19.502-2 Total small business set-asides.

(a) Before setting aside an acquisition under this paragraph, refer to 19.203(b). Each acquisition of supplies or services that has an anticipated dollar value above the micro-purchase threshold, but not over the simplified acquisition threshold, shall be set aside for small business unless the contracting officer determines there is not a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible small business concerns that are competitive in terms of fair market prices, quality, and delivery. If the contracting officer receives only one acceptable offer from a responsible small business concern in response to a set-aside, the contracting officer should make an award to that firm. If the contracting officer receives no acceptable offers from responsible small business concerns, the set-aside shall be withdrawn and the requirement, if still valid, shall be resolicited on an unrestricted basis. The small business set-aside does not preclude the award of a contract as described in 19.203.

(b) Before setting aside an acquisition under this paragraph, refer to 19.203(c). The contracting officer shall set aside any acquisition over the simplified acquisition threshold for small business participation when there is a reasonable expectation that-

(1) Offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns; and

(2) Award will be made at fair market prices. Total small business set-asides shall not be made unless such a reasonable expectation exists (see 19.502-3 for partial set-asides). Although past acquisition history and market research of an item or similar items are always important, these are not the only factors to be considered in determining whether a reasonable expectation exists. In making research and development small business set-asides, there must also be a reasonable expectation of obtaining from small businesses the best scientific and technological sources consistent with the demands of the proposed acquisition for the best mix of cost, performances, and schedules.