oversight

Federal Contracting: Slow Start to Implementation of Justifications for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-12-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                on Contracting Oversight, Committee
                on Homeland Security and
                Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate


                FEDERAL
December 2012



                CONTRACTING

                Slow Start to
                Implementation of
                Justifications for 8 (a)
                Sole-Source Contracts




GAO-13-118
                                              December 2012

                                              FEDERAL CONTRACTING
                                              Slow Start to Implementation of Justifications for
                                              8(a) Sole-Source Contracts
Highlights of GAO-13-118, a report to the
Chairman, Subcommittee on Contracting
Oversight, Committee on Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs, United States
Senate
                                              What GAO Found
Why GAO Did This Study
                                              The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010 required
SBA’s 8(a) program is the
government’s primary means of                 that the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) be amended within 180 days after
developing small businesses owned by          enactment to require justifications for 8(a) sole-source contracts over $20 million.
socially and economically                     These justifications bring more attention to large 8(a) sole source contracts. The
disadvantaged individuals, including          FAR Council, which updates the FAR, missed this mandatory deadline by almost
firms owned by Alaska Native                  325 days. During this delay, based on data in the Federal Procurement Data
Corporations and Indian tribes. The           System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG), 42 sole-source 8(a) contracts with reported
NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010, enacted            values over $20 million, totaling over $2.3 billion, were awarded without being
on October 28, 2009, called for               subject to a justification. Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP)
revisions to the FAR to provide for a         representatives involved with the FAR Council’s implementation of this rule
written justification for sole-source 8(a)    attributed the delay primarily to the time required to establish a process for
contracts over $20 million, where             consulting with Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.
previously justifications were not
required. GAO determined (1) the              From October 28, 2009, through March 31, 2012, agencies reported awarding 72
timeliness with which this new                sole-source 8(a) contracts over $20 million. GAO also analyzed trend information
justification requirement was                 in FPDS-NG from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2011 (the most current
incorporated in the FAR; (2) the              available information), which showed that the number and value of these
number of 8(a) sole-source contracts          contracts declined significantly in 2011. While GAO determined that FPDS-NG
valued over $20 million that have been        data was sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this review, GAO found errors,
awarded since October 2009 and                such as contracts with an implausible reported value of zero.
trends over time; and (3) the extent to
which agencies have implemented this          Number and Value of New 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts with Reported Values over $20 Million in
new justification requirement. GAO            Fiscal Years 2008 through 2011
analyzed federal procurement data,
reviewed the 14 contracts subject to
the requirement across five federal
agencies, and interviewed officials
from OFPP, SBA, the Department of
Defense, and other agencies.

What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that OFPP issue
guidance to clarify the circumstances
in which an 8(a) justification is
required. GAO also recommends that
the General Services Administration—
which operates FPDS-NG—implement
controls in FPDS-NG to help ensure
that contract values are accurately           GAO found a slow start to implementation of the new justification requirement. Of
recorded, and that SBA take steps to          the 14 sole-source 8(a) contracts awarded since the FAR was revised, only three
ensure that its staff confirm the             included an 8(a) justification. The agencies awarding the remaining 11 contracts
presence of justifications. OFPP and          did not comply, either because contracting officials were not aware of the
GSA generally agreed with the                 justification requirement or because they were confused about what the FAR
recommendations. SBA indicated it             required. For example, contracting officials were confused in one instance where
would take some actions but did not           another justification was already in place that covered multiple contracts. Further,
fully address the recommendations.            the Small Business Administration (SBA) cannot accept a contract over $20
View GAO-13-118. For more information,
                                              million for negotiation under the 8(a) program unless the procuring agency has
contact Michele Mackin at (202) 512-4841 or   completed a justification, but GAO found that SBA did not have a process in
mackinm@gao.gov.                              place to confirm the presence of a justification.


                                                                                          United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                         1
               Background                                                                      3
               Statutory Deadline for Incorporation of New Justification into FAR
                 Was Not Met, Which Delayed Implementation                                     8
               Agencies Report Awarding 72 Relevant Contracts Since Enactment,
                 and Such Awards Have Recently Decreased                                      10
               Most Agencies Did Not Meet the New Justification Requirement
                 Following the FAR Change                                                     12
               Conclusions                                                                    18
               Recommendations                                                                18
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                             19

Appendix I     Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                             21



Appendix II    8(a) Sole-Source Contracts over $20 Million, by Agency,
               Awarded between October 28, 2009, and March 31, 2012                           25



Appendix III   Comments from the Small Business Administration                                26



Appendix IV    GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                          28



Table
               Table 1: Elements of CICA and 8(a) Justifications Required by the
                        FAR                                                                    4


Figures
               Figure 1: Competition and Sole-Source Justification Requirements
                        in 8(a) Contracting                                                    6
               Figure 2: Key Dates in Implementation of 8(a) Justification
                        Requirement                                                            8
               Figure 3: New 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts over $20 Million and Key
                        Dates in Enactment and Implementation of the 8(a)
                        Justification Requirement                                             10


               Page i                             GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Figure 4: Number and Value of New 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts
         with Reported Values over $20 Million in Fiscal Years
         2008 through 2011                                                                11
Figure 5: Compliance among agencies awarding contracts subject
         to the 8(a) justification requirement                                            12




Abbreviations

ANC               Alaska Native Corporation
CICA              Competition in Contracting Act
DEA               Drug Enforcement Administration
DOD               Department of Defense
FAR               Federal Acquisition Regulation
FPDS-NG           Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation
GSA               U.S. General Services Administration
IDIQ              indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity
NDAA              National Defense Authorization Act
OFPP              Office of Federal Procurement Policy
SBA               Small Business Administration




This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety
without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain
copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be
necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.




