What Benefits Can a Tribal Business Group Have For You as a Contract Officer or Program Manager?

First, Tribal 8(a) businesses may receive sole source contracts regardless of dollar amount.

Second, Any limitations that may be imposed on the SDB and 8(a) awards in certain SIC Codes, will not be applicable to tribal owned 8(a) firms. This is because of the unique government to government relationship with the United States, not because of race or national origin factors.

Third, Recent changes permit Tribal 8(a) businesses to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of Tribal 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling.

Fourth, The government may avert the arduous and lengthy process of conducting an A76 study and allow the outsourcing or direct conversion of non-inherently governmental functions, of any scope, directly to a tribal 8(a) business.

What Benefit Can Our Tribal Business Group Have for A Program Manager?

First, it’s a fact that the 8a contract vehicle is the most powerful and flexible contracting tool available to the Government Program Manager.

Even Better: the 8 (a) contract vehicle is the only procurement technique that allows the program manager:

  • Sole discretion to choose the specific contractor team
  • Enable greatest control to achieve the program’s goals and objectives
  • Save substantial time, work, and cost during the procurement cycle

Steps in Using the 8(a) Contracting Method

First - The program manager must have:

  • A valid requirement, expressed as a statement of work, and available funding

Next - there are six steps to contract award:

1. Selection of the Tribal 8(a) business

  • The program manager selects the Tribal 8a business and is both authorized and encouraged to engage in direct discussions with the candidate 8(a) firm.
  • Discussions may cover any pertinent issue the program manager desires, with the exception of:
    • Contract price
    • Any specific promise of contract award

2. Preparation of the procurement request

  • The program manager identifies the Tribal 8(a) firm that is to perform the work by naming the company as the suggested source on the procurement request.
    • By adding the statement in block 12 REMARK section, "Request procurement be made pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act 15 USC 637(a) and in accordance with FAR 19.8," the procurement is identified as an 8(a) procurement.
    • Include name of Tribal 8a and CAGE code.

3. Receipt of "authorization to negotiate" from the SBA

  • Receipt of authority to negotiate from the SBA can be received by the contracting office getting verbal approval via the telephone (with written authorization to follow) from the SBA District Office.

4. Request a proposal from the Tribal 8(a) business

  • With authority to negotiate a proposal can be requested by the Program Manager

5. Contract discussions

  • This is generally a "pro forma" evaluation since the procurement is sole source, and the freedom of discussion between the program manager and the Tribal 8(a) business often makes it possible to negotiate all technical issues prior to even submitting the formal proposal.

6. Contract award

  • This involves three parties:
    • the procuring agency
    • the SBA
    • the 8(a) firm.
  • Once the negotiations between the procuring agency and the Tribal 8(a) business have been completed and a:
    • memorandum of negotiations
    • contract are prepared by the procuring agency
  • With above complete the 8(a) firm and the SBA are free to execute the contract and begin work on program manager's requirement.