(a) Offers shall be solicited from those sources identified in accordance with 19.804-3.
(1) In either negotiated or sealed bid competitive 8(a) acquisitions SBA will determine the eligibility of the apparent successful offeror and advise the contracting office within 5 working days after receipt of the contracting office's request for an eligibility determination.
(i) If SBA determines that the apparent successful offeror is ineligible, the contracting office will then send to SBA the identity of the next highest evaluated offeror for an eligibility determination. The process is repeated until SBA determines that an identified offeror is eligible for award.
(ii) If the contracting officer believes that the apparent successful offeror (or the offeror SBA has determined eligible for award) is not responsible to perform the contract, the contracting officer must refer the matter to SBA for Certificate of Competency consideration under subpart 19.6.
(2) For a two-step design-build procurement, an 8(a) participant must be eligible for award under the 8(a) program on the initial date for receipt of phase one offers specified in the solicitation (see 13 CFR 124.507(d)(3).
(3) In any case in which an 8(a) participant is determined to be ineligible, SBA will notify the 8(a) participant of that determination.
(c) Any party with information questioning the eligibility of an 8(a) participant to continue participation in the 8(a) program or for the purposes of a specific 8(a) award may submit such information to the SBA in accordance with 13 CFR 124.112(c).
(1) SBA does not certify joint ventures, as entities, into the 8(a) program.
(2) A contracting officer may consider a joint venture for contract award. SBA does not approve joint ventures for competitive awards (but see 13 CFR 124.501(g) for SBA's determination of participant eligibility).