(1) The purpose of small business set-asides is to award certain acquisitions exclusively to small business concerns. A "set-aside for small business" is the limiting of an acquisition exclusively for participation by small business concerns. A small business set-aside may be open to any of the small business concerns identified at 19.000(a)(3). A small business set-aside of a single acquisition or a class of acquisitions may be total or partial.
(2) The purpose of small business reserves is to award one or more multiple-award contracts to any of the small business concerns identified at 19.000(a)(3), under a full and open competition. A small business reserve shall not be used when the acquisition can be set aside, in total or in part.
(b) The contracting officer makes the determination to make a small business set-aside, in total or in part, or a reserve. The Small Business Administration (SBA) procurement center representative (PCR) (or, if a PCR is not assigned, see 19.402(a)) may make a recommendation to the contracting officer.
(c) The contracting officer shall review acquisitions to determine if they can be set aside, in total or in part, or reserved for small business, giving consideration to the recommendations of agency personnel in the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, or for the Department of Defense, in the Office of Small Business Programs. Agencies may establish threshold levels for this review depending upon their needs.
(d) At the request of an SBA PCR (or, if a PCR is not assigned, see 19.402(a)), the contracting officer shall make available for review at the contracting office (to the extent of the SBA representative's security clearance) any proposed acquisition in excess of the micro-purchase threshold.
(e) All solicitations involving set-asides, in total or in part, or reserves shall specify the NAICS code(s) and corresponding size standard(s) (see 19.102).
(f) Except as authorized by law, a contract may not be awarded as a result of a small business set-aside if the cost to the awarding agency exceeds the fair market price.
(g) For the applicability of the limitations on subcontracting and the nonmanufacturer rule, see 19.505.