How the 8(a) Program Works
The 8(a) program is intended to benefit both the client and Ingenicomm through mechanisms that ensure quality performance. Prior to its entry into the program, Ingenicomm was subjected to a rigorous review of its ownership, management, operations, experience, and financial performance. Once its disadvantaged business status was verified and the viability of the organization was demonstrated, Ingenicomm was accepted into the program.
Under the 8(a) program, sole-source contracts of up to $4 million for services and $6 million for manufacturing are usually approved in a matter of days. Federal agencies with a Small Business Program will understand how to guide their contracting officers, planners, and engineers through the 8(a) sole-source contract program. Because the 8(a) program is a federal mandate, agencies get credit for the amount of work they issue to an 8(a) firm.
Upon its acceptance into the program, Ingenicomm was assigned a primary NAICS code of 541519 based on the company’s qualifications and experience. Ingenicomm may also be awarded sole-source contracts under another NAICS code as long as it is qualified to perform the required service or task.
Sole-Source to Ingenicomm
Any federal agency can identify work especially suited for an 8(a) firm and can set aside the project without publicly advertising it. This allows the agency to directly award a professional services or manufacturing contract to the 8(a) firm without lengthy contracting delays. If this option is chosen, the typical steps are as follows:
- The project manager or interested party identifies a statement of work, prepares a government estimate and earmarks funds.
- An authorization to negotiate is obtained from the Small Business Administration (SBA) by filling out a Small Business Coordination Record form. The interested party may consult with their Small Business Program Office and/or the contracting office in order to complete the Business Coordination Record or a Procurement Request Form, depending on the agency. Federal departments have different forms; for example, the DOD and its agencies use DD Form 2579.
- Contract documents are prepared. The documents must include the following statement: "Request procurement be made pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act 15 U.S.C. 637(a) and in accordance with FAR 19.8."
- The agency sends an offer letter to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval from SBA.
- Once the procurement request has been made, the Small Business Deputy or the Contract Officer prepares an offer letter or a proposed project form (FAR 19.804-2).
- After the offering information is received and processed by the SBA, the process returns to the Contracting Officer who submits the Scope of Work and Request for Quotation to Ingenicomm.
- Ingenicomm submits its proposal and the package is evaluated and negotiated (if necessary) by the agency.
- The contract is awarded.
Sole-Source IDIQ to Ingenicomm
When an agency finds an 8(a) company that they would like to utilize on a regular basis, the agency might choose to award a sole-source IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) or BPA contract. Preparation of this IDIQ is very cost-effective for the agency as it minimizes the length of time involved in contracting out individual task orders; the process is not as costly and time-consuming to award as a competitive IDIQ. This type of contract can be awarded via a similar process to the regular sole-source contracts described above.
Sole-Source BOA with Ingenicomm
A BOA (Basic Order Agreement) can also be awarded on a sole-source basis under the 8(a) program. A BOA is a written instrument of understanding, negotiated between an agency, contracting activity, or contracting office and a contractor that contains the following items:
- Terms and clauses applying to future contracts (orders) between the parties during its term.
- A description, as specific as practicable, of supplies or services to be provided.
- Methods for pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders under the Basic Ordering Agreement.
Subcontracting with Ingenicomm
One of the goals of the 8(a) program is to allow non-8(a) contractors to expand their scope of services. Therefore, an 8(a) contractor is permitted, with approval of the SBA, to subcontract a portion of this work to other qualified firms. Contractors develop valuable relationships, while the client benefits from a qualified, experienced, well-rounded team.
Joint Venture with Ingenicomm
The joint venture is a vehicle to assist Ingenicomm in its business development. If Ingenicomm, as an 8(a) certified firm, lacks knowledge, expertise, management personnel, or access to financial resources essential for the performance of a contract, and a partnering firm can provide these, a joint venture can be established.
As Ingenicomm seeks to develop a business base and infrastructure to successfully participate in and graduate from the 8(a) program, it may require assistance in management and technical, financial, contractual, general and administrative, or business development areas. When a suitable mentor agrees to assist Ingenicomm in these areas, a mentor-protégé agreement can be established. This agreement allows the mentor to bid on 8(a) programs collectively with Ingenicomm, and will allow Ingenicomm to gain experience in areas of deficiency.
Please contact Amit Puri at email@example.com to obtain further information regarding how a contract can be executed with Ingenicomm.