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Acquisition Policy Flash! 12-18

What's New?

Mandatory Small Business Set Asides for Contract Actions Up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold

Purpose:  To inform the VA Acquisition Workforce of VA Procurement Policy Memorandum (PPM) — Mandatory Small Business Set Asides for Contract Actions Up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) (attached).  This PPM provides Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guidance regarding FAR Part 19, Subpart 19.502.  This FAR subpart mandates that Contracting Officers (COs) shall set aside contract actions exceeding the micro purchase threshold (MPT) (generally $3,000), but not over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) (generally $150,000) for small business concerns, unless the CO determines that the “rule of two” cannot be met — i.e., there is not a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more small business concerns that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality and delivery.

Dated:  June 26, 2012

VAAR Section Impacted:  N/A

Effective Date:  Immediately

Expiration Date:  September 30, 2012

Background:  On June 6, 2012, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum entitled, “Follow-up:  April 25, 2012 Meeting of the Small Business Procurement Group.”  During the April 25th meeting, each agency was tasked to take immediate steps to ensure small businesses are utilized to the maximum extent practicable.  In response, the VA Deputy Secretary issued a memorandum entitled “Increasing Small Business Contracting Performance”.  This memorandum requires documentation to justify any decision not to conduct a small business set aside.  This decision shall be documented in the VA Electronic Contract Management System (eCMS) using the Non-Small Business Award Notification Checklist (attached).  To view the modifications to eCMS that have been made to support this initiative, please see the attached document:  “Changes to eCMS to Support Small Business Goaling.”

Applicability:  The requirement to conduct small business set asides applies to all acquisitions of supplies or services that have an anticipated dollar value exceeding the mirco purchase threshold (MPT) but do not exceed the SAT.  Accordingly, the Non-Small Business Award Notification Checklist is required for transactions that are not set aside for small business concerns that exceed the MPT but do not exceed the SAT.  Instructions on completing the checklist are incorporated into the attached PPM.

Additional Information:  Questions or concerns should be addressed to the Office of Acquisition and Logistics (003A), Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Service (003A2A), at (202) 461-6918, e-mail:  va.procurement.policy@va.gov.