Page ii                                    GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   December 12, 2012

                                   The Honorable Claire McCaskill
                                   Chairman
                                   Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight
                                   Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                                   United States Senate

                                   The federal government obligates hundreds of billions of dollars in
                                   contracts for goods and services each year—$537 billion in fiscal year
                                   2011. That year, $16.7 billion was obligated to firms participating in the
                                   Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program—one of the federal
                                   government’s primary means for developing small businesses owned by
                                   socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Contract awards
                                   under this program may be competed among eligible 8(a) firms or
                                   awarded on a sole-source basis to 8(a) firms in certain instances. For
                                   example, since 1986, Congress has authorized 8(a) firms owned by
                                   Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) and Indian tribes to receive sole-
                                   source contracts for any amount. 1 Over the last several fiscal years, the
                                   majority of large-dollar sole-source 8(a) contracts have been awarded to
                                   firms owned by these entities. More recently, Section 811 of the National
                                   Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010—enacted in
                                   October 2009 and later implemented in the Federal Acquisition
                                   Regulation (FAR)—required a written justification of sole-source 8(a)
                                   awards over $20 million. Previously, no justification was required for sole-
                                   source 8(a) awards of any amount. This new justification requirement
                                   brings more attention to large-dollar-value, sole-source contracts awarded
                                   through the 8(a) program.

                                   You asked us to review how this new justification requirement is being
                                   implemented across the federal government. In response to your request,
                                   we determined (1) the timeliness of actions taken to implement the
                                   justification requirement in the FAR, (2) the number of sole source 8(a)
                                   contracts over $20 million that have been awarded since October 2009


                                   1
                                    For more details on tribal 8(a) contracting, see GAO, Federal Contracting: Monitoring and
                                   Oversight of Tribal 8(a) Firms Need Attention, GAO-12-84 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 31,
                                   2012); and Contract Management: Increased Use of Alaska Native Corporations’ Special
                                   8(a) Provisions Calls for Tailored Oversight, GAO-06-399 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 27,
                                   2006).




                                   Page 1                                    GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
and trends over time, and (3) the extent to which agencies have
implemented the new justification requirement.

To address these objectives, we analyzed federal procurement data,
reviewed contract files, and interviewed agency officials. Specifically, to
assess the timeliness of the actions taken to incorporate the new
justification requirement into the FAR, we reviewed the relevant interim
and final rules published in the Federal Register. We also interviewed
officials from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), as the
Administrator of OFPP serves as chair of the Federal Acquisition
Regulatory Council, which implements changes to the FAR. To identify
trends in 8(a) sole-source contracts over $20 million, we analyzed data
from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG)
from fiscal year 2008 through March 31, 2012, the latest date we could
obtain complete information at the time of our review. We used the Base
and All Options data element in FPDS-NG to identify relevant contracts
awarded during this period. 2 We took several steps to assess data
reliability, including reviewing seven contracts identified as valued
between $19.5 million and $20 million to confirm that they were not
subject to the new justification requirement. We determined that the
federal procurement data for this period was sufficiently reliable to identify
contracts that exceeded the $20 million threshold. To assess agencies’
implementation of the new justification requirements, we reviewed all 14
sole-source 8(a) contracts over $20 million awarded since the FAR
incorporated the new justification requirements in March 2011. Eleven of
these contracts were identified using the Base and All Options field in
FPDS-NG. To compensate for any errors in these data, we also
calculated cumulative obligations for all 8(a) sole-source contracts
awarded during this period and identified one additional contract that had
an anticipated value of over $20 million at the time of award. Two
additional contracts were identified in the course of our review. Eight of
the 14 contracts were awarded by the Department of Defense (DOD), and
the remaining six were awarded by the General Services Administration
and the Departments of the Interior, Justice, and State. We reviewed
contract files and spoke with contracting and policy officials at the
locations where we conducted our review. Finally, we interviewed SBA
officials to understand that agency’s role in implementing this new


2
 The Base and All Options data element in FPDS-NG is defined as the total contract value
agreed upon by the government and the firm performing the contract, including the value
of any contract options.




Page 2                                   GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
             requirement. Appendix I contains more information on our scope and
             methodology.

             We conducted this performance audit from April 2012 to December 2012
             in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
             Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
             sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
             findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
             the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
             conclusions based on our audit objectives.


             The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984 requires agencies to
Background   obtain full and open competition through the use of competitive
             procedures in their procurement activities unless otherwise authorized by
             law. 3 However, Congress also recognized that in certain situations
             contracts may need to be awarded noncompetitively—that is, without full
             and open competition. Generally, these contracts must be supported by
             written justifications and approvals that contain sufficient facts and
             rationale to justify the use of a specific exception to full and open
             competition, such as when the contractor is the only source capable of
             performing the work. 4 Sole-source contracts awarded under the 8(a)
             program fall under one of these exceptions but were not previously
             required to include a justification.

             With enactment of Section 811 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010,
             Congress created a requirement for a new type of justification for sole-
             source 8(a) contracts over $20 million. 5 For the purposes of this report,
             we use the term “CICA justification” to refer to the justification required
             when a non-8(a) contract is awarded under one of the exceptions to
             competition under CICA, and the term “8(a) justification” to refer to the
             new justification required for these 8(a) contracts. While some elements
             of the justifications are similar, there are some differences, as shown in



             3
              Pub. L. No. 98-369, § 2701. Contracts awarded using full and open competition means
             that all responsible sources—or prospective contractors that meet certain criteria—are
             permitted to submit proposals.
             4
             FAR § 6.303-2.
             5
             Pub. L. No. 111-84, § 811 (2009).




             Page 3                                    GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                                                table 1, which compares the required elements of CICA and 8(a)
                                                justifications for sole-source contracts.

