Heads Up – SBA Makes Major Revisions and Changes to 8(a) Program

By:  Lawrence M. Prosen, Andrew R. McFall, K&L Gates, Washington, D.C.

The United States Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) 8(a) Small Business Development Program plays a significant role in federal procurement.  The 8(a) program was developed by the SBA, from enabling legislation known as the Small Business Act, to assist small disadvantaged businesses (“SDBs”) owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

In recent years, the United States Congress and the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), as well as various Offices of Inspector General and “watchdog groups,” have increasingly monitored and investigated the 8(a) program.  As a result of these investigations and oversight, the GAO released a report on March 2010, which identified a number of contracts that had been awarded to businesses that were not eligible for the 8(a) program.  Concurrent with various investigations, the SBA began the process of updating the regulations that govern the 8(a) program.  On February 11, 2011, the SBA published its final revised 8(a) program regulations, which are the first significant changes to the program in a decade or longer.  This white paper focuses on a few key provisions in the new 8(a) regulations that affect not only the SDBs themselves, but often large businesses as well.

To view the complete white paper, click here.

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