solicitation relating to a competition conducted pursuant to subparagraph (D); and

(ii) the prospective contract awardee was a Program Participant eligible for award of the contract on the date specified for receipt of offers contained in the contract solicitation; and

(D)

(i) A contract opportunity offered for award pursuant to this subsection shall be awarded on the basis of competition restricted to eligible Program Participants if-

(I) there is a reasonable expectation that at least two eligible Program Participants will submit offers and that award can be made at a fair market price, and

(II) the anticipated award price of the contract (including options) will exceed $5,000,000 in the case of a contract opportunity assigned a standard industrial classification code for manufacturing and $3,000,000 (including options) in the case of all other contract opportunities.

(ii) The Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development, on a nondelegable basis, is authorized to approve a request from an agency to award a contract opportunity under this subsection on the basis of a competition restricted to eligible Program Participants even if the anticipated award price is not expected to exceed the dollar amounts specified in clause (i)(II). Such approvals shall be granted only on a limited basis.

(2) Notwithstanding subsections (a), (b), and (e) of section 3131 of title 40, no small business concern shall be required to provide any amount of any bond as a condition of receiving any subcontract under this subsection if the Administrator determines that such amount is inappropriate for such concern in performing such contract: Provided, That the Administrator shall exercise the authority granted by the paragraph only if-

(A) the Administration takes such measures as it deems appropriate for the protection of persons furnishing materials and labor to a small business receiving any benefit pursuant to this paragraph;

(B) the Administration assists, insofar as practicable, a small business receiving the benefits of this paragraph to develop, within a reasonable period of time, such financial and other capability as may be needed to obtain such bonds as the Administration may subsequently require for the successful completion of any program conducted under the authority of this subsection;

(C) the Administration finds that such small business is unable to obtain the requisite bond or bonds from a surety and that no surety is willing to issue bond or bonds subject to the guarantee provisions of Title IV of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 [ 15 U.S.C. 692 et seq.]; and

(D) the small business is determined to be a start-up concern and such concern has not been participating in any program conducted under the authority of this subsection for a period exceeding one year.

The authority to waive bonds provided in this paragraph (2) may not be exercised after September 30, 1988.

(3)

(A) Any Program Participant selected by the Administration to perform a contract to be let noncompetitively pursuant to this subsection shall, when practicable, participate in any negotiation of the terms and conditions of such contract.

(B)

(i) For purposes of paragraph (1) a "fair market price" shall be determined by the agency offering the procurement requirement to the Administration, in accordance with clauses (ii) and (iii).

(ii) The estimate of a current fair market price for a new procurement requirement, or a requirement that does not have a satisfactory procurement history, shall be derived from a price or cost analysis. Such analysis may take into account prevailing market conditions, commercial prices for similar products or services, or data obtained from any other agency. Such analysis shall consider such cost or pricing data as may be timely submitted by the Administration.

(iii) The estimate of a current fair market price for a procurement requirement that has a satisfactory procurement history shall be based on recent award prices adjusted to insure comparability. Such adjustments shall take into account differences in quantities, performance times, plans, specifications, transportation costs, packaging and packing costs, labor and materials costs, overhead costs, and any other additional costs which may be deemed appropriate.

(C) An agency offering a procurement requirement for potential award pursuant to this subsection shall, upon the request of the Administration, promptly submit to the Administration a written statement detailing the method used by the agency to estimate the current fair market price for such contract, identifying the information, studies, analyses, and other data used by such agency. The agency's estimate of the current fair market price (and any supporting data furnished to the Administration) shall not be disclosed to any potential offeror (other than the Administration).

(D) A small business concern selected by the Administration to perform or negotiate a contract to be let pursuant to this subsection may request the Administration to protest the agency's estimate of the fair market price for such contract pursuant to paragraph (1)(A).

(4)

(A) For purposes of this section, the term "socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern" means any small business concern which meets the requirements of subparagraph (B) and-

(i) which is at least 51 per centum unconditionally owned by-

(I) one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,

(II) an economically disadvantaged Indian tribe (or a wholly owned business entity of such tribe), or

(III) an economically disadvantaged Native Hawaiian organization, or

(ii) in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 per centum of the stock of which is unconditionally owned by-

(I) one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,

(II) an economically disadvantaged Indian tribe (or a wholly owned business entity of such tribe), or

(III) an economically disadvantaged Native Hawaiian organization.

(B) A small business concern meets the requirements of this subparagraph if the management and daily business operations of such small business concern are controlled by one or more-

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