Table 1: Elements of CICA and 8(a) Justifications Required by the FAR

Elements of a CICA justification                                               Elements of an 8(a) justification
Identification of the agency and the contracting activity, and
specific identification of the document as a “Justification for other
than full and open competition.”
Nature and/or description of the action being approved.                        A description of the needs of the agency concerned for the
A description of the supplies or services required to meet the                 matters covered by the contract.
agency’s needs, including the estimated value.
An identification of the statutory authority permitting other than full        A specification of the statutory provision providing the exception
and open competition.                                                          from the requirement to use competitive procedures in entering
                                                                               into the contract.
A demonstration that the proposed contractor’s unique
qualifications or the nature of the acquisition requires use of the
authority cited.
Description of efforts made to ensure that offers are solicited from
as many potential sources as is practicable, including whether a
notice was or will be publicized and, if not, which exception
applies.
A determination by the contracting officer that the anticipated cost           A determination that the anticipated cost of the contract will be fair
to the Government will be fair and reasonable.                                 and reasonable.
A description of the market research conducted and the results or
a statement of the reason market research was not conducted.
Any other facts supporting the use of other than full and open     Such other matters as the head of the agency concerned shall
competition, such as an explanation of why technical data          specify for purposes of this section.
packages, engineering descriptions, or statements of work suitable
for full and open competition have not been developed or are not
available.
A listing of the sources, if any, that expressed, in writing, an
interest in the acquisition.
A statement of the actions, if any, the agency may take to remove
or overcome any barriers to competition before any subsequent
acquisition for the supplies or services required.
Contracting officer certification that the justification is accurate and
complete to the best of the contracting officer’s knowledge and
belief.
                                                                               A determination that the use of a sole-source contract is in the
                                                                               best interest of the agency concerned.
                                                Source: GAO analysis of FAR.



                                                While the required elements of 8(a) and CICA justifications differ, both
                                                types of justifications are generally required to be published on the federal
                                                government’s web site for announcing contract opportunities and the



                                                Page 4                                            GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
agency website after the contract award is made. In addition, the official
who must approve an 8(a) justification for a contract over $20 million
would be the same official who must approve a CICA justification of the
same amount. This official is determined by the estimated total dollar
value of the proposed contract, as outlined in the FAR. The head of the
procuring activity or the agency’s senior procurement executive generally
approves 8(a) justifications. Figure 1 shows the competition thresholds
and current sole-source justification requirements under the 8(a) program.




Page 5                             GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Figure 1: Competition and Sole-Source Justification Requirements in 8(a)
Contracting




Prior to awarding an 8(a) contract, whether sole-source or competitive,
agencies are required to submit an offer letter to SBA identifying the
requirement—that is, what goods or services are being procured—as well


Page 6                                 GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
as any procurement history for the requirement, the estimated dollar
amount, and the name of the particular 8(a) firm if intending to award the
contract on a sole-source basis. A business opportunity specialist within
an 8(a) program district office is to respond with a letter stating whether
SBA has accepted the procurement into the 8(a) program after confirming
the firm’s eligibility to receive the contract and considering factors that
could prohibit SBA’s acceptance of the procurement. SBA assesses a
firm’s eligibility based on a number of criteria, including the firm’s size and
whether the procurement is consistent with the firm’s business plan. 6
Under the new 8(a) justification requirement, SBA may not accept a sole-
source contract over $20 million for negotiation under the 8(a) program
unless the procuring agency has completed an 8(a) justification in
accordance with the FAR. Partnership agreements between the procuring
agencies and SBA outline the responsibilities of both parties in the 8(a)
contracting process. These agreements generally delegate SBA’s
contract execution function to the agencies after SBA has completed
initial acceptance of the procurement into the program.

The FAR Council oversees development and maintenance of the FAR. Its
membership consists of the OFPP Administrator for Federal Procurement
Policy, the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Administrator of the
General Services Administration. The FAR Council issues rules to
implement changes to the FAR that are mandated by law. Typically, the
first step is a proposed rule, which presents the proposed text in the
Federal Register and seeks written comments. In some cases, interim
rules are used to implement immediate changes to the FAR and include
the text of the revision. Proposed and interim rules can be amended by
final rules, which make changes to the FAR after consideration of public
comments.




6
 13 C.F.R. § 124.503(c)(1)(i) and (iii). Firms in the 8(a) program must have a business
plan that outlines, among other things, business targets, objectives, and goals. 13 C.F.R.
§ 124.402




Page 7                                     GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                         The FAR Council did not implement the new 8(a) justification requirement
Statutory Deadline for   in the FAR by the mandatory deadline set in law. Section 811 of the
Incorporation of New     NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010 required that the FAR be amended within 180
                         days of the statute’s enactment date to require justifications for 8(a) sole-
Justification into FAR   source contracts over $20 million. Instead, 504 days elapsed between the
Was Not Met, Which       enactment of the law on October 28, 2009, and the FAR change to
                         implement it on March 16, 2011.
Delayed
Implementation           In August 2010, almost 1 year after enactment of section 811, the FAR
                         Council issued a notice announcing plans to hold three tribal consultation
                         meetings to obtain comments on implementation of this section from the
                         tribal communities. The council held public meetings during October 2010
                         in Washington, D.C.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Fairbanks, Alaska.
                         After receiving comments, the FAR Council published the rule addressing
                         the 8(a) justification requirements as an interim rule, rather than
                         proposed, because the statutory date for issuance of regulations had
                         already passed. OFPP officials who were involved in the implementation
                         of this rule explained that the primary reason for the FAR Council’s delay
                         was establishing a process for, and holding, tribal consultations.
                         According to the OFPP officials, the FAR Council did not have previous
                         experience conducting such consultations, and developing a process for
                         this delayed the announcement of the meetings. Figure 2 shows key
                         dates in the enactment and implementation of this provision.

                         Figure 2: Key Dates in Implementation of 8(a) Justification Requirement




                         In its announcement of the planned tribal consultation meetings, the
                         Council cited an executive order that directs certain executive federal
                         agencies to consult with Indian tribes on policies that have tribal


                         Page 8                                 GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
implications. 7 The Council noted that the consultations provided for in the
order are a critical component of a sound and productive federal-tribal
relationship.

Section 811 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010 did not require agencies to
implement the new justification requirement until it was implemented in
the FAR through an interim or final rule, and contracting and policy
officials from the agencies involved in our review confirmed that they
waited for the FAR revision. Almost 325 days elapsed between the 180-
day mandatory deadline after enactment (April 26, 2010) and FAR
implementation on March 16, 2011. During this period, according to
FPDS-NG data, agencies awarded 42 sole-source 8(a) contracts with
anticipated values over $20 million—with a total value of over $2.3
billion—that would have been subject to the new justification requirement
if the FAR Council had implemented the change by the statutory deadline.
Figure 3 illustrates the number of such contracts awarded per fiscal year
quarter in the last 4 years and key dates in the implementation of the new
justification requirement.




