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HHS Small Business Program Policy Manual

Chapter 6: Small Business Review of Contract Actions

Topics in this Chapter:

  1. HHS Small Business Specialist Review
  2. Small Business Administration Procurement Center Representative Review

This part sets forth policy and procedure about HHS’ contract actions which exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($100,000). It expands on key aspects of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the U.S. Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulations (HHSAR).


The CO shall complete and submit a HHS Form 653 for all acquisitions above the micro-purchase threshold for the HHS SBS and SBA PCR review (refer to SBPM Chapter 5, Subsection C). In addition, a complete Acquisition Plan (AP) package will be submitted as support documentation. The HHS Form 653 package shall include:

  1. A Statement of Work (SOW), Statement of Objectives (SOO) Performance Work Statement (PWS) or Description of the item or service;
  2. Evaluation Criteria;
  3. Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE);
  4. Documentation which reflects market research conducted within the past 12 months (e.g. copy of Sources Sought Notice);
  5. If 8(a) procurement $100,000 or greater, attach the SBA Offering Letter. Visit SBA’s website to identify the SBA District Office corresponding to the region where the proposed Contractor is headquartered (if the service being procured correlates to construction, the SBA District Office selected should correlate to the anticipated place of performance of the contract)
  6. A statement as to the results of market research justifying plans for other than small business consideration applicable to the subject acquisition strategy;
  7. A copy of the Justification for Other than Full & Open Competition (JOFOC) & supporting documentation, if applicable.

The SBS, CO and technical personnel will determine the appropriate market research and supporting documentation during the acquisition planning phase in accordance with FAR Subpart 7.102 and FAR Part 10.

While the SBS is an integral part of the acquisition team and should be involved in the acquisition planning process, if the SBS is not included in the acquisition planning process, the SBS may recommend that the procurement be set-aside for one of the Small Business Programs upon receipt of the HHS Form 653 package. In all requirements over $100,000 the SBS and SBA PCR reviews must be conducted and the CO must receive a response from both parties prior to posting an announcement or solicitation on a Government Point of Entry (GPE), such as the FedBizOpps website.

Upon receipt of the HHS Form 653 package, a small business tracking number will be assigned to the procurement. The SBS has up to five (5) business days to conduct their review of the HHS Form 653 package. After the SBS review of the HHS Form 653, the package shall be forwarded to the SBA PCR for their review. In accordance with FAR Subpart 19.402(2) the SBA/PCR has up to 15 business days after receipt of the package to conduct a small business review.

At the conclusion of the SBS and the SBA PCR review, the acquisition official will receive a copy of the HHS Form 653 with 1) the SBS and SBA PCR signatures and 2) an assigned small business tracking number. In some instances, when the SBA PCR may not be available to conduct a timely review, block 15 on the HHS Form 653 will indicate “The SBA reserves the right to review the documentation at a later date”. The entire package shall be retained in the official contract file.

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In order to conduct an effective review, the SBA PCR may request to schedule a meeting to include, but not limited to the CO and/or technical personnel for clarification on an acquisition strategy. Small business sources may be provided by the SBA PCR. These sources shall be notified when the subsequent Pre-Solicitation Notice is posted to FedBizOpps.

FAR Subpart 19.505 “Rejecting Small Business Administration recommendations” details the steps the acquisition official must take if a recommendation by the SBA PCR is rejected, and the SBA PCR’s right of appeal. In addition to the FAR guidance, the CO shall forward the written notification to the SBS supporting the OPDIV and the OSBP Director. Further, if the CO rejects a recommendation of the SBS, written notice shall be furnished to the OSBP Director, within five (5) business days of the CO’s receipt of the recommendation.

*Non-applicable if the OPDIV is successfully achieving assigned HHS Small Business Goals.

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Content created by Assist. Sec./Financial Resources - Small/Disadvantaged Business
Content last reviewed on July 25, 2014