24.3. FEDERAL SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM
As a major research university a large amount of The University of Texas at Austin’s funds comes from federal contracts and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants. Public Law 95-507 mandates that contract recipients such as the university comply with federal small business policy. It is the policy of the federal government “to provide maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions to small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. Such concerns must also have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate as subcontractors in the contracts awarded by any executive agency, consistent with efficient contract performance.”
The federal contracts negotiated by the university refer to businesses as small business concerns. A business concern is a business entity organized for profit with a place of business located in the United States and may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other legal form.
A business owner may qualify as a concern under specific U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs based on a variety of factors. For more detailed information regarding businesses qualifications as a federal small business concern, visit the SBA’s Am I a Small Business Concern? or Resources for Small Business Web pages.
B. Federal Regulations Governing Subcontracting of Small Businesses
According to the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR), Subpart 19.7 – The Small Business Subcontracting Program, defines a subcontract as “any agreement (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship) entered into by a Government prime contractor or subcontractor calling for supplies and/or services required for performance of the contract, contract modification, or subcontract.”
According to the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR), Subpart 52.2 – Text of Provisions and Clauses, 52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan, subcontracting plans must be submitted for each contract or contract modification that is expected to exceed $700,000 (or $1.5 million for construction). The subcontracting plan’s goals are negotiated between the university’s principle investigator (PI), the HUB/SB Director serving as the small business liaison officer (SBLO) for the university, and the awarding federal agency.
C. The University of Texas at Austin’s Small Business Master Subcontracting Plan
The Historically Underutilized Business/Small Business (HUB/SB) Program Office, with the approval of the Office of Naval Research, has developed a university-wide master subcontracting plan for The University of Texas at Austin. Administration of the university’s federal small business program is governed under the Small Business Master Subcontracting Plan, which requires that the small business concerns listed in the plan (small; veteran-owned; service-disabled veteran-owned; HUBZone; small disadvantaged; historically black colleges and universities and minority institutions, including tribal colleges and universities; woman-owned; Alaskan Native Corporations; and Indian tribes) have maximum opportunity to participate as subcontractors under federal contracts. The Master Subcontracting Plan lists the university’s methodology for goal development as it relates to federal contracts, a description of the method used to identify potential sources for solicitation purposes, and a description of the outreach efforts the university will make to ensure that appropriate small business concerns are made aware of and have opportunity to respond to solicitations resulting from federal contracts. Additionally, the master subcontracting plan contains assurances that the university will cooperate in any studies or surveys required; submit periodic reports so that the federal government can determine the extent of compliance with the subcontracting plan; and require university subcontractors to submit lower-tier subcontractor reports when required.
The Master Subcontracting Plan addresses university wide efforts in meeting federal contracting small business initiatives. A Principal Investigator (PI), responding to a proposal for a federal government contract where the solicitation exceeds $700,000, must develop an Individual Subcontracting Plan, specific to that contract.
D. Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grant Program
As part of the Federal Small Business Program, the university is responsible for outreach, education, and goals designed to increase and encourage utilization and participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) in procurements funded by EPA assistance agreements (grants). As a recipient of EPA grants, the university must follow six good faith efforts to locate DBEs to procure related equipment, supplies, construction, or services from. If you are an EPA grant recipient or sub-recipient, coordinate with the HUB/SB Program Office for assistance on grant recipient reporting responsibilities and adherence to good faith efforts to utilize appropriately certified DBE companies in related procurement.
Part 24. HUB/SB Office—Small and Disadvantaged Business Organizations - Table of Contents