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COFC Decision - It was perfectly appropriate for the Air Force to award a prior 8(a) set aside as an FSS task order


Summary:  The Court of Federal Claims (COFC) has ruled in K-LAK Corporation v. The United States (COFC 09-771C, March 09, 2011) that the Air Force acted appropriately when it chose not to exercise an option on a procurement which was an 8(a) set aside and then awarded it under the FABS Schedule instead.

Comments:  This is one more in a long string of cases (mostly from GAO which are cited in this decision) where it is clear the Small Business Act requirements do not trump Federal Supply Schedules as a preferred source.  So, not withstanding any opinion you may hear from your Small Business Deputy, you are always within your broad discretion as a contracting officer to choose a Schedule solution over a "set aside" when you determine that is the best means of procuring your requirement.  In this case, the Air Force managed to order the credit reports they needed at less than half the price they were previously paying!

That being said, and before the flaming posts start coming in on this, I am NOT advocating abandonment of socioeconomic programs.  In fact, I would highly encourage you to maximize opportunities for small business participation in all your procurements.  For information on how to use the Schedules to achieve your socioeconomic objectives, click here

Special thanks to Jeff Koses, Director of Acquisition Operations for the General Supplies and Services Portfolio here within the Federal Acquisition Service for bringing this case to our attention!


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