7
 Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,
Nov. 6, 2000.




Page 9                                   GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Figure 3: New 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts over $20 Million and Key Dates in Enactment and Implementation of the 8(a)
Justification Requirement




                                        According to FPDS-NG data, 72 contracts had a reported value of more
Agencies Report                         than $20 million in the period from the October 28, 2009, enactment of
Awarding 72 Relevant                    the statute requiring the 8(a) justification requirement through March 31,
                                        2012. (See appendix II for the number and value of contracts by agency.)
Contracts Since                         However, we found inaccuracies in the data on reported contract value.
Enactment, and Such
                                        To understand the trends in award of 8(a) sole-source contracts with
Awards Have                             reported values greater than $20 million, we also analyzed FPDS-NG
Recently Decreased                      data from fiscal year 2008 through the last full year of data available,
                                        fiscal year 2011. Compared to fiscal years 2008 through 2010, the
                                        number and value of these contracts declined significantly in fiscal year
                                        2011, when only 20 were awarded, as shown in figure 4.




                                        Page 10                                GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Figure 4: Number and Value of New 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts with Reported
Values over $20 Million in Fiscal Years 2008 through 2011




Although we found the FPDS-NG data on total contract value overall to
be sufficiently reliable to use for our analysis, we found several cases
where the Base and All Options data element had been inaccurately
reported by the agencies as being much lower than the actual value of
the contract. For instance, the Army had awarded a contract worth about
$84 million according to contract documents, but its reported value in
FPDS-NG was only $24 million. This data element is intended to reflect
the total contract value at the time of award, including all options. For
indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, the FPDS-NG data
dictionary stipulates that this element is the estimated value for all orders
expected to be placed against the contract. 8 Although this is a required
field in FPDS-NG for all awards, we found five awarded since October 28,


8
 IDIQ contracts, also known as task order (services) or delivery order (supply) contracts,
do not procure or specify a firm quantity (other than a minimum or maximum) and provide
for the issuance of orders during the contract period. FAR § 16.501-1.




Page 11                                    GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                             2009, that implausibly listed a total value of zero. For example, two
                             related Army contracts were both listed as having a value of zero, but
                             when we reviewed the contract files, we found that their total anticipated
                             value was actually $350 million. GSA officials who are responsible for
                             managing the FPDS-NG data system told us that there should not be any
                             instances in which a contract award would have a value of zero. The
                             errors in this data element make it difficult to accurately determine the
                             extent to which agencies are awarding sole source 8(a) contracts valued
                             over $20 million.


                             From March 16, 2011, through March 31, 2012, 14 sole-source 8(a)
Most Agencies Did            contracts worth over $20 million were awarded by five agencies. Only
Not Meet the New             three of those contracts—two awarded by the Air Force and the other by
                             the State Department—included 8(a) justifications. The agencies
Justification                awarding the remaining 11 contracts did not comply with the new
Requirement                  justification requirement, either because they were not aware of the
                             requirement and did not prepare a justification, or because they were
Following the FAR            confused and incorrectly used a CICA justification, as summarized in
Change                       Figure 5.

                             Figure 5: Compliance among agencies awarding contracts subject to the 8(a)
                             justification requirement




Some Contracting Officials   Contracting officials are required to ensure that all requirements of law
Were Unaware of the New      and regulation are met before awarding any contract, and as a result,
Justification Requirement    they should keep abreast of changes to the FAR. Yet, for five of the 11




                             Page 12                               GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
contracts, contracting officials did not comply with the new justification
requirement because they were not aware of it.

•   A GSA regional office awarded a sole-source contract for support
    services to an 8(a) firm in October 2011, with an anticipated value of
    $40 million. No justification was completed. According to GSA
    officials, the contracting officer was unaware of the justification
    requirement at the time of award. As a result of our inquiry, GSA
    officials stated that they will not exercise options on the contract and
    are planning to award a replacement contract through an 8(a)
    competitive process. The regional office also plans to issue guidance
    to acquisition staff regarding the justification requirement.
•   The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded a contract for information
    technology services worth about $40.5 million, but did not prepare an
    8(a) justification. According to Command contracting officials, they
    were unaware of the requirement at the time the contract was
    awarded in July 2011. The Command issued guidance in December
    2011 requiring that justifications be prepared not only for 8(a) sole-
    source contracts above the $20 million threshold, but also for any
    such contracts above the 8(a) competition threshold of $4 million (or
    $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts). The contracting officials said
    that they have begun planning to award the successor contract
    through a competition among 8(a) firms.
•   Officials at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracting office were
    aware of increased scrutiny of 8(a) sole-source contracts, but were
    not aware of the justification requirement itself. They had received a
    January 2011 memorandum from Army acquisition executives noting
    the forthcoming justification requirement and calling for contracting
    officials to limit the use of 8(a) sole-source contracts over $20 million.
    As a result, when awarding a $35 million 8(a) sole-source contract
    award for museum relocation services in May 2011, Army Corps
    contracting officials prepared a memorandum explaining the decision
    to exceed the $20 million threshold, but it did not meet the
    requirements of an 8(a) justification.
•   The Army awarded two sole-source IDIQ contracts for engineering
    and technical support services in June 2011, each of which had a
    value over $20 million, but did not prepare 8(a) justifications for either
    contract, as required. These contracts were awarded through a single
    solicitation to two different firms, with a total value of $350 million.
    Contracting officials stated that they were not aware of the new
    justification requirement. Furthermore, we found that these two Army
    contracts were awarded improperly because SBA had not reviewed
    the eligibility of the firms and the procurement for the 8(a) program.
    The contract file documentation states that the contracts were 8(a)


Page 13                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                                 sole-source, yet the agency did not send an offer letter to SBA. The
                                 contracting officer had contacted an SBA official outside of the 8(a)
                                 program, thinking that this was the proper way to offer the
                                 procurement into the 8(a) program. But without an offer letter and
                                 subsequent SBA acceptance into the program, there was no way to
                                 ensure that the firm was eligible to receive the award or that the
                                 procurement was properly accepted into the program. We brought
                                 this issue to the attention of SBA headquarters officials, who
                                 expressed concern and stated they would look into it.

