With ISTG's Small Business
Administration (SBA) status as a Certified 8(a) Woman Owned, Disadvantaged
Business Enterprise Certifications, Government Agencies can contract with ISTG
using sole-source acquisition.
Sole source contracts 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 sole
source contract program. Because the 8(a) program is a federal
mandate, Federal Agencies get credit for the amount of work they
issue to an 8(a), Disadvantaged Business, and Small Business.
How the Program Works:
The 8(a) program is intended to benefit both the client as well as
the contractor through mechanisms that ensure quality performance.
Prior to acceptance into the program, the contractor is subjected
to a rigorous review of its ownership, daily management,
operations, experience and financial status. Only those
contractors that can document disadvantaged business status and
demonstrate the viability of the organization are accepted into
the program. Once accepted, the contractor is required to provide
the SBA with a detailed business plan that must be updated
Upon acceptance, each contractor is assigned NAICS codes based on the qualifications and
experience of the company and key personnel. Performance of 8(a)
contracts is then limited to those NAICS codes. As a company gains
experience and expertise, it may request additional codes from the
SBA based on documentation of this experience.
Benefits of the Program:
Participants can receive
sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $3 million for goods and
services and $5 million for manufacturing. While SBA helps 8(a)
firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, the
agency also encourages them to participate in competitive
Federal acquisition policies
encourage Federal Agencies to award a certain percentage of their
contracts to SDBs. To speed up the award process, the SBA has
signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with 25 Federal
Agencies allowing them to contract directly with certified 8(a)
Recent changes permit 8(a)
firms to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This
enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime
contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the
combining of two or more contracts together into one large
One of the goals of the 8(a) program is to allow non-8(a)
contractors to expand their scope of services. Therefore, the 8(a)
contractor is permitted, with approval of the SBA, to subcontract
a portion of this work to other qualified firms. While
subcontracting is restricted to maintain the integrity of the
program as an opportunity for disadvantaged businesses,
subcontracting limits can be as high as 85 percent, depending on
the industry. Contractors develop valuable relationships, while
the client benefits from a qualified, experienced, well-rounded
Opportunity 1: Sole-Source Directly to ISTG, Inc.
Any federal agency can identify work especially suited for an 8(a)
firm and can set-aside the project without advertising in
FedBizOpps. This allows the Federal Agency
to directly award a professional service contract to this 8(a)
firm without lengthy contracting delays.
If this option is chosen, the steps typically followed are:
1. The project manager or interested party identifies a statement
of work, prepares a government estimate and earmarks funds.
2. The agency chooses ISTG to perform the work
An authorization to negotiate is obtained from the 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.
1. The prepared contract 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
2. 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).
3. 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 ISTG.
4. ISTG submits its proposal and the package is evaluated and
negotiated (if necessary) by the agency.
5. The contract is awarded.
Opportunity 2: Sole-Source IDIQ for ISTG, Inc.
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 Security Services IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite
Quantity) 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 and it is not
as costly and time-consuming to award as a competitive IDIQ. This
type of contracting mechanism can be awarded very much like the
sole-source contracts described above.
Opportunity 3: BOA with ISTG, Inc.
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
1. Terms and clauses applying to future contracts (orders) between
the parties during its term.
2. A description, as specific as practicable, of supplies or
services to be provided.
3. Methods for pricing, issuing, and delivering future orders
under the Basic Ordering Agreement