Letter: Interpretation of GAO ruling incorrect

Regarding "HUBZone firms get preference for set-asides"

This story is partially incorrect. I agree with the ruling of GAO, but the interpretation of the ruling is incorrect.

Yes, according to the FAR, HUBZone set asides should have preferrence over SDVOSB set asides, but not "any other" set aside program as the article mentions.

The HUBZone set aside does not have preferrence over the 8(a) set aside/sole source. According to the Exlusions under FAR 19304(d) — "Requirements currently being performed by an 8(a) participant or requirements SBA has accepted for performance under the authority of the 8(a) Program, unless SBA has consented to release the requirements from the 8(a) Program."

Also see FAR 19.800(e) — "Before deciding to set aside an acquisition in accordance with Subpart 19.5 (small business set asides), 19.13 (HUBZone set asides), or 19.14 (SDVOSB set asides), the contracting officer should review the acquisition for offering under the 8(a) Program."

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