Even Contracting Officials   Even in cases where contracting officials were aware of the new 8(a)
Who Were Aware Were          justification requirement, they did not always correctly implement it, due to
Often Confused by the        confusion about what the FAR requires. For example, we found four
                             cases where officials, having determined that their contracts were subject
Requirement                  to the new justification requirement, prepared CICA justifications rather
                             than 8(a) justifications. According to the contracting officer for one such
                             contract at the State Department, the preparation of the CICA justification
                             was a result of the rush of end-of-fiscal-year work and the fact that 8(a)
                             justifications were a new requirement they had not dealt with previously.
                             Likewise, a contracting officer at the Army Contracting Command,
                             realizing that 8(a) sole-source contracts now require a justification,
                             prepared a CICA justification instead of an 8(a) justification. The
                             command’s competition advocate, who reviews justifications for sole-
                             source contracts, initially advised the contracting officer that a justification
                             was not required. According to the contracting officer, he learned shortly
                             before contract award that a justification was in fact required, but he was
                             not aware that the elements required in an 8(a) justification were different
                             from those in a CICA justification.

                             In one case at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), officials were
                             aware of the justification requirement but decided not to complete one
                             because their acquisition process began before the FAR was amended.
                             SBA had accepted the procurement into the 8(a) program in January
                             2011, before the 8(a) justification requirement was implemented in the
                             FAR. However, the $448 million contract, for administrative support
                             services, was awarded on June 14, 2011. A justification was required
                             because the contract was awarded after the FAR implementation date. A
                             memorandum in the contract file dated May 15, 2011, explained DEA’s
                             rationale for not preparing a justification, stating that it would not be
                             constructive to revisit the solicitation process in order to prepare a
                             justification because the negotiations with the firm were nearing
                             conclusion.



                             Page 14                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
For one Department of the Interior contract, officials were unsure whether
the 8(a) justification requirement applied—in part because of ambiguities
in the regulations regarding whether 8(a) justifications should be prepared
when class justifications already exist—and thus did not prepare one. A
class justification generally covers multiple contracts within a program or
sets of programs. This contract was awarded by Interior on behalf of a
DOD program office that had a class CICA justification in place, which
permitted the award of sole-source contracts to support the program’s
work. Contracting officials for this contract were unsure whether the class
justification would preclude the need for a separate 8(a) justification for
this sole-source contract award. The FAR only states that contracting
officers must ensure that each contract action taken under the authority of
the class justification is within its scope; it does not address whether a
separate 8(a) justification would be required in this situation.

This contract illustrates another source of confusion—how to proceed
when the anticipated value of a contract changes during negotiation,
which happens between SBA’s acceptance of the procurement and
contract award. The FAR requires an 8(a) justification at two points:

•   before SBA can accept the contract for negotiation under the 8(a)
    program, and
•   at time of contract award. 9

The potential for confusion arises because a contract’s value can change
during the negotiation process, and the FAR does not address scenarios
in which anticipated contract values rise above or fall below the $20
million threshold between SBA’s acceptance of the procurement for
negotiation and the award of the contract. For the contract awarded by
the Department of the Interior, at the time SBA accepted the
procurement, the anticipated value was slightly under the $20 million
threshold. However, by the time the contract was awarded, estimated
costs had increased to $21.4 million. We also reviewed a DOD contract
that illustrates the opposite situation, but which was not required to have
an 8(a) justification because the offer letter was sent before the
requirement was implemented in the FAR. At the time the procurement
was accepted by SBA under the 8(a) program, its anticipated value was




9
FAR §§19.808-1(a) and FAR 6.303-1(b).




Page 15                                 GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
about $30 million. The estimated value of the contract dropped to $18.3
million by the time of award. 10

The FAR also does not address whether the new 8(a) justification is
needed when out-of-scope modifications are made on existing 8(a) sole-
source contracts. Generally, agencies may not modify contracts to add
products or services not anticipated in the original scope without a
separate sole-source justification. In some cases, however, agencies
have determined that the flexibilities of 8(a) sole-source contracts
awarded to firms owned by ANCs or Indian tribes allowed them to make
such modifications without preparing a justification. For example, in our
2006 report on 8(a) contracting, we found that the Department of Energy
had added a number of new types of work to a contract, nearly tripling the
value, and the contracting officer cited the flexibilities of the 8(a) sole-
source contract awarded to an ANC-owned firm as the reason he was
able to do so. 11 We did not identify any such modifications in our present
review; however, some contracting officials told us that it was not clear to
them if a justification would be required for modifications to 8(a) sole-
source contracts. DEA contracting officials cited the ability to make out-
of-scope modifications as one of the attractive features of awarding 8(a)
sole-source contracts to firms owned by ANCs or Indian tribes, but said
they would require a justification for any modification of $20 million or
more.

We also found a case where Army Corps contracting officials at one
location misinterpreted information they had received about the 8(a)
justification—viewing the $20 million threshold as a cap on sole source
8(a) contract awards. An Army Corps contracting official at this location
stated that it had been their standard practice at the end of the fiscal year
to award sole-source IDIQ contracts for construction and maintenance
projects with a ceiling price of $15 million to 8(a) firms owned by ANCs or
Indian tribes. However, after receiving an Army-wide memorandum in
January 2011 regarding the pending justification requirements for 8(a)
sole-source contracts over $20 million, officials awarded four 8(a) sole-
source contracts in August and September 2011 with a ceiling price of



10
 We identified this contract for review because it had total obligations of more than $23
million. However, upon review of the contract file, we determined that it exceeded the $20
million threshold as a result of modifications after award.
11
 GAO-06-399.




