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SBA Asks for Clarity on Small Biz R&D Regulation

The Small Business Administration recently asked the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council to clear up a regulation regarding small business set aside awards for research and development, Fierce Government reports.

According to David Perera’s report, the simplified threshold for setting aside R&D contracts for small businesses is currently $150,000.

In an Aug. 10 Federal Register notice, the FAR Council said contracting officers should make their decision on whether to set aside R&D contracts for small firms based on market research gathered.

SBA officials told the council some contracting officers viewed the rule as creating a unique condition for small business R&D set asides, Perera reports.

Under FAR rule 19.502-2(b), contracting officers should make a set aside if they reasonably expect small businesses to provide an agency scientific and technological sources that best meet contracting requirements.

To remedy the confusion, the council said in the notice it wants to eliminate language that specifies costs, performances and schedules as criteria for contracting officers to judge.

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