DOD's Implementation of Justifications for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts

February 8, 2013

What GAO Found

We found that DOD awarded 51 sole source 8(a) contracts over $20 million between October 2009 and September 2012. As we reported in our December 2012 government-wide review, DOD awarded eight sole-source 8(a) contracts worth over $20 million from March 16, 2011, when the requirement was implemented in the FAR, through March 31, 2012, the most recent data available at the time of our review. Of the eight, six contracts did not meet the new justification requirement because contracting officials were not aware of the requirement or because they were confused about the type of justification to complete.

Why GAO Did This Study

The conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 directed GAO to assess the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of a new requirement for written justifications of sole-source contracts over $20 million awarded under the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program. The 8(a) program is 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.

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