Page 16                                   GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                              $20 million each. Officials stated that they were not aware of the new 8(a)
                              justification requirement at the time they awarded these contracts. These
                              awards were not subject to the 8(a) justification, as it only applies to
                              contracts over $20 million. 12


Little Evidence That SBA      SBA does not have a process in place to confirm that 8(a) justifications
Ensured 8(a) Justifications   are present. The FAR states that the procuring agency must have
Had Been Completed            completed a justification before SBA can accept for negotiation an 8(a)
                              sole-source contract over $20 million, but it does not specify what steps
                              SBA should take to confirm the presence of an 8(a) justification. We
                              found that in most cases, SBA did not discuss the new justification
                              requirements in its correspondence to agencies.

                              During our review, we found a case where an agency had improperly
                              awarded an 8(a) contract, a situation that was not detected by the SBA
                              district official who reviewed the sole-source justification. Army
                              contracting officials told us that an SBA district office business opportunity
                              specialist followed up after receiving an 8(a) offer letter from the Army, to
                              request a sole-source justification. The Army provided SBA with a
                              justification—although it was again a CICA justification, as opposed to an
                              8(a) justification—and the SBA official noted that the justification
                              requirement had been met. However, the SBA official did not recognize
                              and respond to information showing that the contract was to be awarded
                              to a sister subsidiary owned by the same tribal entity as the incumbent
                              firm—a practice prohibited by SBA’s 8(a) regulations. 13 Specifically,
                              when offering this procurement to the 8(a) program, the Army stated that
                              there was no acquisition history, yet the justification clearly stated that the
                              incumbent and proposed 8(a) firms were owned by the same tribal entity.
                              Hence, this contract was improperly awarded to the sister subsidiary.
                              When we informed SBA headquarters officials of this situation, they



                              12
                                We reviewed a number of 8(a) sole-source contracts with a reported value of $20 million
                              or less to help assess the reliability of FPDS-NG data on total contract value.
                              13
                                Tribal entities, such as ANCs or Indian tribes, can own multiple subsidiaries in the 8(a)
                              program. SBA’s regulations prohibit the award of a follow-on sole-source 8(a) contract to
                              another subsidiary firm owned by the same tribal entity, also called a sister subsidiary. In
                              our recent report on tribal 8(a) contracting, we noted that SBA would have difficulty
                              enforcing this regulation and recommended that SBA take steps to obtain better data and
                              reinforce the requirement to procuring agencies to provide the full acquisition history. See
                              GAO-12-84.




                              Page 17                                     GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                  expressed concern and indicated they would follow up with the business
                  opportunity specialist.

                  To highlight the 8(a) sole source justification requirement, SBA has
                  revised its partnership agreements to reflect that the procuring agency is
                  responsible for completing the justification. However, SBA’s district
                  officials also have an important role to play in ensuring that the
                  justifications are properly prepared. SBA officials said they were not sure
                  why the district officials did not confirm the presence of justifications in
                  most of the cases we reviewed, noting that the FAR change is relatively
                  recent and that it may take time for all staff to learn of the requirement.
                  The officials added that they are revising their operating procedures and
                  training curricula to reflect the 8(a) justification requirement. These
                  actions, when implemented, will be useful in highlighting the justification
                  requirement for SBA district officials. However, SBA has yet to convey to
                  its district officials the practical means of how to go about ensuring that
                  the procuring agencies have completed the justification.


                  Agencies have generally not complied with the justification requirement
Conclusions       for 8(a) sole-source contracts. This slow start may be due in part to the
                  relatively recent implementation of the requirement; however, we also
                  found a lack of awareness and confusion among contracting officials and
                  SBA district officials. In some situations the FAR is not clear whether a
                  justification is required. This includes cases where there is a class
                  justification already in place, when the value of a contract rises above or
                  falls below $20 million during the negotiation process, or when out-of-
                  scope modifications are made to 8(a) sole-source contracts. Clarifying
                  guidance is needed to help ensure that agencies are applying the
                  justification requirement consistently. While agencies are required to
                  prepare justifications in accordance with the FAR, SBA is required, in
                  practice, to confirm that these justifications are in place. SBA does not
                  currently have a process in place to do so. Finally, because of
                  shortcomings in the data agencies are entering into FPDS-NG regarding
                  the total value of contracts at the time of award, agencies lack the
                  information that would allow them to monitor how many sole-source 8(a)
                  contracts are awarded over the $20 million threshold.


                  To help mitigate future confusion regarding justifications for 8(a) sole-
Recommendations   source contracts over $20 million, we recommend that the Administrator
                  of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, in consultation with the FAR
                  Council, promulgate guidance to:


                  Page 18                             GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                     •   Clarify whether an 8(a) justification is required for 8(a) contracts that
                         are subject to a pre-existing CICA class justification.
                     •   Provide additional information on actions contracting officers should
                         take to comply with the justification requirement when the contract
                         value rises above or falls below $20 million between SBA’s
                         acceptance of the contract for negotiation under the 8(a) program and
                         the contract award.
                     •   Clarify whether and under what circumstances a separate sole-source
                         justification is necessary for out-of-scope modifications to 8(a) sole-
                         source contracts.

                     To help ensure that Small Business Administration officials meet FAR
                     requirements for sole source contracts over $20 million, we recommend
                     that the Administrator of the Small Business Administration take the
                     following two actions when revising operating procedures and training
                     curricula:

                     •   Include instructions to business opportunity specialists on the steps
                         they are to take to confirm whether agencies have met the justification
                         requirement, such as obtaining a copy of the justification from the
                         agency.
                     •   Include instructions to confirm that procuring agencies have prepared
                         an 8(a) justification rather than a CICA justification.

                     To help ensure that federal procurement data provides accurate and
                     complete information, we recommend that the Administrator of the
                     General Services Administration implement controls in FPDS-NG to
                     preclude agency officials from entering a value of zero dollars for the
                     Base and All Options data element when the initial award of a contract is
                     entered into the database.


                     We provided a draft of this report to SBA, OFPP, GSA, and the
Agency Comments      departments of Defense, the Interior, Justice, and State. We received
and Our Evaluation   written comments from SBA, which are reproduced in appendix III. SBA
                     did not fully address our recommendations. In email responses, OFPP
                     and GSA generally agreed with our recommendations, and OFPP also
                     included additional comments. DOD did not respond. The other agencies
                     responded with no comment.

