The 8(a) Business Development Program is established to help economically and socially disadvantaged individuals earn federal contracts. The business must be at least 51% controlled by a disadvantaged individual, but a recent report by the Office of Inspector General expressed concern that not enough was being done to ensure bidders were qualified. It found that numerous businesses were allowed to participate in the program even though they were not qualified.
A recent review of the program by the OIG found that 30 of the 48 organizations it reviewed for eligibility did not qualify. The OIG asked these organizations to address the eligibility concerns, and most did. But 10 still did not adequately supply information to the federal government about eligibility, and two of them had numerous problems meeting the requirements. The OIG placed the blame on the Associate Administrator for Business Development, which is responsible for certifying the applications, and warned the Small Business Administration to place better control over the program.
“Absent adequate documentation to demonstrate that participants met all eligibility requirements, SBA lacks assurance that only eligible firms receive the benefits of the 8(a) program. Unqualified firms that receive Federal contracts jeopardize the integrity of the 8(a) program,” the OIG wrote.
The report made several recommendations. To start, it wanted a review of the 10 firms it discovered in the report. In addition, it wants the Associate Administrator for Business Development to develop specifics ways to monitor and ensure the integrity of the program.
KDuncan & Company is dedicated to providing knowledge and support for small government contractors about concerns regarding government contracting. For questions on areas such as as cost proposals, accounting systems, DCAA compliance, and incurred cost audits, reach out to KDuncan & Company.