Last month, the Government Accountability Office issued a report at the request of Senator Claire McCaskill, who asked the GAO to review how federal agencies monitor the work performed by subcontractors under 8(a) contracts, and the potential effects from recent changes to the Small Business Act. After examining a representative sample of ten 8(a) prime contracts and interviewing both Government and 8(a) contractor representatives, the GAO concluded that 8(a) prime contractors are not complying with the federal limitations on subcontracting requirements, and Contracting Officers are not adequately monitoring compliance.
The GAO thus recommended that the FAR be amended to include the three following requirements:
- At the time of contract award, contracting officers shall conduct and document an assessment of the 8(a) firm’s ability to comply with subcontracting limitations;
- Contracting officers shall include monitoring and oversight provisions in all 8(a) contracts to ensure that the contractors comply with the subcontracting limitations;
- and Prime 8(a) contractors shall periodically report to the contracting officer on the percentage of work being performed.