                     In its written response, SBA stated that the burden is on the procuring
                     agencies to prepare the appropriate sole-source justification and that SBA
                     would take actions to ensure that the agencies do so. For example, SBA
                     plans to modify its partnership agreements to incorporate a requirement


                     Page 19                             GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
that the contracting officer certify that the justification has been
completed. While these actions may help increase awareness of the
justification requirement at the procuring agencies, they do not address
SBA’s own responsibilities. As we discuss in the report, the FAR states
that SBA may not accept for negotiation sole source 8(a) contracts over
$20 million unless the appropriate justification has been completed. SBA
states that it is difficult to interpret the FAR as requiring SBA to verify the
existence of the justification. We disagree. Logically, to meet the FAR
requirement, SBA must confirm the existence of an 8(a) justification. Our
recommendations were intended to help SBA’s business opportunity
specialists understand how to comply with the FAR requirement.

In an email response, OFPP generally agreed with our recommendations
and asked that we reflect that the Administrator of OFPP should take the
recommended actions in consultation with the FAR Council. We agreed
and made that change. OFPP further noted that, when planning the tribal
consultations to implement the 8(a) justification requirement, the FAR
Council also considered the President’s Memorandum of November 5,
2009, which underscores the Administration’s commitment to regular and
meaningful consultation with tribal officials in policy decisions that have
tribal implications.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense, the
Interior, and State; the Attorney General; the Administrators of the Small
Business Administration, the General Services Administration, and the
Office of Federal Procurement Policy; and interested congressional
committees. This report will also be available at no charge on GAO’s
website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please
contact me at (202) 512-4841 or by e-mail at mackinm@gao.gov. Contact
points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may
be found on the last page of this report. Key contributors to this report are
listed in appendix IV.




Michele Mackin
Acting Director
Acquisition and Sourcing Management



Page 20                               GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Methodology



Methodology

              The objectives of this review were to determine (1) the timeliness of
              actions taken to implement the 8(a) justification requirement in the
              Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); (2) the number of sole source 8(a)
              contracts over $20 million that have been awarded since October 2009
              and trends over time; and (3) the extent to which agencies have
              implemented the new justification requirement.

              To assess the timeliness of the actions taken to incorporate the new
              justification requirement into the FAR, we reviewed the relevant interim
              and final rules published in the Federal Register. We also interviewed
              officials from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), as the
              Administrator of OFPP serves as chair of the Federal Acquisition
              Regulatory Council, which implements changes to the FAR. Additionally,
              to confirm agency officials’ statements to us that they did not include
              justifications in 8(a) sole-source contracts awarded after the October 29,
              2009, enactment of the law but before its March 16, 2011, implementation
              in the FAR, we selected a judgmental sample of five such contracts. We
              selected those with the highest reported values in the Federal
              Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) at agencies
              already within the scope of our review, and verified the absence of
              justifications with agency contracting officials. As stated in the report,
              Section 811 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010 did not require agencies to
              implement the new justification requirement until it was implemented in
              the FAR.

              To determine the number of 8(a) sole-source contracts over $20 million
              awarded in the last several years, we analyzed contract data from FPDS-
              NG for contracts awarded from October 1, 2007, through March 31, 2012.
              We took several measures to assess the reliability of this FPDS-NG data:

              •   We selected nine additional contracts to review for data reliability
                  purposes. Among the 13 contracts identified in FPDS-NG as having
                  values between $19.5 million and $20 million, we selected a
                  judgmental sample of seven to review, including four contracts
                  awarded by one Army Corps of Engineers contracting office worth
                  exactly $20 million each. For these contracts, we reviewed information
                  in the contract files to determine the anticipated total value of the
                  contract at the time of award, and confirmed that all were equal to or
                  under $20 million and thus not subject to 8(a) justification
                  requirements.
              •   In addition, we conducted a statistical analysis of 8(a) sole-source
                  contracts with a total value of less than $19.5 million, identifying
                  contracts with high levels of correlation with characteristics of high-



              Page 21                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




    value 8(a) sole-source contracts, such as contract type and the type
    of service provided. Based on this analysis, we selected two
    additional contracts at entities already included in our review and
    reviewed relevant contract files to verify their value, and confirmed
    that both were under the $20 million threshold.
•   We also calculated total obligations as of March 31, 2012, on the
    contracts in this data set as a further check against inaccuracies in the
    Base and All Options data element in FPDS-NG. 1
•   Finally, we checked the data reported in FPDS-NG against
    information gathered in reviews of contract files for 14 contracts over
    the $20 million threshold awarded after March 16, 2011, as discussed
    below.

We determined that the data for this period was sufficiently reliable to
identify contracts that were subject to the 8(a) justification requirements
and describe their characteristics.

To determine the extent to which agencies have implemented the new
justification requirement, we identified and reviewed all 14 relevant
contracts that were awarded between the FAR implementation date of
March 16, 2011, and March 31, 2012. We took the following steps to
identify these contracts:

•   Most of the relevant contracts were identified using the Base and All
    Options data element in FPDS-NG. We initially identified 14 sole-
    source 8(a) contracts with values over $20 million.
•   During reviews of the contract files, we determined that 3 of the 14
    contracts identified in our FPDS-NG analysis did not meet criteria for
    the justification requirement and eliminated them from our review.
    One Army contract was eliminated because its reported value of $99
    billion was erroneous, and its actual value was below $20 million. The
    Army has taken steps to correct this information. We found that
    another Army contract was not a new award, but rather an
    administrative action taken for accounting purposes; the underlying
    contract was awarded prior to implementation of the justification
    requirement. We also eliminated an Office of Personnel Management




1
 The Base and All Options data element in FPDS-NG is defined as the total contract value
agreed upon by the government and the firm performing the contract, including the value
of any contract options.




