Subcontracting rule delayed

Final Rule regarding subcontracting

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Small Business Administration officials have delayed implementing a rule designed to make companies more accountable for fulfilling their subcontracting plans.

The regulation that would allow agency officials to consider companies' track records when making source selections has been pushed back because it needs congressional approval, SBA officials said.

The final rule was published Dec. 20 and erroneously stated it would take effect on that date. Officials corrected that date to Feb. 18 to allow the required period for public comment.

A notice published today in the Federal Register pushes the effective date to March 14, which is 60 days after Congress officially received the text of the rule. Once Congress reviews the rule, SBA officials will publish a new effective date in the Federal Register or terminate the rule, according to the notice.

The rule in question includes a list of factors for federal agencies to consider in evaluating a prime contractor's performance and good faith efforts to achieve the requirements in its subcontracting plan. It authorizes agencies to consider a company's subcontracting goals and past performance in meeting those goals as a factor in source selection when placing orders through Federal Supply Schedules, governmentwide acquisition contracts and multiagency contracts.

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