SBA Extends Comment Period for Consolidation of Mentor Protégé Programs

The U.S. Small Business Administration (US-SBA) is extending the comment period an additional 21 days for the proposed rule in the Federal Register to consolidate SBA’s Mentor Protégé Programs.

“The SBA has proposed to merge the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program to eliminate confusion and unnecessary duplication of functions within the agency when reviewing applications. In response to the significant level of interest and requests from multiple stakeholders for an extension, the comment period has now been extended to Feb. 7, 2020. We encourage small business owners and the public in general to take advantage of this comment period extension and provide input on the proposed rule,” said Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands District Director Yvette T. Collazo.

The proposed rule will:

Eliminate the requirement that 8(a) Participants seeking 8(a) contracts as a joint venture submit the joint venture to SBA for review and approval prior to contract award;

Revise several 8(a) Business Development Program regulations to reduce unnecessary or excessive burdens on 8(a) participants and clarify other related regulatory provisions to eliminate confusion among small businesses and procuring activities;

Require firms to re-certify its size and/or socioeconomic status for all set-aside orders under unrestricted multiple award contracts (MACs), except for orders and Blanket Purchase Agreements issued under the General Services Administration’s Federal Supply Schedule Program;

Require firms to re-certify their socioeconomic status for all set-aside orders where the required socioeconomic status for the order differs from that of the underlying set-aside MAC contract (e.g., HUBZone set-aside order against a small business set-aside MAC); and

Allow for size and/or socioeconomic protests issued against unrestricted MACs or for set-aside orders based on a different socioeconomic status from the underlying set-aside MAC except for orders or Blanket Purchase Agreements issued under any Federal Supply Schedule contract.

Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule by Feb. 7 at www.regulations.gov, identified with the following RIN number: RIN No. 3245-AG94.

Interested parties may also mail comments to: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW, 8th floor, Washington, DC 20416.

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