The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has its own unique procurement authority, separate from the Competition in Contracting Act and other laws affecting the Executive Branch, and is not authorized by law to use the Small Business Act for subcontracting plans or set-aside programs.
However, the AOC's procurement authority does provide considerable discretion in the level of competition required when using small purchase procedures for open market purchases and nothing prohibits the AOC from requiring subcontracting goals and accomplishments from prime contractors.
As a result of this discretion, the AOC is interested in directing more business opportunities to the small business community and has created a small business subcontracting program and a small business set-aside program for small purchases $100,000 or less. Both programs are similar to that used in the Executive Branch.
The AOC requires a small business subcontracting plan from all large businesses awarded contracts exceeding $1,500,000 for construction or $650,000 for architect-engineer services where subcontracting opportunities exist. Contracts where this is a requirement contain a subcontracting plan clause.
Contractors are required to submit a plan with goals within a specified period of time after award of the contract. On a semi-annual basis, the accomplishments must be reported using the SF 294, Subcontracting Report for Individual Contracts, to the Contracting Officer. Only individual plans are acceptable.
Unless specifically stated otherwise in the solicitation, the subcontracting goals for these plans should be equal to or greater than the following:
- Small business concerns - 28%
- Small disadvantaged business concerns - 8%
- Women-owned small business concerns - 5%
- HUBZone small business concerns - 3%
- Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns - 3%
Small Business Set-asides
The AOC's small purchase limitation is $100,000 and the competition threshold is $5,000. Effective October 1, 2009 small purchases within these ranges are set-aside for small business concerns in accordance with agency policy.
This small business set-aside program relies heavily on the existing structure of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations, and the SBA is providing support for this initiative. Contact [email protected] for more information.