[Request for Reconsideration of GAO Recommendation Not To Exercise Options]

B-209992.2,B-209992.3: Nov 21, 1983

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) and an awardee requested reconsideration of a GAO recommendation made in a prior decision. The awardee's participation in the Small Business 8(a) Procurement Program was scheduled to expire during the first year of contract performance and the contract provided for 3 option years. In the prior decision, GAO found that the exercise of the options would permit the awardee to continue the contract for 3 years beyond its eligibility for participation in the program and recommended that the options not be exercised unless the awardee continued to be an eligible 8(a) firm. SBA contended that implementation of this recommendation would disrupt its efforts to provide an orderly transition for graduating 8(a) firms into participation in competitive procurements and would discourage procuring agencies from reserving their requirements for the 8(a) program when contract work was required over several years. The intent of the GAO recommendation was only to preclude the continuation of an 8(a) contract with a party no longer eligible to participate in the 8(a) program. GAO did not intend to preclude the exercise of options in accordance with applicable regulations which require that the most advantageous method of fulfilling the Government's need be determined. Accordingly, the prior decision was clarified.

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