Page 22                                  GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




    contract that was awarded competitively, despite being reported in
    FPDS-NG as 8(a) sole-source.
•   To compensate for any errors in the Base and All Options data
    element, we also calculated cumulative obligations for all 8(a) sole-
    source contracts awarded during the same period. Based on this
    analysis, we identified one additional DOD contract, awarded by the
    Army. A review of the contract file confirmed that its value was over
    $20 million.
•   Finally, in the course of our review, we identified two additional
    contracts through other means. One contract was identified by State
    Department officials when we inquired about 8(a) sole-source
    contracts over $20 million. The other, an Army contract, was identified
    through references to it in a related contract file.

Of the 14 contracts that we identified as meeting the criteria for the
justification requirement, 8 were awarded by DOD and the rest by the
General Services Administration and the Departments of the Interior,
Justice, and State. We reviewed these contract files to determine if
justification documents were present and assess whether the
justifications complied with FAR requirements. We also reviewed other
contract documents, including Small Business Administration (SBA)
coordination records, acquisition plans, price negotiation memorandums,
and award memorandums. We reviewed policy documents related to
implementation of the justification requirement. We also interviewed
contracting and policy officials at the relevant organizations regarding
acquisition histories of the contracts and policies and practices related to
the justification requirement.

In addition, we also reviewed a contract awarded by DOD’s Washington
Headquarters Service that was not subject to the justification requirement.
It was identified for review because it had obligations of more than $20
million. A review of the contract file revealed that the contract was valued
below $20 million at the time of award, thus it was not included among the
14 contracts discussed above.

The organizations with contracts in our review, including those reviewed
for data reliability purposes, were as follows:

•   Department of Defense
    •  Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
    •  Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Virginia
    •  Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
    •  Redstone Arsenal Army Base, Alabama



Page 23                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




    •   Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
    •   Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Systems Center
        Pacific, San Diego, California
    •   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
    •   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
    •   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
    •   U.S. Army Contracting Command, Natick, Massachusetts
    •   Washington Headquarters Service, Washington, D.C.
•   General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service Region
    8, Denver, Colorado
•   Department of the Interior, Acquisition Services Directorate, Reston,
    Virginia
•   Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Arlington,
    Virginia
•   Department of State, Office of Acquisition Management, Arlington,
    Virginia

Additionally, we interviewed SBA officials regarding their interpretation of
the FAR rule implementing the 8(a) justification requirements and
measures the agency has taken or plans to take to comply with this
change. We also reviewed SBA 8(a) program regulations.

We conducted this performance audit from April 2012 to December 2012
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 24                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix II: 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts over
                                    Appendix II: 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts over
                                    $20 Million, by Agency, Awarded between
                                    October 28, 2009, and March 31, 2012


$20 Million, by Agency, Awarded between
October 28, 2009, and March 31, 2012

                                                                                    Number of               Total FPDS-NG base
Agency                                                                      contracts awarded                     and all options
Department of Defense                            Air Force                                    2                     $108,844,765
                                                 Army                                        33                   $1,524,984,859
                                                 Navy                                        12                     $512,008,819
                                                 Other DOD                                    3                     $100,350,371
Department of Energy                                                                          2                      $65,000,000
General Services Administration                                                               3                     $143,548,493
Department of Health and Human Services                                                       4                     $490,000,000
Department of the Interior                                                                    5                     $119,278,706
Department of Justice                                                                         3                     $661,868,723
Office of Personnel Management                                                                1                      $27,334,361
Department of State                                                                           3                     $112,212,480
Department of Transportation                                                                  1                      $30,000,000
Total                                                                                        72                   $3,895,431,576
                                    Source: GAO analysis of FPDS-NG data.



                                    This table summarizes the number of contracts and reported value
                                    awarded by agency between October 28, 2009—the date of enactment
                                    for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010—and
                                    March 31, 2012, the date of the most current data available at the time of
                                    our review.




                                    Page 25                                        GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix III: Comments from the Small
              Appendix III: Comments from the Small
              Business Administration



Business Administration




              Page 26                                 GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix III: Comments from the Small
Business Administration




Page 27                                 GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Michele Mackin, (202) 512-4841 or mackinm@gao.gov
GAO Contact

                  In addition to the person named above, Tatiana Winger, Assistant
Staff             Director; Pamela Davidson; Danielle Green; Georgeann Higgins; Julia
Acknowledgments   Kennon; Teague Lyons; Kenneth Patton; Dae Park; Jungjin Park; Sylvia
                  Schatz; and Roxanna Sun made key contributions to this report.




(121052)
                  Page 28                              GAO-13-118 Implementation of 8(a) Justifications
                      The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and
GAO’s Mission         investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its
                      constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and
                      accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO
                      examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and
                      policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance
                      to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions.
                      GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of
                      accountability, integrity, and reliability.

                      The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no
Obtaining Copies of   cost is through GAO’s website (http://www.gao.gov). Each weekday
GAO Reports and       afternoon, GAO posts on its website newly released reports, testimony,
                      and correspondence. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly posted
Testimony             products, go to http://www.gao.gov and select “E-mail Updates.”

Order by Phone        The price of each GAO publication reflects GAO’s actual cost of
                      production and distribution and depends on the number of pages in the
                      publication and whether the publication is printed in color or black and
                      white. Pricing and ordering information is posted on GAO’s website,
                      http://www.gao.gov/ordering.htm.
                      Place orders by calling (202) 512-6000, toll free (866) 801-7077, or
                      TDD (202) 512-2537.
                      Orders may be paid for using American Express, Discover Card,
                      MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order. Call for additional information.
                      Connect with GAO on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
Connect with GAO      Subscribe to our RSS Feeds or E-mail Updates. Listen to our Podcasts.
                      Visit GAO on the web at www.gao.gov.
                      Contact:
To Report Fraud,
                      Website: http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
Waste, and Abuse in   E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs      Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470

                      Katherine Siggerud, Managing Director, siggerudk@gao.gov, (202) 512-
Congressional         4400, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room
Relations             7125, Washington, DC 20548

                      Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov, (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs        U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                      Washington, DC 20548




                        Please Print on Recycled Paper.