SBA Corrects/Clarifies Mistake on GSA Schedules for 8(a) Firms for Substantial Bundling

By: Christine V Williams on 03/28/2024

On April 27, 2023, SBA issued a final rule entitled “Ownership and Control and Contractual Assistance Requirements for the 8(a) Business Development Program.” In that rule, the SBA improperly limited the definition of substantial bundling for Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) entered against a GSA Schedule. The new rule removes the limitation so that the definition applies to all BPAs and not only BPAs entered against GSA schedule contracts. This correction/clarification in the regulation now matches the preamble of the previous rule and the intent of SBA.

Recall what Budling is defined as for this piece. Also found in FAR 7.107. In layman’s terms–Bundling is defined as the consolidation of two or more procurement requirements for goods or services previously provided or performed under separate smaller contracts into a solicitation of offers for a single contract that is likely to be unsuitable for award to a small business.

In essence, this classifies the what SBA considers bundling/consolidation, which are not exactly friendly to small businesses regarding large schedule contracts.

This modifies 13 CFR 125 and is effective today. Specifically, 125.1, which now reads as follows:

125. 1 What definitions are important to SBA’s Government Contracting Programs?

Substantial bundling means any bundling that meets or exceeds the following dollar amounts (if the acquisition strategy contemplates multiple award contracts, orders placed under unrestricted multiple award contracts, or a Blanket Purchase Agreement or a task or delivery order contract awarded by another agency, these thresholds apply to the cumulative estimated value of the Multiple Award Contracts, orders, or Blanket Purchase Agreement, including options):

(1) $8.0 million or more for the Department of Defense;

(2) $6.0 million or more for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Energy; and

(3) $2.5 million or more for all other agencies.

Here is the link to to the Federal Register: