8a Business Development Firms Request Program Extentions For Goverment Delays
We the 8a firms of Pennsylvania are requesting Bi-Partisan legislative assistance to enact policy change that would lengthen our terms in the SBA 8a Business Development Program. We are looking for specific government accountability in the areas of Government Shutdowns, effects of functioning under Continuing Resolutions, Stop Work Orders and Continuing Procurement Modifications due to the "unavailability of funds" and/or the governments difficulty to properly estimate current market pricing. These specific issues have vast damaging effects on the Procurement Cycle and consumes through precious business development time for our already disadvantaged businesses. Our 8a firms are mandated in the SBA 8a Business Development program via the SBA's Participation Agreement, when the government Shut Downs and/ or the budgets are at a standstill, we can not perform the duties deemed in our Participation Agreement, because in essence there is no government to Participate in, the Government is closed or functioning on its own constraints. We As Prime and Subcontractor’s begin to feel the impact of the government shutdown, lack of support and the damaging effects on the Governments Procurement Cycles.
The 8(a) Program is a business development program—its purpose is to assist eligible disadvantaged small businesses compete in the American economy through business development. The SBA provides targeted business development counseling to 8(a) participants. The presumptive term is 9 years. But this term can be shortened by the participant or the SBA—if, for example, the concern is successful enough to graduate from the Program or fails to maintain its eligibility. The term cannot be lengthened, although it can be temporarily suspended in rare instances.
We request legislative action to help lengthened the terms of the the SBA 8a Business Development program. Specifically in areas in the contract incorporating the Anti Deficiency Act, and the Federal Acquisitions Regulations requirement that Government contracts be conditioned upon the “availability of funds.” FAR 32.702 (b). This clause permits the Government to halt work under contracts when funding has been cut or delayed, providing leeway in situations like a shutdown.